Men’s Day Special Interview – Steve Hong, Animation Supervisor, Pixomondo Toronto
November 15, 2019 – International Men’s Day on the 19 November was founded in 1999 by Dr Jerome Teelucksingh a history lecturer at University of the West Indies in Trinidad Tabago. Interestingly calls for an International Men’s Day (IMD) have been going on since at least the 1960’s when it was reported in the New York Times, Feb 24 1969 that “Many men have been agitating privately to make February 23 International Men’s Day, the equivalent of March 8, which is International Women’s day“ This Day for women was first inaugurated in 1909.
International Men’s Day encourages men to teach the boys in their lives the values, character and responsibilities of being a man. Mahatma Gandhi said, “We must become the change we seek.” It is only when we all, both men and women, lead by example that we will create a fair and safe society which allows everyone the opportunity to flourish in their families and communities.
November is an important month for the masculine soul because it celebrates several events that are important to men. So, we encourage you to wish everyone a happy International Men’s Day on 19 November.” For more info, visit at www.internationalmensday.com
Steve Hong is an Animation Supervisor who has worked on such shows as The Mandalorian, Carnival Row, Goliath, The Boys and Star Trek: Discovery. On the film side, his most recent credits include Midway, A Dog’s Way Home and Goosebumps 2.
Today, Steve Hong talks to VFX Online about his experience about VFX and Animation Industry.
// From Steve Hong, Animation Supervisor, Pixomondo Toronto
How do you describe yourself professionally?
I’m an animation supervisor at Pixomondo. I’ve been animating for commercials, cartoons, and VFX for over 10 years.
What sparked your interest in animation?
Since I was a child, I really loved drawing cartoons. I knew it was something I wanted to do when I grew up. In college, I got to experience all different parts of making films, such as design, modelling, rigging, animating etc. Animating was the part I was always excited and happy to work on most. It was thrill to see things come life.
How did you enter in this industry? What was the key to getting inside?
I was lucky enough to enter this industry right after I graduated from college. Sometimes people can have a hard time entering this industry even after graduating from college, but if you have passion, and love what you do, the opportunity will come. I strongly believe that, no matter how good you are, because the VFX/Animation is an industry that you can’t survive, unless you love what you do. Of course, you would need good skills and a decent portfolio, but I think the main key to get into this industry is to love what you do.
What is the current state for men in the industry? And what is it like to work as a man in your current place of work?
In most of the studios I worked at, I found high percentage of the artists to be men. I believe it is not because men are better suited for this industry, but probably because more men may be interested in this industry than women. I don’t think there is any difference between being a man or a woman in this industry. Everyone is treated equally as an artist here, and that’s true of Pixomondo.
What’s your favorite shot or sequence of VFX or Animated Films?
My favorite film is Disney’s ‘The Lion King (1994).’ The opening sequence that starts with the sunrise still gives me chills. It’s the first movie I saw in theatre when I was a child, and everything about that movie, designs, animations, songs, just amazed me.
Any special achievements in VFX or Animation?
I always feel fulfilled and like I achieved something when my kids are excited to see the films I’ve worked on. It’s one of the big reasons why I love to work in this industry.
Any particular artists/professionals that inspire you?
As an animator, I try not to be limited by the inspiration of one particular artist. There are so many artists/professionals that inspire me. Every artist and coworker I’m with always has something I learn from and get inspired by. Also, nowadays, it’s really easy to encounter works from other artists through social media, and it amazes me how there are so many talented and inspiring artists around the world.
How has your experience been working at Pixomondo?
My experience here at Pixomondo has been really great. People are very nice, open minded, and out of all the studios I’ve worked at, this is probably the studio where people work the hardest. I’ve learned a lot and am still learning from all people I work with here.
What do you think about future of VFX and Animation Industry?
I believe the future of this industry is very positive. I think it’s like music. You won’t die from not listening to music, but it’s something that is always around you. I believe no matter how far in the future it will be, people will still enjoy watching movies.
What will be your ‘dream project’ to work in Animation or VFX?
I’ve never thought of this actually. But for now, I’m happy to be part of any project as long as I get to animate something.
What’s your thoughts about International Men’s Day?
I find lots of men have hard time expressing their emotions and issues. Although, not all countries formally celebrate International Men’s Day, I think it’s important use this occasion to celebrate positive male role models and raise awareness of mens’ issues.
We would like to thank Steve Hong for the great interview, and if you would like to know more about him, Feel free to check him out on LinkedIn.