PK 058: Brian Blasiak on How Artists Can Find Opportunities

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Brian Blasiak recommends taking advantage of all the resources available online for artists to learn and find work

“The information we have access to, to help teach ourselves, is incredible!”

~ Brian Blasiak

Brian Blasiak has worked as a lighting and compositing technical director on films such as Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, The Amazing Spider Man, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

And in this podcast, you’ll hear how an internship at toy company, Fisher Price, led to him working on some of the biggest films in recent years.

How Brian Blasiak Got Started

Brian Blasiak originally wanted to make video games, but found he didn’t have as much programming experience as some of the other students.

Instead, he found himself drawn to something more visual, and swapped to an IT undergraduate course in multimedia programming, web design, and web animation.

While he was studying, films such as Lord of The Rings and Spiderman came out, and Brian suddenly knew exactly where he wanted his creative career to go.

He says: “Seeing the visual effects (VFX) in these films was a real eye-opener. I didn’t realize people did this for a job…and got paid for it!”

So he returned to college, where he obtained a MFA in Film and Animation. And, while attending lectures on the history of animation, Brian was lucky enough to be taught by a tutor who’d been to art school with John Lasseter, the chief creative officer at Pixar.

Feeling inspired by this, Brian progressed from making animations using 8mm film to learning how to use the industry-standard software, Maya.

After college, he took up an internship at toy giant, Fisher-Price. Here, he learned how to create animation shorts, modelling, texturing, and lighting, and basically got a complete introduction to film production.

A Typical Day For Brian Blasiak

Brian now works as a lighting and compositing technical director (TD). As part of his post-production role, he’s responsible for lighting computer-generated scenes so they seamlessly integrate with real-life footage.

As a compositor, he needs to make sure that all the various layers that go together to make a film look as realistic and seamless as possible.

How Brian Blasiak Finds New Creative Projects

Because he get his internship with a big brand, Brian Blasiak was able to make connections and get a foot in the door of the film industry.

When looking for a new project to work on, he likes to do as much research as possible before approaching recruiters and networking with other artists who might be able to help him.

Because the post-production schedule of films usually takes place around eight months to a year in advance of the movie coming out, Brian knows this is the time when studios will be looking for artists to come and work on their projects.

And that’s when he takes to Google and LinkedIn to get in touch with the right people who can help him land that job.

He also likes to take advantage of all the resources available online for artists, such as our wide range of video courses.

Brian says: “The information we have access to, to help teach ourselves, is incredible!”

Brian Blasiak: Advice for Artists

In Brian’s experience, it can often take a while before you get your first big break in the creative industries.

For example, he’s been applying to work at Industrial Light & Magic (the company founded by George Lucas in 1975), since his early 20s…and only got an interview last summer!

He says: “I finally got my break at the right time, so you’ve got to just keep trying. Go after the projects that really excite you and, if you get rejected, just keep working on improving your art.

“It’s a fun industry to be in, so just keep pushing and persevering, and you’ll eventually get there!”

Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • Why internships can lead to big things
  • How to research which creative jobs to go for
  • Why hard work and perseverance will always pay off

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