To create cinematic illusions, you need conjurors. In this series of spotlight interviews, we ask movie magicians what makes them tick.
Andy Burrow is a visual effects producer at Outpost VFX, and lists his career highlights as including Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Maleficent and Guardians of the Galaxy.
CINEFEX: How did you get started in the business, Andy?
ANDY BURROW: I started in scanning and recording in 2001 at Framestore, and gravitated to visual effects when the industry dropped negative and went almost exclusively digital. I began working in visual effects at Lipsync in 2012 and haven’t looked back since.
CINEFEX: What aspect of your job makes you grin from ear to ear?
ANDY BURROW: Undoubtedly the people I work with at Outpost. I have so much fun on a daily basis with my colleagues. Even if we are in an incredibly stressful crunch time we manage to keep the spirits up, although these are pretty infrequent. Also, being 10 minutes away from the beach doesn’t hurt.
CINEFEX: And what makes you sob uncontrollably?
ANDY BURROW: Generally penalty shoot-outs in England soccer matches. But I felt a lot better after the Colombia game!
CINEFEX: What’s the most challenging task you’ve ever faced?
ANDY BURROW: The director of Maleficent was originally a matte painter, so as fast as we were creating the environments for the show he was annotating them and we’d almost have to start again from scratch.
CINEFEX: And what’s the weirdest task?
ANDY BURROW: It’s far too rude to mention here!
CINEFEX: What changes have you observed in your field over the years?
ANDY BURROW: Unfortunately, it’s tighter schedules for ever-decreasing budgets.
CINEFEX: And what changes would you like to see?
ANDY BURROW: That everyone in visual effects is treated fairly with regards to work-life balance, as in other industries. This is something that Outpost genuinely cares about – for the first time in a long time I really look forward to coming to work.
CINEFEX: What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?
ANDY BURROW: Be prepared to work hard and you will reap the rewards. And make sure you go to the pub with the more senior artists – you’ll be surprised how much you learn.
CINEFEX: If you were to host a mini-festival of your three favorite effects movies, what would you put on the bill, and why?
ANDY BURROW: First up would be the original Clash of the Titans. As soon as I saw it, I knew I would love movies forever. I still think the stop motion can’t be bettered and it was just so magical to watch as a kid, pure escapism.
Second would be The Matrix, I’ll never forget seeing bullet-time and thinking, “What the **** is going on here?”
Lastly, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. I was blown away at the time as a teenager and the visual effects still hold up now.
CINEFEX: What’s your favorite movie theater snack?
ANDY BURROW: A hot dog smothered in ketchup and mustard, naturally.
CINEFEX: Andy, thanks for your time!