Jonathan Turner studied BA Film and Animation Production and is now a Visiting Tutor for Bournemouth Film School (BFS). He also helped create the ongoing link between BFS and Framestore, the on-campus international visual effects company. Jon works as a compositor, working on some amazing titles including The Martian, Guardians of the Galaxy, Everest and Gravity.
We caught up with him to see what he’s been up to:
Can you tell us how you got into VFX?
“Originally, I was all set to do a business A-Level at sixth form, but I went for one day and it really wasn’t for me. AUB felt right, so I applied. I studied BA Film and Animation Production, specialising in editorial, and graduated in 2002. The kit, technicians and other students were awesome.
“I went on to study MA Digital Effects in 2003. This was my first true experience of visual effects that was anything like an industry model. After I graduated from my masters I was offered, and subsequently accepted, a position as a technical demonstrator on BA Animation at Bournemouth Film School (BFS) in September 2004. Although there was an element of VFX software delivery, this became a very hardware and IT centred role. After about 18 months I went on to become a Senior Lecturer with my time divided between both the Film and Animation departments. My core responsibilities were the delivery of the Avid Media Composer NLE and supporting hardware. In 2008 I trained as an Avid Certified Systems Representation, and in 2009 I became an Avid Certified Instructor.”
Can you tell us more about the link BFS has with Framestore?
“In 2011 I decided I wanted a change of direction and to focus on the field I was really interested in, visual effects. I was lucky enough to join the team at Framestore, and it was during these first few months that I was given the opportunity to introduce Framestore to the AUB. Subsequently we set-up the Framestore facility on the campus, which I went on to run for 18 months before joining the compositing team in London.”
Framestore’s Bournemouth studio is staffed by recent graduates and is located in the Enterprise Pavilion on the campus of AUB. The outpost acts as a support satellite for overflow work, providing tracking and paint/rotoscope work for large-scale visual effects briefs, such as feature films, in Framestore’s London HQ.
The decision to establish a regional outpost helps in bolstering the UK economy by supporting the domestic visual effects industry in two ways: firstly, by bucking the trend of outsourcing junior-end work to cheaper offshore markets; and secondly, by fostering a new generation of home-grown talent. Having the studio on campus helps in bridging the gap between education and the industry, helping to turn creativity into careers.
What films have you worked on, and have you got anything in the pipeline?
“I have worked on:
The Martian (2015)
Testament of Youth (2015)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Closed Circuit (2013)
47 Ronin (2013)
Wrath of the Titans (2012)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
Harry potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt2 (2011)
I am working on something currently, but unfortunately I can’t tell you!”
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
“The best part about teaching is always the dialogue with the students. The highlight is being able to share what I do on a day-to-day basis with individuals at the start of their careers. They seem to respond very well to being taught by active industry professionals. Their engagement with the subject becomes evident when you see their progression over a short period of time – its a very rewarding feeling.”
What has been the highlight of your career to date?
“Finishing my final shot on Guardians of the Galaxy at midnight on a Saturday and then pretty much collapsing after what was the most intense delivery period I’d ever experienced – the sense of satisfaction and achievement was incredible. I love making movies. It’s awesome!”
Jon’s One Piece of Advice
You need to be resilient, focused and hard working. Its a difficult industry, but I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
Quote from Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures