M E E T J O S E P H R O B E R T S
Limited only by his imagination, the magic of creating and bringing anything to life on screen inspired a teenage boy to pursue a career in visual effects. It was during his high-school years that Joseph began developing his craft. Having access to XSI (a 3D package), Joseph and his friends would compete to see who could create the best and most creative 3D models. He soon realised that he could turn this ‘hobby’ into a career and after studying at CDW, he enrolled in the UniSA Post Graduate program - which is delivered in partnership with RSP. It was the hands-on training in a real-life studio with working artists that gave him the skills, confidence and experience to work in the industry. In 2016, he landed his first paid industry job at Monkeystack as a 3D Generalist, then moved to Iloura as a 3D Modeller. In 2017 he joined the team at RSP as a Layout Artist.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN ROLE?
In layout we are responsible for camera tracks and pre and post-vis sequences. To track and matchmove is to reverse engineer the movements the camera and actors made on-set so that we can add CG elements which will sit correctly on screen. As well as this, we layout scenes and CG elements, building environments and working out the timing of events.
WHAT MOVIES HAVE YOU WORKED ON?
Captain Marvel, The Predator, Animal World, Tomb Raider, Thor:Ragnarok, Logan, X-men Apocalypse and Geostorm.
WHAT’S THE MOST CHALLENGING THING YOU’VE FACED IN YOUR ROLE?
Working on the post-vis for the tomb collapse sequence in Tomb Raider. Over 30 shots had to run in continuity from one to the next. Every event, break, and fallen rock had to follow through the sequence and get client sign-off before passing downstream. A culmination of months of work went into the films climax.
WHAT CHANGES WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IN THE INDUSTRY?
I’d like to see more studios opening in Australia. It’s such a great place to live and snows far less than Canada. More job security would be great too.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT WORKING IN THE VFX INDUSTRY?
Working in VFX, you get the opportunity to work on some of the most well-known films being released, and each year the bar is set higher as the effects become more challenging. It’s like getting to sign your name to a piece of Pop Culture which will stand long after we’re gone.
FAVOURITE MOVIE YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
Probably Thor: Ragnarok, in my opinion it was the best of the Thor trilogy and we got to work on some interesting fight sequences, including the battle in the Bifrost and the Valkyrie’s flashback.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT WORKING AT RSP?
At RSP you get to wear many different hats and take on a range of responsibilities outside the normal department definitions. This gives anyone who wants the opportunity to try out new things and to prove what they’re made of. It feels less like an assembly line where you do the same thing day in and day out and more of a collaborative workspace.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN ADELAIDE?
It’s a small city with a lot going on. I’ve lived in big cities before and they’re just loud and expensive.
WHAT ARE YOUR INTERESTS / HOBBIES?
Small scale manufacturing.
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT WE DON’T KNOW?
I have double jointed thumbs which can bend backwards 90 degrees.
Pain and Gain (2013).
Water, the classic H20.
CRAZIEST THING YOU HAVE DONE
Bungee Jumped in New Zealand over a raging river!
SUPERPOWER OF CHOICE AND WHY
Teleportation, I’d save so much money on commuting and not wasting time standing at traffic lights.
WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW IS….
A good DC movie.
ADVICE TO ASPIRING ARTISTS
Make sure you pick something you love to do. Even if that changes over the period of your life always do, or work towards, something you’ll enjoy. Such a large percentage of your life will be spent at work, make sure that you don’t hate it.
After I graduated from Uni I was unemployed for 2 years while I tried to make my break into the industry, but I never gave up. Some may say I had no choice as I wasn’t qualified for anything else, but I like to think there was a certain level of tenacity and stickiness to it. So really if it’s something you want to just do it and let everything else sort itself out.
Don’t be discouraged by people who are better than you. I’ve spoken to so many students who refuse to look at artists who create better work because it will dishearten them. Better artists should inspire you to work harder and show what is already possible.