We speak to Matt Holmes, Weta Digital’s Supervising VFX Editor to find out what it’s like working on silver screen favourites like Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame and HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Hi Matt, please introduce yourself to our readers, and what you’ve been up to recently.
Hello. I’m the Supervising Visual Effects Editor at Weta Digital. I have been at Weta for over 20 years and formed the Editorial Department proper in 1999 when we purchased our first Media Composer system for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I have been involved in many major motion picture productions over the years. Now that I have a team of 9 VFX editors in the department I am less hands-on with individual productions and spend more time streamlining workflows and managing our infrastructure and people.
Over the course of your career, how has the technological advancements in editing software changed the way you approach your job, and their impact on the creative process?
Back in the film days things meandered along in much the same way for several years. Avid Media Composer was there to lead the charge into file-based editing and after digital cameras arrived on the scene things accelerated markedly. For a long time post roduction was miles behind acquisition, what you could capture with cameras far exceeded what you could do with it realistically in post. Higher frame rates, stereo, bigger resolutions, a dozen different formats on a single film, and HDR to name a few, came about well ahead of what you could do with it in editing software. It seems now we’ve caught up and can adapt quickly to any scenario because the software enables us to be very flexible.
What are some tools that you use for your work?
Avid has been with us the whole journey. It’s still the mainstay of our day-to-day work and 95% of the projects we work on are edited on Media Composer. Final Cut Pro 7 was also a real workhorse for us but now that gap has been filled by Premiere Pro. We also use Resolve a bit too. Nuke and Nuke Studio, RV and a host of proprietary tools are also essential.
Are there any technical tips you can share with those who are new to the industry?
Probably none that you can’t find in a hundred YouTube Videos!
What can attendees expect from your talk at BroadcastAsia?
Hopefully an insightful and entertaining journey through my years as a Visual Effects Editor at Weta Digital. I’ll have some clips of our work to show and discuss plus I’m always open to some good old Q & A!
Finally, what advice do you have for those looking to start out?
I’ve hired quite a few people over the years with all sorts of different skill sets but the number one thing I look for is a good attitude and a character that I think will fit in with the team. Having a good team culture and unity is really important when you’re working long hours and things get stressful. You have to look after each other and back each other up. Be prepared to do the dirty work when you start out and perhaps the later shifts if required. If you want to edit feature films then a VFX Editorial job is probably not the right place for you I’m sorry.
Catch guest speaker Matt Holmes at BroadcastAsia, 19-20 June 2019 at the VSolutions Booth and Avid Suite where he will be sharing his experience editing for the silver screen. View the full list of activities at BroadcastAsia here.