Visual Effects as “High-Tech Fine Arts”
Published on Jun 28, 2013 by James Gregory
Katherine Filtranti is a perfect example of why no one should ever stop learning. After graduating from Full Sail ‘s Film degree program in 2008, she moved to L.A. where she worked on the movie The Book of Eli at Hatch FX. That in itself would have been a great experience, but the on-the-job training Katherine got in rotoscoping and compositing ended up being a game-changer for her career.
“I just know I'll never be able to thank the people on Book of Eli enough for teaching me everything they did,” Katherine says. “It was my first job out of Full Sail and was such an amazing learning experience.”
When the gig ended, Katherine moved to New York City where she worked on features like Black Swan, Arthur, and Tower Heist, as well as a few commercials and promos. More and more, it seemed like the world of VFX was where she fit in.
“I've always been a really technical person who wanted to be able to do things like paint or draw or other things that required an artistic touch,” she says. “But I can't draw and I gave up on that a while ago. Then I learned VFX and now I can take my tablet and pen and – with roto and compositing, and sometimes with the elements of the seriously talented CG artists I work with – I can put together something that's just as beautiful as any painting or drawing would be. It's high tech fine arts and it really brings together the things I always wished I could do with the technology that I just sort of always understood anyway.”
These days, Katherine works full-time at Gravity, a New York City-based content, design, and visual effects studio. “My role is flame assist and production support and then I am also our main in-house roto artist and I manage whatever roto is being done,” Katherine says. “I've worked on a lot of commercials since joining the Gravity staff in 2011, including several Ford F150 and Super Duty commercials, Jordache Jeans, Vanguard Investments, Gillette, BMW, NHTSA, and Microsoft.”
Funny enough, her favorite projects are working on the effects no one will ever notice. “You spend days or weeks on a single effect and the audience will have no idea that it's happening,” Katherine says. “It’s as if the artists are in on some secret.”