Crys Forsyth-Smith

EVP of Global Production, Copenhagen

November 4, 2021


Ghost VFX is an award-winning visual effects house with innovative talent and technology that brings creative visions to life. Our dedicated teams around the globe make the impossible possible, fulfilling the demands of studios and independent creators alike. In our “Ghost VFX Spotlight” series, we showcase the team members behind the projects to find out what they’re passionate about, how they see the industry evolving, and their creative insights into the art and craft of visual effects.

Tell me a little about your background in VFX?

I studied stage & lighting design in school and I think my first job in VFX was as a runner. From there, I moved onto onset data wrangling, miniature shoots & motion control shoots. I’ve come up through Production as a PA, Coordinator, Production Manager and a VFX Producer focusing on Feature Films. I’ve also done some game cinematic, commercial and episodic work. I’m currently learning more about virtual production workflows

In your own words how would you describe what you do at Ghost?

It depends on the day but generally, working with the teams to understand current workflows, getting feedback from the various departments and planning out the unification efforts so that we can operate as a global workforce. I look forward to working with everyone and seeing it all come together.

What part of the job are you most passionate about?  

Working as part of a team to push the limits of the Creative and Technology efforts. I love seeing the end results and when you can view it in a theatre or onscreen with others who are just there to see a show; it just reminds me why I love this industry. Bringing the VFX magic to the storytelling process is something that I have always been intrigued by.

Is there a particular project you worked on that you can discuss? If so, what was the project and what was the work you contributed?

I’ve worked on many projects over the years and have enjoyed them in various ways. They provided a great opportunity to grow and learn about all aspects of VFX. I think one of the most challenging was Monster House – it was one of the first hybrid projects using motion capture and animation that I was a part of, and it was such a great learning experience in dealing with the onset motion capture system and then integrating that into the shots and seeing it all come together in the final product. Taking that knowledge and the improved technology and being able to use it on Alice in Wonderland was another fantastic learning opportunity.

How have you adapted how you work during the pandemic?

Learning the best lighting for Teams and Zoom meetings (and saying ‘you’re on mute!”). Coming up with best practices to work with groups of people remotely. A lot of the teams I work with are in different time zones so the pandemic helped re-enforce that you can work with others in a remote environment and that you have to put in the effort to make it successful. ‘Communication is key’ is a good mantra to follow and maintain.

Any advice to others looking to break into VFX?

Work hard but remember to maintain balance – that is something that the entertainment industry struggles with in general. It’s easy to get lost in the grind as you work to build a career. Study photography and films to learn about camera motion, image composition and lighting to help understand how to translate it into computer applications. If it’s truly your passion, don’t give up; be willing to learn from others even if you think your way is better. It’s still an opportunity to learn and grow.

Where do you see the VFX industry headed in the next 5 years? What excites you about the future?

Seeing how quickly technology changes in such short timeframes is amazing. Utilizing Machine Learning / AI and adding it to the VFX artist toolbox to help efficiency. And I think with the changes that have come from utilizing real-time workflows and the things we’re learning we can do with the technology that it will continue to evolve and change the landscape for how visual effects work is done.