Wouter van Stenis
CG Supervisor, Copenhagen
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?
Ever since I was young, I had a strong interest in film and game production. When my parents asked me what I wanted to do after school, my dream was always to come up with tv commercials (due to a series of very funny commercials that was running on tv in the Netherlands back then). At that time the best way for me to learn 3D in the Netherlands was to attend a game art course at SintLucas in Eindhoven. During that course my interest temporarily shifted more towards game art, which got my foot in the door with a mobile game company where I got familiar with a professional work environment. After a year of working there I had higher aspirations of working on my dream projects which were the big tv / film productions.
This led me to attend an international bachelor game art course at NHTV in Breda (now Buas).
During the last year of this course, I had the opportunity to do an internship and traineeship at Ghost VFX in Copenhagen. From day one I knew that this was the right place for me. Within the 4 years I’ve been here I’ve had the opportunity to grow from intern to now CG supervisor.
In your own words how would you describe what you do at Ghost VFX?
Currently Keriem Dijksma and I are the 2 CG supervisors at Ghost VFX in Copenhagen.
Together we run the asset department and guard the quality of assets being produced in-house to our clients demands, and our own high standards.
What part of the job are you most passionate about?
What excites me the most at work is to keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. One thing I like to do is giving the right task to the right person, which both challenges them and helps them grow and develop. My hope is that this results in a happy and passionate team that helps bring each other to greater levels.
Another part that excites me is proceduralism and building tools that help reduce mundane tasks and allow us to produce more and better in less time.
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?
Of course this would be Star Trek: Discovery’s Su’Kal episode.
For this episode me and my colleagues had the opportunity to create vfx for an amazing creature and environment. This ended up winning an Emmy, which to this day makes me incredibly proud to have been a major part of.
Any advice to others looking to break into VFX?
Do what everyone else is not doing. Many students focus too much on doing “the cool thing”. This results in everyone having the same reel.
Be ready to take risks and try to take on projects that make you uncomfortable. This is probably the fastest way to grow and makes you stand out in the huge crowd of people that want to come into this industry.
And try to find a group of people and make each other better. Make it your job to make the other person better. When that person gets better, it’s their turn to make you better. This way everyone wins.
Where do you see the VFX industry headed in the next 5 years? What excites you about the future?
The rate at which VFX is progressing excites me every day. There are always new pieces of software or new techniques being developed. What makes working in VFX so much fun is that you’re never done learning, developing and inventing.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention or add?
I’m incredibly blessed to have seen my dream become a reality, I hope to keep doing what I love for as long as I can.