BAFTA winner gets teeth into new project

Published: 29 April 2014 at 10:58

Member of Gravity’s visual effects crew is working on Dracula Untold

A successful film set modeller says deciding to study at Anglia Ruskin University was “the best decision I ever made.”

After graduating with a first class BSc in Computer-Aided Visualisation in 2009, Chris Cook was part of the CGI team behind Oscar-winning Warner Brothers picture Gravity as part of his work for visual effects industry giant Framestore. During his final year at Anglia Ruskin, he had impressed on a placement for Cambridge firm ArtVPS, which got him noticed.

Chris’s role involved computer generated modelling and layout. He said:

“Warner Brothers needed an artist in their office to help the set dressing team to produce digital sets and props. The role quickly grew and after about five weeks I was put in charge of a team of layout and previz artists. I used to report to the director once or twice a week to discuss the team’s work and got to make decisions that shaped the final look of the film.
“I became one of ten modellers on the film. We created photo-real versions of everything, including the space station. We had a lot of work to do and not much time to do it in, but it was good fun.”

The film has won several awards, including the BAFTA and Oscar for best visual effects. After his role was complete, Chris took some time out and returned to work at Anglia Ruskin, creating posters for information screens, before picking up where he left off. Over the last few years Chris, who is from Chelmsford, has worked on Robocop, Edge of Tomorrow, Jupiter Ascending and Guardians of the Galaxy. His current project is Dracula Untold, on which he is working as an environment technical director.

Chris, 32, added:

“While the work can be very intense, I absolutely love my job. I have met some of Hollywood’s top directors and actors, and most of all I get to help decide the shape of the film.
“All of this would not have been possible without my degree. I had to come to interviews as I had no A-Levels to meet the UCAS entry requirements and it was the best decision I ever made.”