Streaming VFX Review Sessions: An Interview with Award-Winning Director Victor Perez

Ross Shain

May 15, 2024

Case Study

7 min read

In the dynamic industry of visual effects, few names are as recognizable as Victor Perez, a multi-hyphenate VFX artist, supervisor, and director based in the UK. As a veteran of the film industry, Perez made his bones working as a compositor on some of Hollywood's most famous blockbusters – including Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises”, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, and many more. Also known as a prolific educator and author, Perez has delivered master level Nuke classes all over the world and has even published books on color management and photo-realistic CGI compositing. And Perez has even followed his dream to write and direct. His short film, Echo (2019) was honored with over 20 awards and nominations at film festivals all over the world.

With such an illustrious career, the team at Louper were pleased to learn that Perez has been testing our streaming platform to leverage VFX review sessions. Following a successful testing period, Perez now endorses Louper and has even joined the Louper Ambassador program.

With this in mind, VFX industry veteran, Ross Shain recently caught up with Victor to learn how and why he is using Louper in his workflow.

Victor Perez

Hey Victor, it’s great to catch up. How did you get started on your journey into film and what drew you to visual effects?

I’ve always had a deep passion for the intersection of storytelling and technology. My fascination with VFX started very early in life, inspired by my older brother, who was a photographer. At just six years old, I began playing with his equipment, exploring the arts of photography and stop-motion animation. This was more than just a hobby; it was my first step into the world of visual storytelling. I was heavily influenced by my love for science fiction, particularly Star Wars – my brother was obsessed with it when I was a child.

This childhood exploration turned into a serious pursuit as I learned to blend my technical skills with creative vision. The process of creating visual effects started as a game for me, a form of play that has continued to influence my professional philosophy. Even today, I approach VFX with the same spirit of creativity and fun that captivated me as a child. This playful foundation has been crucial to developing my career in visual effects, where I constantly strive to push the boundaries of what can be achieved on screen.

Victor Perez

That playful exploration comes across in your own films and in your public speaking and training. I enjoyed watching your TEDx talk. I’m curious, what projects are you most proud of?

I've been fortunate to work on many influential projects, but some of the most challenging and rewarding ones have included working on “The Dark Knight Rises” where I handled visual effects on IMAX footage and “127 Hours” which was particularly collaborative due to its smaller team size and direct interactions with director Danny Boyle. I was actually the very first artist to ever work at Union VFX. These projects not only challenged my technical skills but also deepened my understanding of storytelling through visual effects.

Victor Perez

We are living in a post-pandemic world and it's commonplace for artists to collaborate from literally anywhere. How important is the communication between various teams working on a film?

Real-time communication is crucial in my role as a VFX supervisor. It ensures that the vision of the film is consistently maintained and that any technical challenges are swiftly addressed. This immediate exchange allows for a more dynamic and responsive workflow, which is essential in a fast-paced environment where artistic and technical decisions impact the final output significantly. And being a visual artist I require a visual medium to share my thoughts and transmit my ideas… the most immediate way is to share what I see on my screen, but since our work is about detail, the quality of the stream is a key point when you have a team dislocated all around the world.

Talent can be anywhere, so I don’t want to limit my team to the local resources, to those that were “lucky” to live in the hub cities of VFX, there is so much talent hidden in remote places and everybody deserve an opportunity; or many other artists prefer to privilege a certain lifestyle that take them out of the reach of working in the office.

I don’t want to make compromises with quality and everything starts with the choice of artists. Thanks to the remote tools my reach is limitless (as long as you have an internet connection! )

Victor Perez

What is more efficient: a live VFX review or sharing files and receiving detailed notes?

Livestream or real-time VFX reviews are more efficient because they allow for instant feedback and adjustments. This method reduces the time spent on revisions and helps keep the entire team aligned on the current state of the project. It ensures that everyone, regardless of location, can participate in the review process and contribute to real-time decision-making, which is pivotal for maintaining the artistic integrity and continuity of visual effects.

For me it’s important to differentiate between review tools and streaming tools, because sometimes they look similar but they are radically different in their use. Review tools such as Ftrack Review or CineSync are great to evaluate a delivery (final or intermediate); but as essential as those tools are – none can replace the sharing monitor experience – to give directions in real time and see the results as the artist works.

Streaming tools are ideal to collaborate with artists one on one, or having the filmmakers on the same call.  It just saves so much time (hence money) and ensures the directions are understood in real-time, keeping client expectations, feedback and directions on point.

Victor Perez

Why are VFX review sessions so important in the process?

During the post-production of “The Dark Knight Rises,” as a compositor, I experienced how critical review sessions are story-wise. For instance, Christopher Nolan would provide feedback not just on the technical aspects but on how certain visual effects influenced the storytelling and character development. Such interactions underscore the importance of VFX in enhancing the narrative and not just serving as a visual addition.

An artist that understands the director’s vision in terms of storytelling can collaborate actively on telling the story and not just to “fix” technicalities. As a professor of storytelling used to tell me when I was at film school: “whatever is not adding to the story, is actually subtracting from it.”

“Louper’s user-friendly interface and robust tools for collaboration make it an ideal choice for any team looking to streamline the review processes.”

How did you find out about Louper? Were you replacing another streaming platform?

I discovered Louper as part of my continuous search for tools that can enhance our workflow and improve how we handle remote VFX reviews. Louper was a step up from other platforms I've used, offering more tailored features for the kind of collaborative and real-time feedback that is essential in VFX work.

The first time I saw it in action was by Julien Pazarasa, editor of the film I’m supervising the VFX at the moment of this interview, we were discussing a sequence, and he was modifying the edit in real time streaming the monitor out. Me, the director and the editor were all in different countries and working on the edit at the same time. By the end of the conversation the edit of that sequence was complete. That’s the power of real-time collaboration.

Victor Perez

What have you liked about using Louper?

My favorite feature of Louper is its ability to handle high-quality streaming without significant lag, which is crucial when discussing detailed visual elements of a project. The user-friendly interface and robust tools for collaboration make it an ideal choice for any team looking to streamline the review processes and improve communication. I would recommend Louper to any VFX or film professional seeking a reliable and efficient tool for real-time project reviews.

But the very best feature: it’s easy to use! Because art is more than complicated software!

Thanks so much for your time Victor. To end, could you share some quick thoughts on what new technologies or projects you’ve been excited about in the last year?

I have to say the projects I loved the most last year have something in common… “Godzilla Minus One” and “The Creator”... both are VFX heavy and both have a contained budget. I firmly believe being smart towards the use of your resources is worth way more than the money in your budget allowance. I like Gareth Edwards filmmaking aesthetics and clear vision, mixed together with guerrilla-style camera and shooting – keeping in mind the limitations on set that can be overcome in post (instead of a fix-it-in-post) approach. And about Godzilla, what can I say? Less than 40 artists on a low budget movie win the Oscar® for Best VFX. Maybe less isn’t sometimes more, but smart is always worth more. Thanks for having me “in the Loupe”. ;-)

Learn more about Victor Perez - follow on IMDB and YouTube, or visit Linktree for more.

Use Louper to stream and collaborate on live shoots, edit sessions, vfx reviews and more - securely and in seriously high quality.


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