Meet the alumni: Andrew Fineberg discusses VFX Editor role at Prime Focus
This month we were thrilled to hear that a recent student of our Part-Time Six-Month Postproduction course – Andrew Fineberg – has just landed a role as VFX Editor for Prime Focus – a globally renowned filmmaking production company. Andrew has been specialising in the Stereo Conversion tier of their services (transforming 2D to 3D), joining an illustrious team responsible for credits including Captain America: Civil War, Guardians of the Galaxy and Gravity.
Andrew told us about his exciting new role, the most useful skills he gained at film school and future career aspirations.
What exactly is a VFX Editor?
My current position as a VFX Editor (Stereo Conversion) is not a creative one and it is often a misleading and misunderstood title, as it’s not like a normal Editor’s role. It is a specialised project management role, dealing with VFX shots that are going through the 2D to 3D stereo conversion process for feature films. Prime Focus receives VFX final shots from various vendors such as Framestore and we have 3D artists and compositors who have to convert those shots for 3D. My job is to manage all the versions of the shot and ensure they are integrated into edit timelines/sequences for the stereo supervisors and directors reviews, which I help to run in one of the screening rooms, equipped with 4K projectors.
What did you take away from your course at Met Film School?
What I enjoyed about the course was learning about the underlying theory and concepts of editing different genres, by appreciating the differences in themes, narrative, characters etc. We learnt how an understanding of art history and colour theory are vital for knowing how to grade various projects and that you always need to have a reference (why choose a certain colour, what colour scheme will work, what decisions do you need to make). I like to experiment with different effects and filters to add that spark or something extra to a production and this course gave me the opportunity to learn DaVinci Resolve for grading and build upon my knowledge of After Effects for Motion Graphics and Compositing.
The course covered some vital aspects filmmaking and editing narrative such as deciding on the fulcrum of the story/scene, the use of pace, rhythm and framing to change the mood/tone and foreshadowing to help the audience believe in the story and the characters. I also felt the course taught me how best to organise and archive projects in the most efficient way.
What are your future aspirations?
Most of my experience has been within broadcasting, post production and VFX, but the reason why I took the course was to get an idea of the craft and technique of editing and colour grading. I would like to get more involved on the creative side of production, whether that is working in film editorial as a 1st or 2nd assistant editor, helping to prep scenes for the film editor and work my way up to editor, or alternatively become an online editor/colourist on high end television/features/documentaries.