I thought a long time about what I should write here. This is kind of weird to speak about myself. Hum, well let’s try.
I was born in the deep countryside of France, a middle-sized town called Limoges. My parents were living 60 kms away from this town in a small village of 3500 named Confolens. That place was a great environment to grow up, I’m so thankful to my parents for that. But time passed, we moved south, next to Bordeaux exactly. I went to university there for a year, studying Mathematics.
I was playing with computers for few years then, first with an Amstrad, later with an Amiga. I was discovering CG with Sculpt 4D and Real 3D, that was such a blast. But University was boring to me, and I remember one day going to the university restaurant with some friends, one of them told me his brother tried to enter a CG school. What ??? CG schools, is it real (it was in early 93), I was so excited, I never really thought it was possible at this time to study CG at school. This friend gave me more information about that school (Supinfocom) and I started to do more research about other eventual CG schools in France. Supinfocom seemed to be the most serious one, so I decided to focus on getting selected there. I spent the last 6 months of my university doing nothing else than drawing, learning 3ds4 (dos) and doing my first cg pictures, even an animation, in order to create a portfolio and pass the test. I never thought I had a chance: 150 candidates for only 30 seats, but well I happened to be lucky that day.
The school was in the north of France, 800 km away from my family in Valenciennes. That was 4 amazing years, I met some of my best friends over there. I learn a lot, from students, from teachers and also from myself. I started to turn my interest more around Art and movies. I took over a cine-club there to show the twisted movies I liked (I remember showing Salo, which was a really crazy session… people were shocked and passionate about it:) ). That was a school about creation, and it was absolutely enjoyable. Having the opportunity to create a CG short movie was such a great experience, I will never forget it.
Looking back the student short movie I participated to (with my team mates : Florence Pernet and Paul Guerillon), I think we were quite naive about the importance of the technical demonstration, but I don’t regret that. Maybe we pushed too much in the artistic direction, forgetting about the public, but still we got a really good human experience. That was the last breath before starting in the professional world.
I think this jump was frightening me unconsciously, I tried to find a job too quickly and I was not comfortable enough to try big studios. So I went to a small place doing prints who wanted to develop website using CG graphics. That was a mistake, and I realized it quite fast, I resigned after 1 month and a half. Then I searched some freelance positions. My first real experience was on Tomb Raider 5 cinematics at ExMachina. Really short contract of 3 weeks and then I was back home. I did another small project for Katarsys, a realtime CG videogame for internet. That was it for the first 4 months…
It was quite depressing, until Partizan Midi Minuit asked me to work freelance. Indeed 2 friends (Loic and Aurelien) from Supinfocom were starting as directors in this company and they contacted me to help out on a TV commercial project. I was really happy but quite worried about my ability to do the job. But well, everything ran smoothly. The contract was for a month, and at the end, they offered me a staff position. I really need to thank both of them for this opportunity. It was a great time, we had a lot of fun and that’s were I became a professional. Or at least I started to feel that way :)
But one day everything changed…again … I had been working for 2 years at Partizan. And that saturday night I opened my email and my life changed. As simple as that. Mista’ Tim Miller was offering me a staff position at Blur Studio. His email was 2 lines and was quite straight forward. I couldn’t believe it: he checked my website and was gently asking if I was looking for a job and if It was possible for me to relocate to Los Angeles. Damn I can tell you that it takes a long time to realize how such an email can affect your life. My wife (girlfriend at this time) wasn’t really excited about that. But she was quitting her job as well, so we decided to try the adventure. I went there for an interview 2 weeks after and that’s it. It took 3 months to get the Visa ready and I was in California.
Since, I worked on a lot of great projects and I’ve been supervising several projects (take a look at my portfolio to get some details). Blur was a really good place to work, I met a lot of great people and had some of my best professional time ever !!
After 4 years at Blur, I got hired at Dreamworks in may 2007 working as a lighter for the first time on feature films ( Bee Movie, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar2, Monster Vs Aliens) and then as a lead lighter (How to train your dragon, Shrek Forever After, Megamind, Puss in Boots).
It has been a great adventure, but I warn you : if you’re planning to move from your country to another, this is a real big deal. For example, I wish my wife could work in US ( she’s not allowed as a spouse to work unless she also find a work visa, which is quite impossible), I wish also I could see my family more often, I wish we had French supermarkets carrying proper food ;)…
Now I’m feeling that I need to create personal art again. I’ve been neglecting this aspect for the past four years. I’m trying to draw more, and to start new personal projects. I’m trying I said…
I will end up my story here. I hope it has been really boring so you will forget it quickly :)
PS: if anyone writing proper english want to share grammatical or syntax corrections, please do, I will appreciate !