VFX comes of age
3D World UK|November 2020
VFX comes of age
Flying Turtle Post owner, Shaina Holmes, discusses running the innovative studio and working on Hulu’s Big Time Adolescence

Industry veteran Shaina Holmes is a true VFX superhero. As the owner of the Ithaca, New York-based studio, Flying Turtle Post, she oversees everything from client outreach to compositing, as well as being the face of the company. She also finds time to teach the next generation through her role as an assistant professor of Television Radio Film at Syracuse University.

This breadth of experience has meant Holmes is at the forefront of industry change. With a mentorship-based approach, her company’s mission is to support underrepresented filmmakers by providing ways of achieving their VFX goals without breaking the bank.

To learn more, 3D World asked Holmes what it’s like to run such an innovative studio, and how the team delivered Big Time Adolescence, a recent coming-of-age comedy film for Hulu.

How did working on Big Time Adolescence come about for you?

I first met executive producer Ryan Bennett and post supervisor Molle DeBartolo when we all worked together at Company 3 New York. They now work at American High, the production company behind Big Time Adolescence. The film was actually our fifth project with American High in a year. We were the sole VFX vendor involved and delivered 29 VFX shots in total.

With all five American High projects overlapping in various stages of production, we were in constant contact with Ryan and Molle to help answer any questions that arose throughout principal photography. As a result, we were able to remotely come up with practical effects or creative solutions to on-set problems. For example, an on-set artist was hired to create pre-built screen graphics: an essential step for a show that portrays modern multi-screen high school life. These graphics were then supplied to us and integrated into our VFX, saving us a lot of design time in post.

You wore multiple hats on this project, working as VFX supervisor, VFX producer and lead VFX artist. Why is this?

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November 2020