Sara has over ten years of experience in the field of animation, nine of which were specifically working in the motion capture industry. She joined Animatrik in January of 2012, where she brought her organizational knowledge and leadership skills to become Animatrik’s Post Production Supervisor. On a daily basis, Sara is responsible for scheduling staff, deliverables, and motion capture shoot days, as well as collaborating with clients after a shoot to ensure all visual targets and deadlines are agreed upon and executed to spec. Prior to Animatrik, Sara worked at Goldtooth Creative Agency to manage digital assets, and Electronic Arts as both an Associate Animator and Motion Capture Specialist. Some of her most memorable titles she has worked on include Madden Football, NHL, Barbie and the Pink Shoes, Elysium, and Sleeping Dogs. Outside of work, Sara is happiest outdoors; horseback riding, skiing, swimming, playing (unsuccessful) tennis, gardening, and playing with her two dogs.
Six questions with Sara
Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I started out as an artist, mainly drawing and painting. For one of my art classes in high school, I went on a field trip to see the DigiPen studio in Vancouver. That’s the moment I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up!
I attended Vancouver Film School’s 3D animation program and following that I was hired by EA at their performance capture studio. I intended to move on to key frame animation, and worked as an animator over the years, but found I just couldn’t completely leave performance capture – I had fallen in love with it. I loved performance capture for the excitement found in shooting scenes with amazing studios, directors, and actors, and for the variety of projects that keep every day at work fresh and intriguing.
What are some of the biggest projects you have worked on during your career?
I have worked on a lot of video game series: Gears of War, NHL, Madden, FIFA, Fight Night, Need for Speed, Harry Potter, Dead Space, and too many more to list!
For movie work, Warcraft is probably the biggest at the time of writing. Some other big movies I’ve been involved in are Elysium, American Sniper, Warm Bodies, and Chappie.
What are the most exciting projects you have worked on during your time at Animatrik?
The most exciting project was definitely Warcraft. We were deeply involved both on set and in the data processing stage. We were incredibly fortunate to meet and collaborate with so many amazing, talented people across the industry, and have formed many lasting friendships. It was a remarkable growth period for us – the studio really levelled up.
What specific expertise do you bring to the Animatrik team?
My many years of experience in the performance capture studio at EA were incredibly beneficial, especially when I first started at Animatrik. It was still a very young company at the time and I was able to bring the best organization, processes, and communications from my previous experience.
On a personal level, I’ve been a natural leader for as long as I can remember, so supervising and guiding the team through both production and their personal goals is very fulfilling for me. I’m at ease talking to new people, which is a big part of my role on set, and I have the technical history behind me to be able to clearly answer any concerns. I’m also pretty fun to hang out with!
What really excites you about performance capture today?
The future! Especially in television. Historically, TV shows were turned out on such short timelines and tight budgets that performance capture wasn’t an option. Today, however, that gap is closing. Our technology and workflows are constantly improving and we are at a time where we are able to turn out beautiful performance capture that still meets TV deadlines. The other exciting thing about TV is that we get to see our work within a few weeks of completing it!
What do you like to do outside of work?
Horseback riding, playing with my dogs, skiing, socializing, reading and gardening.