Tamara’s background in independent television production encompassed producing, directing and editing award winning specials for the likes of Comedy Central and Showtime. She then moved into the position of Creative Director for UTV, Global Television and Citytv Vancouver where the creative teams she led amassed dozens of international awards for innovation, promotion and entertainment.
Always up for a challenge, she became Director of Operations for Citytv Vancouver, heading a team of 60 while taking the lead on major projects such as transitioning two television stations to full HD production.
It was when she recently discovered her passion for motion capture that she was able to combine her love of technology and creative with her organizational ability. As Managing Director of Animatrik, she oversees a growing staff of artists, works with clients to ensure their best possible mocap experience and provides all producing and operational requirements for a busy motion capture studio.
Six questions with Tamara
Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?
I decided early on I was going to work in television and volunteered my way into a job. Most of my education came after I was already working in the industry. After many years as a producer/director I moved into the creative services side and finally the operational side.
Eventually I fell in love with performance capture. It’s the combination of physicality and imagination, combined with a dash of technological magic, which makes it so unique. I also enjoy the reaction of actors who are new to motion capture: everyone becomes a kid again when they see their real-time character on screen!
What are some of the biggest projects you have worked on during your career?
In television it was producing and directing documentaries with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carlos Santana, The Tragically Hip and Sarah McLachlan, along with numerous comedy specials with Jim Carrey, Will Farrell, George Carlin, Judd Apatow, Margaret Cho and pretty well every stand-up comedian of the day. The most personal project was a documentary I shot while on a Mt. Kilimanjaro climb for Alzheimer’s awareness.
What are the most exciting projects you have worked on during your time at Animatrik?
Warcraft was pretty special due to the size of the crew we supplied, the length of time we worked on it, the challenges it presented, and the intensity of the project. That said, every project has memorable aspects. We have a lot of fun watching stunt guys doing crazy gags, seeing talented directors craft a performance, or working on musicals with songs we can’t get out of our heads for months!
What specific expertise do you bring to the Animatrik team?
My motto is always ‘make things happen and get things done’. I have overseen massive technical projects like changing entire television stations over to HD, directed the efforts of outstanding creative teams, and honed that almost mythical skill – developing budgets and sticking to them!
I pride myself on making sure our clients get the very best effort every time. If I didn’t work in performance capture I would make an excellent cat herder!
What really excites you about performance capture today?
My eyes literally light up when I talk about the business. The pace of change is amazing. Every day brings a new advance, a new breakthrough, a new technology. I can’t wait to see where the industry is in ten years, because even though it is still relatively new, the potential is limitless.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I recently managed to cross off the top item on my bucket list – a ride on the Zero Gravity flight. I had always wanted to experience weightlessness so this was an immensely fun dream come true!