Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hyper Island graduate wins MTV VMA

Hyper Island Digital Media 2008 graduate Markus Lundqvist and his colleagues at Chimney Pot just won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Special Effects for Lady Gaga "Paparazzi".

What were your first thoughts when you found out you'd won an MTV Video Music Award?
I was proud for all of us at The Chimney Pot working on the project. It was good milestone :).
Great that Chimney got some direct international attention for all the music video work we've been doing for so many years. Often the people actually making the video are forgotten in the public eye.

What was the most interesting aspect of working on the project?
The most interesting aspect of working with the video is of course the client, Lady Gaga. You know that when it leaves the house it's going to be seen by millions and there's not really room for failing.
We did the VFX, look and graphical design at Chimney but the video wouldn't be that great without excellent work from everyone else in the production.

What's it like working with Jonas Åkerlund?
Jonas is a great guy to work with and easy to talk to. He usually has quite a good idea of what he wants but we often try new things and give input on how to make things even better.
We have been working for years with him at The Chimney Pot so the trust between us is quite strong when it comes to make the film as good as possible.
Still it requires loads of hard work and all the extra time you can put into the shots. Often that means weekends and long days. We usually work until 5 minutes before deadline because all the extra bits and pieces you can push yourself to do makes the video better.

What other projects have you worked on at Chimney Pot?
I have worked with artists like Pink, Lady Gaga, Animal Kingdom, Madonna, Rammstein, Dizzee Rascal and more.
In terms of commercials the latest clients has been Alecta, Mercedes, Tele2, McDonalds, H&M, Unibet and Boxer.
Also I've done a bunch of shots for recently Swedish feature films such as Wallander & Falk.

What advice do you have for those who dream of working with VFX?
Learn everything you possibly can but don't get hung up on software. 
It's not the software that will make you a good VFX artist, they are all just tools and nothing else.  Still If I would point out one program you should learn it would be Nuke.
Keep yourself updated what's happening in the industry and new technology.
Get a long-term internship or a nightjob at a VFX house to be able to work on some big projects and build up a good showreel.
Don't be afraid to call companies and offer extra help.
Prepare to work long and hard :).

How has what you learned at Hyper Island helped you in your career?
To take on projects even if you don't know directly how to solve them even if it means working 24/7.
Since I'm working as VFX / Autodesk Flame artist most of my time is with a client/director in the same room and Hyper Island really improves your social and communication skills.

Click below to view some of the projects Markus has worked on:
· Lady Gaga "Paparazzi"
· Dizzee Rascal "Bonkers"
· H&M Summer 2009 Matthew Williamson
· H&M Christmas 2008 Most fashionable gifts
· Unibet Play

Thank you, Markus!

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