Interview with Roman Kaelin

Category :BTS, Featured people
– What is your job title and role in the industry?
I wear a lot of hats, but usually I act as director and vfx artist/supervisor. I’m between creating full projects from start to finish at our studio and working as fx and lookdev artist on other projects by different studios.
– What projects have you worked on? What would be some of your most well known credits? You have some impressive awards on your profile!

I created and directed a few short films which have been quite successful, especially “Wrapped”. “Wrapped” screened at over 100 film festivals worldwide and won a fair amount of awards. We won a VES award, Siggraph and LA Shorts and screened at renowned festivals like Tribeca and Palm Springs to name a few. Another project worth mentioning is “Neanderthals” which was produced at Jellyfish Pictures. I was responsible for a few sequences as a CG lead which resulted in an Emmy nomination.

 

 

– Could you explain a little about your career journey in the VFX / film industry?
I was always interested in moving images, at first mostly cartoons. I always thought I’d become a 2d animator. That shifted once I discovered the world of 3d animation and visual effects. I knew what I wanted to do, but had no clue where to start. I studied architecture since I liked the artistic and technical fusion of the work. I dabbled a lot in 3d during these times and finally decided to pursue it fully and switch career paths. I visited a bunch of animation schools to get an idea where I wanted to go next. I was immediately hooked once I visited Filmakademie in Germany. I focused all my energy on getting in since they had a very strict admission procedure and exam, luckily I got in and moved to Germany. During our studies we could focus on whatever interested us most and this resulted in my short films. I wanted to gain some real production experience and ended up working for glassworks UK and psyop NY for a while. Later I went back to Germany to graduate and eventually moved back to Switzerland. I was looking into opportunities to move again and work abroad, but the jobs and freelance request never really stopped so I just started out working on my own from Switzerland. First I was by myself but soon united with some fellow artists from the industry to form a collective, which is now known as PULK.
– How long have you been in the VFX industry?
My first job I got paid for doing animation was back in 2004, but I only started freelancing seriously during my studies in 2009, I graduated in 2014. So it’s either 6 years or 11 years depending on where you want to start counting.
– What has been the highlight of your career so far? 

I’d say the success of our short film Wrapped was definitely a highlight. We attended some surreal festivals and award shows where we met some of our heroes. Doing short films is incredibly fulfilling since you can pour your whole creativity and passion into a project. Working on “Neanderthals” was another great experience as is working on commercials with my fellow artists at PULK.

 

– What’s on the horizon for you?
I’m currently working on some commercials and have some film projects in the pipeline waiting to start. Corona turned everything a bit upside down. Other than that I became very busy with my newborn daughter especially now since everything is on lockdown.
– What are you currently using Nerdeo for?
I’m currently just browsing and checking it out as a platform. Can’t wait to give it a spin for some real production work.
– What has your experience as an artist on Nerdeo been like so far? What have you enjoyed the most?
I haven’t actively used it for production yet but I love the idea and think the platform has great potential.

 

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