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Creative Friends – Bafta Special

25th February, 2012

This installment comes to you hot off the press of the recent Bafta awards and two people I know that were directly involved.  That’s right, I know some people.  Ha!  In fact, I know not just one, but two people who won a Bafta last week and one of which is even off to the Oscars this weekend.  Insanelyjealous.com

David Vickery and Ger O’Flynn both won a Bafta for very different yet equally notary reasons and they have kindly agreed to share a bit about what they do with me in this double installment of Creative Friends.

I know David from uni and the fact that we used to work in the same student pub.  Oh those were the days!  I wish I could say I had some stories on David but actually…he was just really rather lovely and not at all scandalous!  Ger used to work at Channel4 with an old boyfriend of mine and I took the opportunity to get to know one of the most lovely women in the business.  I don’t care how much she protests, I am not the only person who would say so!

So, in keeping with tradition, ladies first!

1. Hi Ger, please can you tell everyone a little bit about what you do…and what you won a Bafta for!!

I currently work at Channel4 across Film and Comedy as a production finance manager which basically means negotiating budgets for programmes and films with the relevant producers and helping them make sure everything has been set-up properly so that things will run smoothly for the production.  I won a BAFTA in the Best Live Action Short Film category, I produced the film which was called ‘Pitch Black Heist’.

(note to all, Ger looked HOT and was wearing a whole heap of diamonds!  Eeeek)

2. And what is next for Ger, another short…or maybe a feature?!

For the time being I’ll keep going with the day job here at Channel4, I came back here in June 2011 after having 2.5 years working freelance so I’m happy to be back. I’d like to do more shorts but it will mean fitting them in in my spare time for the time being and then a feature down the line is definitely on the cards.

3. How do you think a Bafta will effect what you do?  Are you hoping to be able to get your pick of new projects?

It’s a great boost for the film, we’ve already had several festivals contact us asking to screen the film. For me it’s a great mark of recognition for all the hard work and for the rest of the crew too that worked really hard on the film!

4. What are the best and hardest parts of what you do?

The best part is once it’s rolling it’s a fantastic buzz and we had such an amazing and friendly crew it was like hanging out with friends for the filming days. The worst part is leading up to filming, it’s highly stressful and no matter how much everyone says it’ll all come together on the day you don’t believe it until the day has passed and you’re already worrying about the next day… It’s a lot of responsibility too, there’s a whole crew depending on you not to mess anything up!

5. And because I know everyone loves this (and I know you have a lot to list) who is the most famous person you have met?  And who left you the most starstruck?!

Yikes!! Martin Scorses spoke to me the night of the BAFTAs, we were all on stage having a winners picture taken and he stood right in front of me, then turned round and apologised and tried to get me to stand between himself and John Hurt, I was silent with awe and almost begged him to stop talking to me! One of my first jobs in TV was with Jerry Springer which was a lot of fun, not his show but a quiz show that he hosted. I stood near Cantona at a party for ‘Looking For Eric’ but we never spoke. But my favourite of all is that my friend spotted on the video clip from the BAFTAs when I’m heading up to collect the award that George Clooney was beaming at me with the most wonderful smile, clearly he was thrilled we won!

And from that short interview we can clearly summarise that not only is Ger very good at what she does but that George Clooney is in love with her and they’re going to get married and live happily ever after!!  Aaaaaaa!

Ahem.  Moving on, it’s over to David Vickery…

1. So David, would you mind telling everyone a little bit about what you do…and what it is that you won a Bafta for please!

I work as a Visual Effects Supervisor at a post production facility called Double Negative which is based in Soho, London. We work on loads of Hollywood films – Batman, Harry Potter, The Bourne series, and Captain America creating and destroying CG aliens, cities, Dragons, spaceships – anything you can think of really! I just won a BAFTA for the Special Visual Effects on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt2! As a Visual  Effects Supervisor I am in charge of all of the creative output for a film. On Harry Potter we worked on over 400 shots which took a crew of over 200 people 18months to do. The major work we did was the Cart ride and Dragon in the vaults underneath Gringotts bank and for the first time ever we built Hogwarts as a completely digital 3D model.

(Another note to all, David also looks HOT over there on the left but is wearing slightly less bling than Ger!)

I’d like to insert here that David is a massive geek and we love him for that!  I feel it’s OK to say this for two reasons.  One, I made his unborn child a quilt with the word ‘Bazinga!’ across the front at the request of his brother.  And two, one of his Bafta pictures was entitled ‘Bafta-zinga!’  If you have no reference of the word Bazinga you should watch The Big Bang Theory!

2. And what is next for you?  What are you currently working on?

I’ve just finished working on the new Aardman film  ‘The Pirates! band of Misfits’ and am currently looking at a number of new projects (which I can’t talk about I’m afraid – needless to say they are very exciting!)

3. How do you think a Bafta will effect what you do?  Are you hoping to be able to get your pick of new projects?  Or how will things develop within the company?

I’m sure I will get thrown back into the deep end very quickly as there are always new projects starting at Double Negative. Part of my job is to meet with new clients and convince them that Double Negative (and I) have the right team to do the work. Having a BAFTA certainly wont hurt in that respect! This is the second year in a row that Double Negative have won the BAFTA for Special Visual Effects.

4. What are the best and hardest parts of what you do?

Its amazing to contribute to such fantastic films as they are being made. You get to see the way an idea evolves from a few lines of script or sketches on bits of paper into incredibly polished feature films.  On the down side its hard to remain detached from your own work. I know so much about some films before I see them that I never quite get the magic feeling of seeing a film for the first time. I have to make a real effort not to find out details of the films we work on.

5. And because I know everyone loves this (and I know you have a lot to list) who is the most famous person you have met?  And who left you the most starstruck?!

You do get to see lots of famous people and always in very mundane circumstances. My personal favourite was Christian Bale in his batsuit with the mask off, eating a ham sandwich – very surreal. If you go out on set whilst they are filming you usually meet the actors – Its just like a normal day at work though. I’ve met Robert Downey Jnr., Matt Damon, Rachel McAdams, Daniel Radcliffe (all the Harry potter cast really!) The coolest person most recently was George Clooney – who I didn’t actually meet at the BAFTAs. but he got close and my wife looked like she was going to faint.

Again, it’s all about George Clooney really isn’t it?!

Congratulations to both David and Ger, I’m proper chuffed for you!  Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, I’ll just go back to making quilts with George Clooney’s face on them then…

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