Computer Animation grad Neiko Nagy currently works at Shade VFX, the visual effects company with partners such as DreamWorks, Sony, Fox, Disney, and Universal, as a compositor and 2D artist. Neiko starting working there right before graduation, and within a few weeks was promoted to a 2D artist after his boss discovered what kind of skills he possessed. Originally there were three levels of compositors: entry, mid level and senior level, however the need for mid level compositors soon diminished in order for the company to become more efficient in time management. Now Neiko and other entry level compositors complete their work and then pass along to have senior compositors polish it and take it to final.
Wolverine, 42, Die Hard, and Behind the Candelabra are just a few of the many projects Neiko has been working on. The summer time is usually slow so he’s going to be taking a break to visit family back home in Missouri for a while. The past five months have been filled with constant projects and deadlines, occasionally consuming what free time he had. Fortunately Shade VFX is a great company to work for and Neiko never felt like he was under too much pressure, or unable to meet any of his deadlines. Paintwork and compositing both are aspects he enjoys and has been able to gain a great deal of experience working in the industry.
How Neiko got to the animation program at the Los Angeles Film School is pretty interesting. After working for a radiologist for a few years, he decided to pack up everything he owned and move to California to forge a new career path. He signed up for the first college course that appeared on his radar, which was Westwood College’s animation program. A few months into the program, he started to grow dissatisfied and began to look elsewhere. His roommate at the time was a Recording student at the Los Angeles Recording School and encouraged him to check the animation program out. After taking a tour and meeting with Animation Instructor Joffrey Black, Neiko knew this was the right decision and immediately transferred over. He also took two friends over to the LAFS Animation Program as well, Josh Harris and Marissa Carter, both who have been successful in the program and post-graduation.
Neiko’s advice to current students:
Don’t burn bridges! Be nice to everyone. Keep pushing forward and don’t be afraid to ask questions about stuff you don’t know. When you first start out, Google will be your best friend. All the basics are covered in the courses, but once you’re working in the field there are some things you need to learn on the fly, and you never want to say that you can’t do something. But then again, don’t be afraid to admit when you need help.
Keep up all the great work, Neiko!