The Yardeners – Special Edition – Mathieu Bron
Meet The Yardeners – the passionate team at The Yard, who strive everyday to nurture the seeds of creativity transforming them into striking visual effects, fruitful collaborations, and unforgettable stories.
This week, we invite you to a special edition of The Yardeners featuring Mathieu Bron, who recently completed an internship at The Yard. Currently in his final year of study at ArtFX, he shares his passion for VFX in this interview and discusses how his experience with our teams contributes to his graduation projects.
Hello Mathieu ! Could you please introduce yourself ?
Hello ! I am Mathieu Bron, currently in the final year of my master’s program at ArtFX school in Montpellier. I am currently working on my graduation film, with a planned release in June 2024.
My professional goal is to become an Environment/Lighting Artist upon graduation in June.
This summer, I had the opportunity to complete a 3-month internship at The Yard in Paris, within the Lighting department. My internship supervisor was Harry Bardak, and I had the pleasure of working alongside my two colleagues, Mathieu Trevisan and William Trameaux.
What led you to enter the world of VFX ?
Since my childhood, I have been captivated by the world of cinema, especially through watching adventure or science-fiction films like ‘Indiana Jones‘ or ‘Star Wars.’ At the age of 10, my fascination with special effects came to life when I started experimenting with creating small films with my friends, attempting to replicate simple effects. Over time, this passion for special effects evolved, and it was at that moment that I made the decision to dive into the world of 3D, seeking to go further.
Mathieu’s VFX film inspirations : Star Wars and Indiana Jones
During my high school years, I devoted more time to learning 3D software than to my chemistry courses. I started my journey 10 years ago in secondary school with Blender, a free software. I then explored others like Cinema4d, Maya, and now Houdini. Each time, I learned new techniques. I quickly became accustomed to regularly switching rendering engines, from Octane Render to Arnold or V-ray, for example. I learned by following internet tutorials and then by attempting to create my own projects.
Some of the tools that Mathieu has been learning to use are :
The idea of working in the field of visual effects has always been clear to me. I was fortunate to discover my passion early on and know what I wanted to do with my life. All of this was made possible thanks to the unconditional support of my parents, who have always been there for me, even without fully understanding the details of what I was doing.
You completed an internship at The Yard last summer. Could you share a bit about this experience ?
I completed my internship in the Lighting department, and from the moment I arrived, I was warmly welcomed by my colleagues. I knew I could rely on them to get their opinions on my work as well as their valuable advice. I was fortunate to have extremely talented and supportive supervisors. I had a sense of freedom because they trusted me and gave me ‘carte blanche’ to achieve the desired result.
Moreover, the atmosphere was very pleasant, allowing me to feel comfortable and have a great time.
Mathieu performed beyond expectations. His curiosity and enthusiasm are remarkable, and he exhibits a solid understanding of various challenges encountered.
According to you, what are the main challenges in Lighting ?
I think the challenges in Lighting vary depending on the type of project.
During my internship, I worked on a Live Action project and the main challenge laid in seamlessly integrating 3D by replicating the lighting used during the filming. The goal was to ensure that the viewer couldn’t distinguish between what was indeed shot and what was created in 3D. To achieve this, I had to respect the work of the cinematographer, understand the atmosphere, grasp the direction of light, and comprehend the intention behind each shot I worked on. To navigate this intricate task, I leveraged the resources provided by the VFX supervisor on the set, a crucial aid in achieving a seamlessly convincing outcome.
I discovered that working on Live Action materials is indeed not straightforward. It is a delicate balancing act demanding both creativity and coherence. My CG supervisor consistently emphasized the essence of good Lighting — simplicity and efficiency. Amid the creative process, it’s remarkably easy to lose sight of the primary objective, and this challenge urged me to venture outside my comfort zone. The experience proved to be not only challenging but profoundly enriching, fostering personal and professional growth.
Could you share a significant moment from your internship ?
One of the highlights during my time at the studio occurred when Harry Bardak (Head of VFX at The Yard, ed.) entrusted me with initiating the lighting for an entirely new sequence of the show I was working on. Being the inaugural contributor to this project was not only a tremendous honor but also a significant milestone for my professional journey. The guidance I received from William and Mathieu proved invaluable as they navigated me through the intricacies of this task.
Another impactful moment for me was the ‘Priority Rendering’ meetings involving artists, supervisors from different departments, the Head of VFX, and VFX coordinators. These sessions were dedicated to meticulously planning the rendering sequence of shots based on the clients’ priorities. The discussions were enthralling, fostering in me a sense of responsibility and a direct link to the seamless progress of the production. Initially grappling with a touch of imposter syndrome as a student yet to complete my studies, I unexpectedly found myself deeply engaged in discussions about the execution of an international show. Overcoming my initial discomfort was made possible thanks to the encouragement and kindness extended by everyone. Alexis Caresche, Compositing Supervisor, even took the time to share insights from his professional experience with me.
What benefits did you gain from your internship, and how does this experience contribute to your final school year ?
Thanks to my internship at The Yard, I had the opportunity to delve into the intricacies of production. This experience instilled in me a commitment to stringent deadlines, a meticulous attention to detail, and a profound appreciation for effective team communication.
I also gained valuable insights into The Yard’s pipeline, discovering tools that streamline repetitive tasks and enhance both the comfort and productivity of artists.
Moreover, I had the privilege of gaining a deep understanding into resource management and observing how adept supervisors lead their teams. Witnessing the seamless communication between different departments was particularly intriguing.
This internship has provided me with a solid foundation that I intend to apply during the production of my graduation film. Armed with the invaluable advice and guidance from my colleagues and supervisors, I am eager to employ these lessons to elevate the quality of my work as a lighting artist.
Do you have any advice you’d like to share with students interested in applying to The Yard ?
This internship was a true immersion into the professional world of visual effects, allowing me to closely observe the workings of a production. Beyond the technical aspects, I had the opportunity to meet incredibly talented and kind individuals.
If I were to offer advice to someone considering applying, I believe it’s crucial to demonstrate curiosity, a readiness to learn, and the ability to adapt quickly to technological advancements. Taking a step back and embracing constructive criticism is important. I hope these pieces of advice might be helpful !
Internships at The Yard
At The Yard, we believe that any new experience in our VFX industry should be valuable. This is why we are thrilled to onboard our trainees into our teams and provide them with insights into the reality of the productions we are working on.
As part of our partnership, we are delighted to welcome young talents from ArtFX schools and actively participate in the education program.
The pedagogy of Artfx has always been based on a highly professional approach to the industry. The Studio internship is an integral part of the training; it allows students to confront the reality of the professional world. Students gain maturity in their work, in their relationships with others, and begin to develop their professional network. It is a significant and enriching experience, and despite the surge in demand, I observe that studios take great care and commitment to welcome interns and ensure that this experience is a success.