Know the Pro: Stu Maschwitz

PVC by Kevin McAuliffe

We talk Star Wars, the Visual Effects Industry, Video Copilot and all things Red Giant with Stu Maschwitz

This article series, to be posted once a month, will focus on one person in the Film or Television industry who?s name might not jump out at you right away, but you?ve definitely been influenced by their work. This month, we?re talking to Visual Effects Guru, and Creative Director of Red Giant Software's Magic Bullet product line, Stu Maschwitz.

You might not know the name, but Stu Maschwitz is the creative mind behind Red Giant Software?s flagship plug-in, Magic Bullet Looks (well, the whole Magic Bullet product line, to be precise), which is one of the best color grading plug-ins on the market today. But software development is not Stu?s thing. He comes from a visual effects background that had him working on the restoration of Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope, over one hundred shots in Episode One: The Phantom Menace, as well as Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man?s Chest and Iron Man. He started his own visual effects company with co-workers from ILM, and has seen the tidal wave the visual effects industry is going through first hand. But how did he get his start?

KPM: Tell me about how you got your start in the industry.

SM: Well, I went to film school at Cal Arts, the California Institute for the Arts in Valencia, California, and there was a strong connection there between the graduating animation class, and what would eventually become PIXAR. It was such a tumultuous time, it was right around the time of Jurassic Park, and so by the time I graduated there had been a few folks close to me including teachers and fellow students who had made their way up to ILM and I knew that I wanted to be in the visual effects industry, I didn?t necessarily think that my first job out of film school was going to be at Industrial Light and Magic but that?s how it worked out. They were just so desperate to crew up for all the big movies coming up that they were willing to hire even me.

KPM: As you mentioned, your first job out of Cal Arts was at ILM. Tell me about your time there, and what you did.

SM: Yeah, I was there from the Jumanji, Casper, Mission Impossible 1 time through to working on Star Wars Episode One and even Galaxy Quest was the last show that I worked on there, so it was about four years, so in a way it kind of corresponded to a graduate studies program. read more...

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