What I learned from my mentor, Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Phil Tippett

Digital Arts Online | May 22, 2017 | Original Article

Image Engine’s Thomas Schelesny – VFX supervisor on episodes of Game of Thrones – discusses working under legendary creature creator Phil Tippett on films like Starship Troopers (above), and where we’re at with VFX in 2017.

Phil Tippett is renowned in the world of visual effects. Beginning his career with creating the iconic, stop-motion chess game in the original Star Wars film, he won his first Oscar for working on Return of the Jedi. As VFX moved from models to digital effects, he and his Tippett Studio continued their work – generally specialising in creature design and animation for the likes of Jurassic Park (for which he won another Oscar) and Starship Troopers.

More recently Phil’s moved back to stop-motion, focussing on a personal project he’s been working on for over 30 years, Mad God – which came to everyone’s attention again last week when a lengthy interview with Phil appeared on CNN’s Vice-a-like site Great Big Story.

Thomas Schelesny worked for Tippett Studio as a VFX artist and supervisor, before joining Image Engine and working on Game of Thrones – for which he won both an Emmy and a VES Award in 2015 for the fourth season’s final episode The Children.

We spoke to him about working under Phil Tippett, and how the role of a VFX supervisor has changed through his career.

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