1. Let’s start talking a little about yourself, how did you get into the VFX world?
I’m Mirco Paolini, I’m 34 and I’m an electronic engineer. I live in Castelfidardo where, 15 minutes away from my home, I have my office from which I work remotely. I stumbled into VFX by chance.
I have always been passionate about short films and I found myself shooting a short inspired by the “well and the pendulum” by Edgar Allan Poe.
This short film foresaw the presence of rats so, living in the countryside, the first thing I did was catch some oh them at night. Unfortunately, the morning of the shooting escaped and so I found myself thinking of alternative solutions and I came across these new technologies related to the creation of characters in computer graphics. But before then, from an early age of 11, I realized effects on set, including small explosions for stop motion animations with the super 8 / 8mm (for the joy of mom and dad).
2. The industry of VFX is very large. What is your decision to specialize in digital simulation of atmospheric and fluid dynamic effects?
Passion. I started as a generalist but then I realized I was more interested in the technical part, even coming from a past as a programmer. The passion for physics, the creation of disasters (fakes!) And the sea did the rest.
3. Tell us about your experience for the movie Fast and the Furious 8
Well, this has been my greatest job satisfaction to date, because my son and my wife are my greatest satisfactions!
I was lucky enough to start a collaboration with Pixomondo to perform internal fluid dynamics tests.
Very happy with the result, they commissioned me some shots of the opening of the film, where they expected waves crashing on the cliff in Havana, during the race between Vin Diesel and the local “bully”.
Later, Vin’s car would end up in the water.
An immense challenge. The sea had to be calm but at the same time the waves against the cliff had to be high.
I worked on these shots under the supervision of Nhat Phong Tran and Bahador Mehrpouya. Everything was done working from my office and delivering assets, look dev and cache to the study for internal finalization.
4. Can you tell us about your experience with Gabriele Salvadores’s movie “The Invisible Boy 2”, together with Victor Perez?
Very short but pleasant experience.
As for the rest of the productions I’ve worked on I played my part remotely for Frame by Frame, producing in a relatively short time a shot where the girl with the powers of the fire releases a blaze from a hand. The supervision of Perez and Fabio Cerrito were fundamental!
5. Many people still continue to confuse special effects with visual effects. How would you explain the differences?
It’s very simple. The special effects are all those that are performed in front of the camera, while on set. Visual effects are those that occur behind a computer.
6. For the type of work you do, which software is best for you, what do you think is more performing?
I’ve been using it for almost 10 years and it’s the one closest to my way of thinking.
The procedural approach, the totally optimized use of hardware resources and practically a boundless possibility of customizing it and creating tools very quickly.
Here at the office I have a whole pipeline based entirely on Houdini and an excellent relationship with SideFX, which provides prompt support to its customers.
7. What are the differences between making VFX for a movie and making it for a video game?
Nowadays video game kinematics can be considered almost real films, so I would like to say that there are no fundamental differences 🙂