Picture of Frontier VFX interviewee Nicole Glen
19 September 2022

QUICKFIRE ROUND: 2D SUPERVISOR NICOLE GLEN

Every fortnight we’re going to sit down with one of our wonderful Frontier people to get stuck into their life, their career and their top tips for the next generation of VFX artists coming through. Kicking things off is 2D Supervisor Nicole Glen, who’s just made the jump from her role as a Lead Compositor.

We are currently hiring for multiple positions to join Nicole and the team on some major upcoming Netflix titles. Get in touch with our team today!

How did you get started in VFX?

I actually kind of fell into VFX. I spent my first two years of college in engineering, then had a brief few classes in Architecture. Nothing really felt right. I almost quit school until my counselor asked me what I wanted to do when I was younger and I told her something with video games. Then I took my first few VFX Classes and the rest is history!

Tell us how you ended up at Frontier. What convinced you to try somewhere new?

I have been at Method for about three years at the time and was looking for a new challenge. Frontier reached out to me and sold me on the vibe, and the great shows we get to work on for Netflix.

Can you remember the first movie or TV show that made an impact on you?

I vividly remember going to the first Avatar movie back in 2009 and that being the top of the industry at the time and being really amazed by it.

What do you think are the core skills that make a good compositor?

I think some of the core skills you should have at any level are the willingness to constantly learn, the ability to problem solve, and the knowledge to know when to ask for help.

How have you found the transition to a more senior role in the 2D department?

The transition has been a little challenging at times, but also so rewarding. There is still much for me to learn and I am learning new things all the time with this role. I love working with people and helping them create amazing work and helping them to grow in their abilities.

What’s the culture like at Frontier? Is it different to where you’ve worked before?

The culture here is like a family. Even though we are all remote, we have ways of inviting someone in and making them feel supported, while providing a fun and enjoyable environment for everyone. Other companies can sometimes get a bit lost trying to be people centric, even in an office setting. They often miss the mark in making the work fun, where Frontier is excelling.

You’ve got one TV series you can binge again and again and again for the rest of your life. What is it?

I actually don’t think I have one! I have so much on my watchlist I rarely have time to go back and rewatch series, even if I want to. So much content is coming out all the time and I want to watch it all.

What are your top tips for someone looking to get into a career in compositing?

Top tips would definitely be: 

  • Google is your best friend, so is Nukepedia.
  • There is so much free material out there for compers. Consume it all.
  • Keep a VFX journal of techniques on how to do something.
  • Practice!
  • Network! Follow every recruiter you can find on Linkedin.

What does the perfect comp showreel look like to you?

I really like to see the work you most enjoyed doing or are the most proud of at the beginning of the reel. Show me you can pull keys, work with CG, and be creative. A bonus is always adding any roto/paint work at the end to show you have those skills as well.

What are you watching right now that has you hooked?

I have been watching a lot of Netflix shows, since we get to work on so many. But I think right now I am most anxiously waiting for Ozark’s last part of the season to drop.

Finally, what are your top tips for working from home in VFX?

  • Comfortable Chair – never doubt a good chair!
  • Imitate an office setting as much as you can with your home office.
  • Get up and move every once in a while. Similar to if you went out and grabbed a coffee or snack at the office.

The culture here is like a family. Even though we are all remote, we have ways of inviting someone in and making them feel supported