IFCC 3Q Interview // Alex Brady

1. How did you get started in your field and what advice can you offer enthusiasts and beginners?

Frankly I still feel like a beginner, but I can describe some milestones that were important to me up to this point. I played a lot with Lego as a kid and always enjoyed building unwieldy monstrosities from my imagination.  For being naughty in school I was forced to work on the school production of Oklahoma! and opted to paint the backgrounds. It turned out the punishment was actually great fun, watching the actors rehearse and building my sets, and maybe that’s where I got hooked on show biz. I watched the movie Aliens around then too, that was a major milestone. It still boggles my mind what they did on such a small budget. Total genius. I think the biggest thing after seeing Aliens was finding the work of Syd Mead. My now tattered copy of Oblagon is in terrible shape from the study I’ve poured into it and I still steal ideas from Syd pretty much every day. He is THE man! After school I did a degree in car styling and worked a little in that field, but, I was never that great at it, so left to do my own thing.

I decided to really get serious around 2008, trying to at least draw one thing every day. Once I got into that routine things seemed to progress surprisingly quickly in terms of capability and career opportunities. I started working on small indie games and then on AAA titles and so on. On the one hand money was often very tight, but I got addicted to working my own hours and have never regretted that decision. My life is like one long string of busy Saturdays rather than a depressing grind and I think that’s worth missing out on the latest phone or cushy apartment for a few years. It can be tough when all your friends go snowboarding or whatever, but when they’re all slogging into the office you’re tucked up in bed and have nothing to do but drawing later on. Stick with it, it’s wicked!

2. What was your favorite project so far and why?

Like everyone I’ve had a few dodgy clients over the years but I think overall I’ve been very lucky with who I’ve worked it. I enjoyed working on Battlefield because although the work rate was high, the workflow was extremely well organized and easy to manage. Sometimes the pressure itself can be a blast. Working in London on Guardians of the Galaxy with Jonas De Ro, Nadia Mogilev, Mark Tompkins, Ravi Bansal was a tremendously exciting time, and really made me realize how hard-working and talented folks working in SFX are. Like wow!
As far as the most creative freedom I’ve had, that was when I was working on Bastiaan Koch’s indie movie project “Is This Heaven”. Bastiaan encouraged me to work how I felt was right and that was really cool and fun!

3. How will you be involved in IFCC 2015 and what do you expect from the festival?

I’m really flattered that people are interested in how I work, so I want to respond by doing lots of demos and collabs, making sure everyone has a fun, engaging time. I spend most of my working time alone in a quiet room with only the Internet keeping me company so can be a bit shy and weird when in a big crowd. Please don’t be offended!! On the other hand I LOVE geeking out – I mean thoughtfully discussing- about art, science, science fiction, movies, art history, you name it. My favorite thing is collabing with people, so if someone gives me a sketch I see where I can take it and then return it. That kind of thing. As a byproduct of this process we talk about our techniques and swap ideas. That kind of interaction is among the most fun you can have with your clothes on.  And of course I’m excited about all the art heroes that will be at IFCC 2015 who’s work I’ve studied and enjoyed. I’ll have my notebook out and try to listen carefully. Really looking forward to that!

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