Escape Studios 5 min read

Escape Success Story of the Month: Kajsa Christiansson

Katie Fiddaman

Katie Fiddaman posted on

Kajsa Christiansson - One of Us wins a BAFTA award for Best Special, Visual & Graphic Effects for The Crown

Kajsa Christiansson studied Advanced Compositing for Visual Effects at Escape Studios and has now gone on to work for some of the biggest companies in the VFX industry - DNEG, One of Us and MPC. She has worked on Wonder Woman, ECHO, Life, Altered Carbon, The Crown and now a project for CERN..

Kajsa has shared with us her success story and how Escape Studios helped her get to where she is today...

What course did you study?

I attended the Escape Studios “Advanced Compositing for Visual Effects” 18 weeks full time course.

What have you been up to since you left Escape Studios?

After Escape Studios, I worked as Junior compositor and Prep Artist on a few music videos, a Champions league TV advert and the UK feature film ‘A Dark Reflection’. When working on these freelance projects I was able to gain experience, and I also worked on a lot of nice shots that I could put into my showreel.

My first job in a big VFX house was at MPC where I worked on The Martian. It was amazing to come and join a big team of talented artists, to work together to create movie magic, and to see our work on the big screen.

Furthermore, my work experience includes DNEG on the movies ‘Life’ and ‘Wonder Woman’ as a senior Prep Artist, and then at DnegTV on the Netflix series ‘Altered Carbon’. Before that, I was working on ‘The Crown’ at One Of Us. In addition, I have been working as Prep Compositor for the award-winning short film ‘ECHO’ by Victor Perez.

What are you working on at the moment?

I have been working on a project for CERN, the high energy physics laboratory where the web was born, in Geneva, Switzerland.

This year CERN celebrates the 30th anniversary of the invention of the World Wide Web. In this context CERN is redesigning the computer centre visitor area, including a Liquid Galaxy display to allow virtual visits of the inside of the data centre, a server rack area, some data tape robots and possibly some holograms. I have worked on high-resolution graphics designs and images for this new exhibition. It has been very interesting and fun. Previous to that I have worked at DNEG, first on the movies LIFE and Wonder Woman and then on the Netflix series Altered Carbon.

In addition, last year I was invited as a panellist at the ACCESS:VFX event that took place as part of the BFX festival in Bournemouth. ACCESS:VFX promotes diversity and inclusion in the VFX industry and I was there to inspire the next generation of VFX artists. Furthermore, last year I started mentoring students as a ACCESS:VFX E-Mentor for Prospela in London.

"Escape Studios allowed me to get a deeper knowledge of Nuke and Digital compositing. This combined education has been highly valuable for me and gave me an excellent set of skills when starting to work in the VFX industry."

What have you been up to since you left Escape Studios?

After Escape Studios, I worked as Junior compositor and Prep Artist on a few music videos, a Champions league TV advert and the UK feature film ‘A Dark Reflection’. When working on these freelance projects I was able to gain experience, and I also worked on a lot of nice shots that I could put into my showreel.

My first job in a big VFX house was at MPC where I worked on The Martian. It was amazing to come and join a big team of talented artists, to work together to create movie magic, and to see our work on the big screen.

Furthermore, my work experience includes DNEG on the movies ‘Life’ and ‘Wonder Woman’ as a senior Prep Artist, and then at DnegTV on the Netflix series ‘Altered Carbon’. Before that, I was working on ‘The Crown’ at One Of Us. In addition, I have been working as Prep Compositor for the award-winning short film ‘ECHO’ by Victor Perez.

What work are you most proud of working on and what is your most notable achievement?

The work I am most proud of is working on LIFE at DNEG. It was great fun, and I worked on many exciting and challenging shots. It was such a great experience and I do believe the result is breathtaking.

My most notable achievement is for working at One Of Us on the first season of The Crown, which was awarded the BAFTA award for Best Special, Visual & Graphic Effects. For The Crown there was quite some historical footage integrated in the show and combined with the actual live action, which was very interesting to work on.
How did studying at Escape Studios help you into the creative industry?
Building on my previous knowledge acquired during my studies of MA in Digital Effects at Bournemouth University, attending the 18 weeks program “Advanced Compositing for Visual Effects” at Escape Studios allowed me to get a deeper knowledge of Nuke and digital compositing. This combined education has been highly valuable for me and gave me an excellent set of skills when starting to work in the VFX industry.
2017_Kajsa_Christiansson_BAFTA_For_The_Crown

The curriculum of the “Advanced Compositing for Visual Effects” course that I did at Escape Studios really provided me with an excellent skill set to be ready for my first jobs in the industry. In addition, also the coaching provided for preparing my showreel was really great and helpful.

If you had to sum up your time at Escape Studios in one word what would it be and why?

My time at Escape Studios was truly exhilarating. It allowed me to deepen and extend my compositing skills, which have proven to be indispensable and highly valuable when entering the industry as VFX artist.

What is your advice for those considering entering the industry?

Do it out of passion and never stop learning so you can continue to grow as a VFX artist. Keep focused and keep trying even if the challenge at hand at first look enormous and your first attempts may not work out. Keep in mind that every time something goes wrong you learn something that will help you in the future.
What’s your favourite movie and why?
I love movies and watch a lot of different ones, so it’s very difficult to pick just one. I really like Inception. It’s an intense, complex story, but it's always coherent, imaginative, and entertaining. There are so many beautiful shots and the visual effects are amazing with physics-bending effects of the folding streets of Paris.

A few other movies I really like are: The Fifth Element, Cloud Atlas, Forrest Gump and Amélie Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (It’s whimsical, heart-warming and funny. The director Jean-Pierre Jeunet has a very special style which I like, and it has a great soundtrack composed by Yann Tiersen).

Escape Success Story of the Month: Kajsa Christiansson
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