The VFX of Frostbiten
Janak Thakker was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden. His interest for computer graphics and animation began when he got his first Atari 520 STFM and Deluxe Paint; since then he made a brief stop at producing electronic music until he finally stumbled upon the Video Graphics education and got a copy of 3Dstudio MAX 2.5… from there on it's been all about character animation, cg and visual effects.
In his spare time he hang out with his friends and family, do his best to work out at least three days a week, go for the occasional snow boarding trip, watch movies and anything that´s visually interesting, and he does his best to develop his artistic skills and works hard to become a better animator and cg artist.
Death Fall: Hi Janak, Could you tell us how it’s the VFX industry in Sweden?
Janak Thakker: Hi. First of all I want to thank you for your interest in me, Fido Film and the work that we do. The VFX industry in Sweden is pretty small, there´s something like 5-7 studios in Stockholm (the capital of Sweden) and maybe 10 in total throughout the country. Then of course there´s some small one or two-man kind of companies as well. Even though Sweden have a strong history in film-making, it is not that common to see a Swedish feature film with a lot of effects in it. Especially not character or creature work. Fido Film raised the bar with it´s work on ”Håkan Bråkan & Josef”, the very first Swedish feature film with a CG-character (IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0400522/). Featuring a fully animated turtle, acting and participating head to head with the actors and fulfilling the visionary director Erik Leijonborg´s desires to create something new in Swedish film, the movie was the dawn of a new era for the film industry in Sweden.
Most of the VFX work done in Sweden though is for commercials and music videos. Both domestic and international productions. Working on commercials is good because most of the time we have to deliver the highest quality of work within short deadlines, so we evolve and develope our techniques to be as smooth as possible and to allow us to meet the clients needs and ideas. The downside though is that it can get very hectic at times, a lot to do and no time wind down and relax. I still think the VFX industry in Sweden is pretty immature, but it´s comming along nicely. Developing. Growing. Becomming something that people really could to for the rest of their lives, I think this is partly beacause of me and my peers that have been around for some time are starting to get older and more mature as well. People are starting to realize that you can actually do this AND have a life at the same time. I think that this is partly thanks to better planning and understanding from clients as well as the people running the shops that the production of high end VFX isn´t something that you do in the blink of an eye.