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Meet the… special effects coordinator

Matt Reese explains how he went from working as a handyman in Hollywood nightclubs to facilitating gameplay requests for TV shows

Matt Reese, “special agent” ATS designer and special effects coordinator
Talk us through an average day in your role

I facilitate the gameplay requests for shows that involve timing, automation, and human-machine interface. I am involved in creating the budget for a project, as well as the design of a stunt or obstacle, truss allocations and specialty rigging. 

I design, build, programme, print, and run bespoke systems for automation and interface. I work with design in creating models for fabrication, cnc, and previs. I design and advise on general safety as well. 

How did you get started in the media industry?

I started out as a rigger and fabricator.

What training did you have before entering the industry?

I used to run tech and light for nightclubs in Hollywood and served as the handyman.

Why do you enjoy working in the industry?

I enjoy the problem-solving aspect of my role, and the ability to pursue different fields.

What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours?

I would advise learning as much as you can from every experience, and have no sense of attachment (ego).