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Meet the… VFX producer

Angus Berryman, VFX producer at UNIT studio tells TVBEurope how perseverance paid off as his career progressed

Talk us through an average day in your role?

I am thrilled to have recently joined the growing UNIT Studios team as a VFX Producer. An average day starts with coffee and breakfast, whether that’s on the go or at my desk at home. As I sip the last mouthful of my cappuccino I should have reached the end of my inbox and I can hatch a plan for the rest of the day. The Google chat ringtone echoes through the office as the first call of the day commences – there are quite a few daily: artist briefings, director reviews, production meetings, scheduling sessions, followed by time spent bidding the next shows. “End meeting” pops up for the final time of the day as 5 o’clock chimes from the grandfather clock in the hall (or at least it would if I had one). By this time the review folder is pretty busy, which gives me enough time to review the incredible work from the artists that day and fill out the numerous spreadsheets keeping track of the time, costs and creative needs. There is something very satisfying as all the data totals up and the status gets updated to: “Approved and delivered”.

Angus Berryman, VFX producer at UNIT studios
How did you get started in the media industry?

Like most people, I started as a runner. I think everyone should really. At the time it was frustrating and I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere but in reality I was learning so much without even knowing it and that is incredibly valuable. I worked in a post house that also hired out office space for productions so I met lots of different people working in TV and Film. This was amazing as, at the time, I thought I wanted to work in the camera department but I just couldn’t quite get an “in”. Then I got an offer to cover some holiday leave for a runner at a VFX studio, and well, in want of a better cliche,  the rest is history. Two weeks turned into five years. While there I worked my way up to a VFX producer role, working on a mix of commercials and high profile film and TV shows. I had the pleasure to work on shows like, Detectorists (BBC), Sexy Beast (Paramount+), Somewhere Boy (Netflix) and with amazing people from places like Left Bank Pictures, Clerkenwell Films, Netflix, Paramount+, BBC, ITV, Sky and Amazon Prime, amongst others. Building this knowledge all the way up from a runner has hopefully made me take a collaborative and positive approach on all projects worked closely with clients and internal artists, while also staying very calm and organised.

Tell us about joining UNIT’s Film & TV team

I’m excited to have joined UNIT at such an exciting moment for the studio. I was drawn to the brilliant culture they have built alongside the beautiful and impressive work. I’m thrilled to be working alongside such amazing talent, not only in VFX but across all picture post, audio, colour and beyond, and look forward to the incredible projects we will craft together. It’s no surprise, based on UNIT’s track record of high end commercials, that the longform department is growing rapidly and producing such creatively strong film and TV shows. So it goes without saying that I’m buzzing to have joined the team and excited to be part of the journey and growth of the VFX department.

What training did you have before entering the industry?

When I was younger I had dreams of treading the boards and trained as an actor, but I soon came to realise that I loved everything going on behind the camera much more than in front of it. So I guess you could say training wise I have a degree in faking it. Ultimately, the fundamentals I learnt at drama school, to tell stories and create a sense of emotion, I have tried to carry across to VFX. But when it comes to the more technical side of things I have learnt this from working in a studio and soaking up all I can from the very talented people around me.

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

Put in the graft and go above and beyond. At times it’s painful, it’s boring, it’s tedious, it seems pointless. But I can assure you it doesn’t go unnoticed. It might feel like it is at the time when you’re making everyone’s coffee or running around getting people lunch, but in the long run it won’t and you will be thankful for it. It will teach you so much and it stands out to other people. Because of it I now know how to make a banging cappuccino and that stays with you for life (I say sipping the last mouthful and setting my cup aside).