Notes From The Team: Delivering In Lockdown by VFX Producer Rory Knight-Jones
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“Every VFX project has a fine line between creative freedom and tight deadlines, each with its own challenges. In the summer of 2019 when we were working on Netflix & # 39; Feature & # 39; The Old Guard & # 39; began, however, we knew little about that our biggest test would be to manage our team and deliver through a global pandemic.

At the end of February, we worked flat out to meet our delivery deadline. The machine ran smoothly and there was a consistent and effective workflow. When the news about the spread of COVID-19 began, there was a real feeling of insecurity. None of us had ever gone through anything like this, and it was easy to ask ourselves daily. Am I underreacted? Am I overreacting? Nobody knew.

In early March I decided to work from home, and over a week or two, our entire crew was at home. At first there was a feeling of novelty. We'd all like to spend more time at home, wouldn't we? During this period at the end of March, things seemed to be escalating exponentially and the government quickly put it on hold. This no longer felt like a choice that changed things a lot.

There was a real feeling of shock in those early days; Our daily work rhythm was roughly interrupted. The emotions were high and the fear was widespread. Our daily chases were suddenly all digital. Meet in our own living rooms, sometimes in pajamas, almost always in lounge wear! I firmly believe that adversity increases productivity, and after the feeling of fear and unknownness has numbed a bit, the team quickly worked out what our new processes would look like.

"The most eye-opening aspect of that time for me was to see how agile people really can be."

The most eye-opening aspect of that time for me was to see how agile people really can be. Instead of lying down and withering under such pressures and uncertainties, the team saw this as a real opportunity to improve and find really good practical solutions to keep us on the right track. Daily newspapers went digital; The morning meetings were replaced with morning zoom calls. Customer reviews became virtual (often together with my Golden Retriever Ralph, who made us all smile!). I was incredibly proud to watch our progress at home over the first month. As a rule, where I expected potential effects, there were innovative and creative solutions for work. It was clear that COVID-19 would not win this!

In addition to the practical element of carrying out a project, we all quickly adjusted to the mental well-being of others. With the increased focus on mental health in recent years, numerous positive steps have already been taken, but this new situation seemed to put them in the spotlight. We were all so used to visiting each other's desks and a usual "How are you?" To ask, the answer usually being a watered-down politeness rather than a serious answer. But corona virus made us report a lot more to the team. Not about their recordings or schedules, but about them. As they really were. Urge honest and insightful answers.

"You are not working from home, but are at home during a crisis and trying to work."

The question we always asked was: "Can we do something for you on a professional or personal level to make this easier?" Nine out of ten answers were "no", but the question itself is enough to make someone feel heard, respected and valued on a human level.

It was incredibly important for us to remind the team that these were not normal circumstances. You are not working from home but are at home during a crisis and are trying to work. That is such an important difference. It was incredibly important to encourage people to check in with themselves every day, to move away from their work areas and to spend a moment assessing their human needs. Such actions led us to a team that was less fearful, more confident, and more aware that it was in an environment where it could stretch out and say, "I don't have a good day."

Although there are many stories of tragedies and losses in this cruel and uncertain time, I will always think about the lessons I have learned about kindness, self-care and finding strength in your fellow human beings. And as the world slowly wakes up and returns to normal, whatever that may be, I really hope we can take all of these lessons with us.

The old guard falls on Netflix on Friday July 10th. I and Greenscreen's Old Guard crew can't wait to see our work on screen. I know that they will all have a shared sense of achievement. "

Check out the Old Guard trailer below:

The old guard Official trailer | Netflix


Image: Rory and Ralph zooming in with The Greenscreen's The Old Guard production team



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