Work Life

What it’s like to work for Hollywood, from home.

Eric Ho works for Hollywood, from home. A UNC Charlotte grad, Ho jumped ship from a corporate banking job to pursue visual effects in 2013 in Charlotte.

So far, so good — among plenty of corporate and smaller projects, Eric has done work on larger-scale films like “The Expendables 3.”

(1) What does an average workday look like for you?

Every day is different, and I mostly work from home. Clients will give me a list of things that they want and shots they need, and I’ll either download them or physically pick them up and start working.

I try to work during the business day, but it doesn’t always work out that way; I’m more of a night owl. With deadlines I will work late night but I’m used to that.

It’s all about very detailed work; for “The Expendables 3” there was one shot that was less than one second and our team took three weeks on it.

(2) What’s the most rewarding part of being in your field?

Having something to see and being able to show tangible work. That’s one thing about art that I loved. You start with a blank canvas and at the end you have something to show that’s beautiful.

Animation_workflow (1)

Animation workflow.

(3) Why Charlotte?

I’m from North Carolina and I always end up back here. I just love the city and the ease of life. I’ve lived in LA and NY and Charlotte’s just home.

If I wanted to only work on Hollywood features, I would probably have to be more West Coast, but much of VFX work is being outsourced.

(4) You jumped from a corporate banking job to visual effects school — what made you take the leap?

It was building up but I didn’t realize it. I was always interested in movies and digital art. I was always good with computers but I never knew what that meant or how I could use art in my work. …

I wanted to be able to look back on my work and say, “I did that,” instead of having paycheck stubs to show for it. I stumbled onto FX on my break at work at Barnes & Noble flipping through magazines. It was a “3D World” magazine and I saw an ad for The DAVE School and I decided to go.

VFX_workflow (1)

VFX Workflow.

(5) What’s your favorite movie for effects?

Gravity” because a lot of people have seen it, but people don’t think about how most of it is effects and animation. It’s a good showpiece to say, hey this stuff looks real but it’s not. It’s no different than a Pixar movie, just a different aesthetic and style. I really like that.

Check out Ho’s demo reel.

Photos courtesy of Eric Ho.


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Cristina Wilson The Morning Stir @cemwilson
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