Compositing Supervisor

Oversee the team that combines computer images with film footage.

What does a Compositing Supervisor do?

One of the best things about movies is their ability to take their audience away to a world of make-believe. In movies, cartoon rabbits hang out with real people, a person can destroy the Eiffel Tower without worrying about repercussions, and cars transform into crime-fighters. For a Compositing Supervisor, making these reality-suspending acts look realistic is all in a day’s work.

Compositing Supervisors oversee the team that seamlessly melds different images and shots into one exciting film. To do this, Compositing Supervisors take different shots or animations, and layer them on top of one another to come up with a scene that looks like it’s been shot all at once.

Say, for example, a scene calls for an Actor to help a huge robot prop up a falling building. The Actor films his lines, complete with actions, in front of a green screen, while an Animator gets to work building the robot and falling building. Once the film frames are done, your team combines them with the 3D images using specialized computer programs, like Nuke.

It might sound basic, but your job is all about the details. You make each frame look flawless, ensuring that the timing and placement are correct so the Actor really looks like he’s interacting with the robot. You check on the color of the different shots, ensure that each frame looks the same as the one before it, and see to it that the project stays under budget, too.

Though this job might sound the same as that of a Visual Effects Supervisor, the difference lies in what you work with. You specialize in putting images together for one shot rather than overseeing all visual effects of a movie.