Meet the MTV VMA Best Visual Effects award winning VFX studio – Gloria FX

Gloria FX
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It’s not everyday that we get to see a studio or person getting nominated for more than three times in the same category but this year at the MTV VMA Best Visual Effects category, this chronicle was witnessed. The studio which not only earned 4 nominations for its work but also bagged the award for the same is none other than Gloria FX. Gloria FX was nominated for its work in Telegraph Ave by Childish Gambino, Two Weeks by FKA Twigs, Fucking Young/Death Camp by Tyler, The Creator and for the song which won them the accolade –  Where Are U Now by Skrillex and Diplo with Justin Bieber.

The 7 year old studio that has its base in Ukraine began its journey way back in 2008 by Anatolii Kuzmytskyi and Sergii Mashevskyi and is now represented in North America, Central and Eastern Europe as well in Asia. Later in 2010, Max Colt (Chyzhevskyy) joined the company and got more creatively involved in the development of the studio. We at TheGraphicSlate got in touch with Max to know more about this thriving studio that’s been creating a lot of buzz in the industry.

Gloria FX is a leading and dynamic solution provider, which specializes in creating advanced visual effects for feature films, TV shows, video clips and commercials. The studio started off as a post production company and in its fledgling year its specialisation was into visual effects. At that point in time, the market demanded visual effects and that’s’ how the team got into this area of specialization.

Owners GloriaFXProducing such high quality work isn’t possible without a team and Gloria FX does have resources who bring out some amazing visuals to an ordinary video. The company right now is managed by three partners, including Max. Two of them are based in Ukraine with the team whereas Max is based in Los Angeles. The studio currently employs 50 artists who have varied skills and expertise in 3D works, animation, VFX compositing, VFX supervising, creative leads etc. They all are trained at the studio and then they perform complex and unusual projects.

The work environment seen at Gloria FX is friendly and everyone right from top management employees to trainees are old friends which makes the team even more stronger. They follow a matrix organisational structure to manage everyone; 5 supervisors with groups of artists under them.

On the question of which softwares are used by the artists to produce those marvelous videos, Max just had to say that all the 50 artists have different skills and training. Almost everyone has the highest degree in construction and architecture. They use almost every possible program to make the perfect picture.

As far as the kind of work the studio does, Max said, “We do visual effects for videos, including but not limited to feature films, commercials, music video, horror movies. Till date we have worked with Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Kayne West, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dog, Chris Brown, Imagine Dragons, and a lot of other amazing artists.

Last year 6 of the projects in which we had done VFX were nominated at MTV VMA and this year it got bumped up to 9. Out of those, 4 got selected for The Best Visual Effects category.  We had several other nominations in other video festivals, but I think MTV VMA is the main one as we had dreamed about this since long.”

Initially before Max joined the company, the studio used to have majority of its clients based in Russia and 4 years later, the studio received 2 big clients and with Max moving to LA, the studio now caters to almost all big music video production houses.

VFX songs gloria FXMost of the studios’ works is seen in music videos, so to know the reason behind it Max explained, “I found out that there was a potential demand for VFX in this field. Big VFX studios don’t want to deal with short term music video projects and what music video directors really want is visual effects for their projects. So we fill in this demand gap.”

There are always challenges faced by everyone in any industry and the major challenge Gloria FX faces while doing music video is time and money. The primary challenge is time as almost everyone wants something ‘on yesterday’ basis.

Talking about the most challenging project the studio has worked on till date, Max expounds, “Our project for Foals, Mountain at my gates, which is the first 360 degrees VFX music video was the most challenging one as it had a crazy deadline, a lot of 3D and simulation was required and for sure the highest quality requirements from the director.”

Currently they are working on many projects but aren’t comfortable sharing details due to confidentiality concerns but they are definitely going to be great, Max stressed.

on set gloria fx

When asked what does the future hold for Gloria FX and where do they see themselves in the next 5 years, Max said, “We want to keep growing, maintain high quality, develop own products and in the next 5 years we would like to see at least 100 artists working with us and a big movie under their hood.”

On his thoughts of how’s the visual effects industry like USA, Europe and Asia and if he’s aware of the Indian market as well, he explained, “I’m working in British and Asian markets. Gloria FX was nominated in the best visual effects category at the most valuable UK award – UK Music Video Awards. Indian market has a lot of great video content, I was there several times, but strongly believe that Indian market has their own strong VFX community. At the same time, we are very much open to new contracts.”

Max feels that currently in the VFX industry a lot of automation and tools DIY is done. However, he strongly prefers deep specialization and believes that this is the only way to win.

In the end he gave some really good advice for the aspiring artists which is, “If you feel that there is something in this world that you wanna do – just do it. It can be hard to stay with your dreams, but the gratitude will be more than you can expect. And my favourite phrase, easy and simple from Walt Disney –  ‘if you can dream, you can achieve,’ this is surely true. Do your videos, make experiments, turn on imagination. This industry is growing and everyone with a strong desire and imagination will find their place.”

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