The Lola Limelight - Sean Hedman — Lola
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The Lola Limelight – Sean Hedman


Where are you from?
That’s a bit of a loaded question. I’m Swedish / Persian, but was born in Nice, France. My hometown is Sigtuna, Sweden, but I’ve lived in the UK since 2004 and would call this home.

How long have you worked at Lola?
This is my second time at Lola. I joined first in 2018 and then last August.

How did you get into VFX?
My background was in the arts previously. I studied a BA in Fine Arts at UAL, London. After graduation, like many, I struggled to find my place in the world. Upon reflecting over these three years, I realised that illusions and film trickery (such as the works of Georges Melies) was an area I had explored in my studies and wished to explore further. This was in the wake of Life of Pi having won the Oscar for VFX and also the company that worked on it having gone bankrupt. This piqued my interest in VFX and realise perhaps its something I could be good at. A year later I had a Masters in Digital Effects from NCCA. The rest is history, as they say.

What’s the best part of your job?
The challenge of problem solving, the R&D stage, which involves coming up with different setups to solve a creative task and then seeing my ideas come to fruition and colleagues and clients hopefully being pleased with the results. There is some magic in VFX I think. 

Biggest career highlight(s)?
Having the opportunity to move abroad for work (Berlin, Dublin, Stuttgart). Meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and sharing this experience. It’s a small community of very hardworking and dedicated people which is inspiring. Fun projects worked on include: Matrix 4 , My Little Pony (Hasbro), Moon Knight (Marvel) and Planets (BBC).

Advice to anyone starting out in the industry?
Soak up as much learning material as you can and don’t be afraid of failing. That’s part of the learning process. Also you will need to develop a thick skin, feedback is a vital part of the process. Never stop learning and just enjoy yourself, it’s a small community but they will reward you for your hard work.

What does a typical day at work in the studio look like for you?
Jump on my tiny bike and ride to the office. Arrive early if I can and make my morning coffee with my Aeropress. Then read my notes and try to set a list of priorities of tasks for the day. Usually there will be communication with colleagues regarding work and feedback.

What are you learning at the moment?
As the role of an FX TD/ Houdini Artist is so varied, it’s crucial to gain a good grasp of various new tools, workflows and just keeping up to date with advancements in the field. I’ve been brushing up on my knowledge of Solaris and Karma, Houdini’s newest renderer and rendering environment, as it is exponentially more efficient than its predecessor, Mantra.

What’s your most prized possession on your desk at work?
My Aeropress, my Caran d’Ache Fixpencil 22 clutch pencil and my notepad. Without these I wouldn’t function.

Favourite spot in Soho?
If we’re talking lunch, you can’t go wrong with a Spicy Garlic Pork Bahn Mi at Bahn Mi Bay. If we’re talking Coffee, try the filter at Flat White.

Hobbies outside of work?
Cycling is a big part of my personality, the “un-racer” cyclist is me. Cooking anything Middle-eastern (Persian, Lebanese, Moroccan) or Mediterranean. Favourites include recipes by Ottolenghi, Moro and Leon. I often say to people that Houdini FX is much like cooking. Theres the planning ahead, the prep and the cooking process and the sense of achievement when its done.