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Creature Effects Creator

Creature Effects Creator

Description: A special effects artist creates mechanical, optical, and computer generated objects and illusions for film and television. They use puppetry, animatronics, and computer software to fulfill requests from producers and directors.

Knowledge Required: Special effects artists must work effectively under immense pressure, maintain deadlines, and accurately implement requests from studios and producers.

Skills: Creativity, artistry, communication, business management, and computer skills.

Career Path: Those interested in a career in special effects can take classes in art, visual effects, computer animation, and film. More importantly, they should find an internship, apprenticeship, or entry-level job in order to learn hands-on skills from professionals in the field.

Best Cities for this job: Large metropolitan areas with a concentration of entertainment are Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

Median Annual Income: National: $68,350 CA: $83,730

Future Growth: Employment of special effects artists, multimedia artists and animators is expected to grow by 8 percent from 2010 to 2020. Growth may slow if companies hire artists overseas.

From the field: “You need to find a job in the business itself and learn from the people who are doing it. Because it’s very specific - the type of glues you use, the type of foam you use. Everything is learned from people who have learned it before.” – Mark Rappaport, Owner of Creature Effects INC

Did You Know?: Georges Méliès, a French illusionist, is known as the father of special effects and a “Cinemagician”. He was portrayed by Ben Kingsley in the popular feature film, Hugo.

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