Alan Marques has worked as an Artist, VFX Supervisor and Consultant in the Film, TV and media industry over the past 37 years. Starting with one of the earliest computer graphics companies Computer FX in 1983. I spent nine years with this company learning the trade and working on numerous commercials, corporate videos and television idents. I worked with proprietary 3D technologies as well as the then emergent Silicon Graphics systems.
After the recession of the early 90's I joined The Magic Camera Company based at Shepperton Film Studios and in 1993 was tasked with setting up their first digital film facility. Working on fourteen feature ﬁlms over a six-year period, culminating in the 3D supervision of the four-minute opening to the movie ‘Lost in Space’. I left behind a department of twenty people spread across both compositing with Quantel Domino and Avid Media Illusion to 3D computer graphics using Wavefront, 3DS Max and Lightwave as well as film scanning and recording.
From August 1998 to September 1999 I became Head of Digital Production at Pepper’s Ghost Productions. During this year I developed a production pipeline allowing the efficient throughput of 3D character animation for television series using 3D Studio Max and Character Studio, combined with Vicon optical full body motion capture and facial capture as well as traditional hand animation techniques. We produced an extensive system test as well as delivering two pilots for television including the seven-minute pilot for the TV series ‘Tiny Planets’, this pilot was responsible for the successful sale of the show in conjunction with Children’s Television Workshop.
I left Pepper’s Ghost in September 1999 becoming a freelance Visual/Digital Effects Supervisor. My ﬁrst job was for Anderson Entertainment acting as CG Supervisor for the technology trailer produced at Moving Picture Company of an all-digital version of ‘Captain Scarlet’. This four-minute trailer was made for Carlton International and became the pre-cursor to the TV series that followed.
From March 2000 until September of that year, I worked at Peerless Camera Company acting as a CG Supervisor for the company’s visual effects contribution to the ﬁlm ‘Vertical Limit’, specialising in complex high-speed particle interactions for the snow effects.
In November of 2000 I started work on my ﬁrst ﬁlm as a full Visual Effects Supervisor for the renowned German ﬁlm Director Werner Herzog on his film 'Invincible'. Producing over six minutes of feature ﬁlm composites and visual effects with a small but talented crew over a period of six months.
From July of 2001 to June 2002. I spent a year at Artem Digital Ltd as Head of 3D with a remit to develop and support speciﬁc character animation tasks driven by the motion capture side of the facility.
July 2002 - March 2007. I established a company called No Strings Attached Ltd based in London’s Soho district with my business partner Julian Gutteridge. Our company executed a range of digital postproduction work for feature ﬁlm and television over its ﬁve years of operation. Working for a range of clients including HBO, BBC Television, Channel 4, National Geographic Channel, Frankfurt Motor Show, as well as work on ﬁlms such as ‘The Life and Death of Peter Sellers’ and ‘Sahara’.
In April 2007 I returned to working as a freelance VFX/Digital Supervisor. I worked on several commercial and corporate television projects as well as spending three months shooting in Romania as Associate Visual Effects Supervisor on the feature film ‘Bunraku’. I also designed and taught a course at post-graduate level at the London Film Academy on digital film visual effects techniques for several years. A significant part of my work during this period was co-developing a technology pipeline for stereo 3D conversion of 2D film and television content for stereo specialist Farblue Images. This work was executed under a strict NDA, but the development work has left me with a good understanding of stereo workflow issues both in camera and in post-production.
In November of 2009 I was asked to join Darkside Animation Films Ltd as Head of Visual Effects & Film. During my time with the company I worked on a range of projects, notably acting as Visual Effects Supervisor on the children’s series ‘Mission 2110’ for BBC Scotland as well as performing the same role on ‘Outcasts’ a major science fiction series produced for the BBC by Kudos Film & Television. This latter project also involved on location VFX supervision in South Africa for over four months during principal photography.
In April 2011 I returned to being a freelance Visual Effect Supervisor and Consultant. Since that date I have worked on numerous freelance projects including series 10 of ‘Spooks’, ‘Cloned’ a game show pilot for the BBC, the ‘Gospel of Us’ for Dave McKean, ‘Bloody Tales of Europe’ for True North and the National Geographic Channel as well as Dave McKean’s second feature film ‘Luna’. I have worked for a range of companies that include Mysterious Movies, ADA Digital, Millennium FX, SpiderJAR, Bournemouth University, RNLI, Carpe Astra.
This past year, 2020, I had to make the hard decision to retire on medical grounds from the VFX industry that I love. The positive side is that it has afforded me the luxury of being able to pursue a range of personal projects using CG technologies but I have also revisited my love of airbrushing miniatures using my original forty year old airbrushes that still work perfectly to this day.
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