Who's who of HitFilm Staff and Community

Happy Friday, forums!
I've been active on the forums for about a week now and lurking for a good while longer. One of the things I've been most impressed with is not only the user community, but how plugged in the HitFilm staff is to that community. On my first question I got two very specific replies with not only exactly what I needed, but videos demonstrating it as well.

That got me to thinking though- other then the little "hitfilm staff" banner on their posts, we don't know much about these great resources on the forums. For awhile, I thought for sure Axel Wilkonson was a programmer from his knowledge of the inner workings of HitFilm and I figured Simon Jones was something like "community liaison" because of his presence in the Hitfilm videos. But then I realized, it never actually says that anywhere but my head. :D
So, I thought it might be fun to start a thread where the HitFilm staff can let us know who they are in their own words- what they like to do, how they got involved with FXHome and what their role inside the company is.
So that anyone who isn't staff can play along too, how about you can chime in with your day job is, how you got into video, and what your plans are for your video work in the future.
I'll start:
By day, I work in batch operations for a securities finance company, but by night I fancy myself a fledgling new media director. I got into video awhile back when my dad borrowed a camera from his work, and I find it an extremely fulfilling creative outlet. Right now I'm not certain if I'll go the more youtube sketch route or short films type of style, but I do eventually want to go "pro" with my passion in some way. My greatest hope for these forums are that I will find a community of like minded individuals that will help motivate me to make great work and expose me to great work by others. My greatest fear is that I will become grating when people continually see my stupid little avatar beside the "latest topic" area of every one of the forums. ;)

Comments

  • edited September 2011
    Well, I'm not a programmer. I don't really know anything about writing code, other than a tiny bit of HTML. My familiarity with the software comes from beta testing it for several months prior to release, so I've had more opportunity to play with it than most people, and of course, asking lots of questions of the programmers when I got stumped or confused. While I'm not on the forums, I'm creating training videos and answering support tickets, so it was pretty important that I get familiar with the software quickly, but there's still stuff I've yet to learn.
    I'm the only Staff Member located outside of the UK (I'm in Washington State, USA), so I'm working at a different time, mostly, than the rest of the staff, due to the time difference. Since quite a few of our users are in the US as well, I'm often the first available to respond to their inquiries. I got started in film through learning traditional animation at an amateur level, and picked up a camera to use for that way back in the day. I found FXhome through a demo on a disk included with MacAddict magazine during the reign of AlamDV1, and joined the online community at FXhome.com in 2001. I tried to be generally helpful where I could, even before it was my job, and over the course of many years that transmogrified into getting more involved with the company now this is what I do full time.
    I wish I had more time to spend actually making movies, which I still try to do when i get a chance, but there are only so many hours in a day.
    You pretty much nailed Simon's position on the head though. As far as the rest of the guys, I've been trying to get Simon to do a video introducing all the behind the scenes guys, the programmers and whatnot, but for the most part they are resisting the idea. We know how much you all appreciate their stunning work, as do we, and would love to get them some recognition for it, but they (the programmers) aren't so thrilled about being on camera, apparently.
  • I'm just lost and confused, needed some direction and found a wonderful support group at FXhome. :)) I work two jobs right now, security and pizza delivery :dry: & not liking either one. One day I decided to persue a few ideas I had been kicking around for many years and try to make a couple movies. While in the process of learning all the various vfx programs on the market and seeing what they can do, I settled here where one can get some of the best assistance and results in the industry. I have several people interested in my projects and hopefully within a year or so I'll be able to embark on the creative journey of my life (outside of music which I love to write, record and perform).
    I guess I fall into the community portion of your blog. :P
  • Thanks for the kind post, Zed!
    I've been working at FXhome for 10 years, straight out of uni back in 2002. A huge part of my job has been looking after the community, both on the forums and through the support channels. In the last few years that's transmogrified into a more focused marketing role but I still have lots of time for community stuff, which is great.
    Something that's been particularly fascinating over the last decade is watching the rise of social media, and the slow, grumbling realisation from other companies that talking to your customers is actually a good idea. We did it from the start, partly because we couldn't afford to do 'traditional' marketing. With the ubiquitousness of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook these days doing community stuff is much more immediate and exciting than it's ever been - the fact we're able to do a couple of videos a week these days is pretty remarkable. Back when we started 10 years ago HD didn't exist, miniDV was only just taking hold, YouTube was still 5 years away and hardly anybody had broadband. The technology shift in the last 10 years for indie filmmakers is staggering.
    Outside of work I'm a non-professional writer and filmmaker. I've written a couple of books (still editing them prior to seeking publishing), directed/edited/shot/VFXed a good number of short films, and am currently working on a comic book series.
    Currently my main thing is that I'm getting married in 3 weeks. So, woo, yay me. :P
  • edited September 2011
    This is a intersting Idea!! My name is Chad, I live in the Arkansas in the USA. It has great locations to shot film, it has a lot of small mountains, it is a nature state, that what it is known for.. I work for Wal-Mart Dist. In the USA! I would love to sit at home and work for FXhome!! I play the guitar, drums, electric guitar, and piano. I found fxhome after a few years when VisionLab came out and just played with it every once in a while! Then I started a little project and got into it! Here lately Simon and the gang has shown some neat effects, that took my interst on what Hitfilm can do! So, now I'm trying to learn some of the tech slang and other words that I have read on here and have no idea what half of them mean til I look them up! I have bugged Simon with so Many questions, (Sorry Simon :P)
    I made a few video back in 2005 and used a green screen and put 3 of me in a video and did a video to one of my songs using the Titanic story as a theme to it! I was using Pinnacle Studio 10 back then! I also put together model kits and now I'm working on a Deep Space Nine Station Model that lights up! I was in a very very indie movie (a friend talked me into it)!! Other than that I would love to be in a big budget movie! That covers some of the things I do! I can not write code, I have no idea what HF can do or the limits, I'm under the impression that you can make a movie like the Matrix with this software and do it on a small budget! I have been more active on the community in the last few months!

    Thanks for the kind post, Zed!
    I've been working at FXhome for 10 years, straight out of uni back in 2002. A huge part of my job has been looking after the community, both on the forums and through the support channels. In the last few years that's transmogrified into a more focused marketing role but I still have lots of time for community stuff, which is great.
    Something that's been particularly fascinating over the last decade is watching the rise of social media, and the slow, grumbling realisation from other companies that talking to your customers is actually a good idea. We did it from the start, partly because we couldn't afford to do 'traditional' marketing. With the ubiquitousness of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook these days doing community stuff is much more immediate and exciting than it's ever been - the fact we're able to do a couple of videos a week these days is pretty remarkable. Back when we started 10 years ago HD didn't exist, miniDV was only just taking hold, YouTube was still 5 years away and hardly anybody had broadband. The technology shift in the last 10 years for indie filmmakers is staggering.
    Outside of work I'm a non-professional writer and filmmaker. I've written a couple of books (still editing them prior to seeking publishing), directed/edited/shot/VFXed a good number of short films, and am currently working on a comic book series.
    Currently my main thing is that I'm getting married in 3 weeks. So, woo, yay me. :P

    Congrats on your upcoming wedding Simon! :P
  • edited September 2011
    Im A student Film maker, currently in my second year at college. I will soon be going to work a production company in Wales. Iv worked on a number of short films, and have done some stuff for the bbc. Sound design is my strong point, though I also enjoy cinematography. Iv been using hitfilm since its release.
    I have also written and directed various short films. I am currently in production of a comedy about a pianist who gets tourettes entitled "My F***ing Piano" . I am also Producing a short film that's currently in pre production.
    My favourite directors are J.J Abrams and the great Ingmar Bergman.
  • My name is Travis Kunze. Wish I worked for FxHome but just not cool enough. I've expiremented with short films here and there. Currently am working on a feature length project which depending on how that goes will decide if I pursue college. Currently I work full time nights operating machines for an armored car company as well as random side jobs. Very active in my church with the media aspects as wellvas playing guitar on our worship team. Congratulations to Simon on getting married! I'm not in a relationship at the moment kind f waiting for her to graduate... :).

  • Currently my main thing is that I'm getting married in 3 weeks. So, woo, yay me. :P

    So Simon - I trust you'll be doing all of the wedding video post production in HitFilm then!! :D

  • So Simon - I trust you'll be doing all of the wedding video post production in HitFilm then!! :D

    Yep, a few explosions and teleports never go amiss at a wedding. Turning invisible might be useful, too. :P
    I have to say - the best thing about this topic is that there is already an interest in people here getting to know each other. That's crucial to any community, especially one as young as HitFilm.com. I'm really looking forward to seeing how people develop over the months and years, as filmmakers, as HitFilm users and as contributors to the community in general.
  • Axel: That's awesome. I love when it when companies are able to give a job to someone in a community who's just doing what they love. Do you have any of your animation work up somewhere it can be viewed online?
    StormyKnight: I second the notion that this is the best community. Nothing against Adobe, but I can't imagine getting this kind of assitance and direct involvement for something like After Effects. Good luck with your creative journey man- keep it up!
    Simon: It's insane to think how much has changed in 10 years. Even though I remember discovering youtube (From a web show, strangely enough- an early web show which I had to download, then play), it still somehow fills my mind as something that has always been there. When I look back on something historic like the 2000 US election or 9/11, it's hard for my mind to grasp that YouTube and free, prolific video sharing didn't exist. It's truly amazing.

    Thanks for the kind post, Zed!
    Currently my main thing is that I'm getting married in 3 weeks. So, woo, yay me. :P

    Congradulations! I got married a little over a year ago, and I must say, it is underated. As long as you know what your getting into and you've really found that person that you want to be with, all the naysaying is completley unfounded. Rock on!
    Guitar74: I'm looking forward to that DS9 model- I think model making and usage is due for a renisance in indy film. The amount of realism you can get with out a CG model is really something that can't be ignored. Let us know when it's finnished!

    I have also written and directed various short films. I am currently in production of a comedy about a pianist who gets tourettes entitled "My F***ing Piano" .

    That made me literally laugh out loud. Sounds awesome!

    I'm very active in my church with the media aspects as wellvas playing guitar on our worship team.

    Good stuff Travis- I've always been involved in one way or another with the tech side of things at our church as well. Might have to reach out to you sometime and compare notes.
    DiscoTroll + Simon: Man, I wish I thought of that- a little bit of pyrotechnics makes everything better...
  • I've been working at FXhome for over a year now, also straight out of Uni. I work in the Web Team here, which includes maintaining the HitFilm website, and adding new features (much like the Software Team, we have a huge number of things planned for the future, all of which are very exciting and hopefully useful to you guys).
    Outside of work I'm involved in some other web projects, an avid rugby fan (so this is a good month for me!), and a big reader. Since joining FXhome I have started experimenting in filmmaking, as a runner/production assistant/sound recordist/producer/would-be writer, with the group Lightmill Films.
  • StormyKnight: I second the notion that this is the best community. Nothing against Adobe, but I can't imagine getting this kind of assitance and direct involvement for something like After Effects. Good luck with your creative journey man- keep it up!

    I'm really glad that you're digging the community already, as it is still very early days. We have lots of ideas for future development, as Dan says. Your early support is much appreciated, as it enables us to explore those ideas.
  • I've been working at FXhome since 2007 I think, the time has flown so quickly. Before that I had a background in HR, retail and customer service, before going freelance 'in the industry' for a bit and working as a production assistant and art assistant. I sort of stalked FXhome until they employed me. Fear may have been a factor on their part. ;)
    My job here involves keeping the operation ticking over so that the more creative members of our family can focus on community, creating cool software and web services. Outside of work I've been priviledged to keep working on creative projects as a producer, 1st AD and sometimes make-up artist and wardrobe assistant. I supported Tarn and It's A Trap earlier this year with a 48 hour film project, but due to illness other projects are on hold till next year.
    FXhome has supported and encouraged me through all of that, the team here are a huge part of why I'm better. They may be camera shy (myself included) but here really is no place like FXhome, and it's community. :D

Sign in to comment

Leave a Comment