Spotlight: Get To Know Digital FX Supervisor, Karl Coyner

June 4, 2015

Meet Karl Coyner, a Digital FX Supervisor working out of our New York facility. He’s not a new recruit, he’s an invaluable member of the Shade VFX New York team so what better reason to shine the spotlight.

In March 2014, Shade VFX expanded, becoming a bi-coastal operation to be able to better serve our client base. We opened a new studio in Manhattan’s Midtown South and Shade’s Founder, Owner and Visual Effects Supervisor, Bryan Godwin has said that, “Karl was instrumental in getting the New York office up and running.”

Bryan and Karl have worked together for a number of years, having met at their first job out of college. “We started the 3D/VFX department at a company called Charlex in New York City and then worked together at EA Games in Chicago,” recalled Bryan. Karl added, “We were fresh out of school and new to the VFX industry. Since then we’ve worked together at a few other places. We’ve both seen teams that work well and ones that didn’t. I think we share a philosophy of focusing on smaller teams of highly skilled individuals. We strive to provide high end VFX at the speed and flexibility of a boutique studio.”

Karl is a terrific problem solver, a dynamic team member and we’re proud to have a Digital FX Supervisor of his caliber on our team.

Most recently, Karl worked as Shade’s on location set supervisor for Marvel and Netflix’s recent hit series Daredevil and its follow-up A.K.A. Jessica Jones.

We spoke to Karl about what it was like to work on the project. He said, “Daredevil was a great project to be a part of, and a lot of fun to work on. From the start the style of the show was “grounded in gritty realism.” Daredevil, along with the rest of the Marvel shows for Netflix, are meant to deal with “street-level” heroes, as opposed to the interstellar, world saving adventures you see in the Marvel films. Because of this, we didn’t approach the project the same way you would a summer blockbuster, for example. Much of our work was helping support the stellar work from the stunts and special effects teams. This was still a lot of work for us; we delivered around 1000 shots over 6 months. Tasks included adding the Kyoto skyline to a New York office, adding a giant cargo ship to a port, digitally created weapons, glass, smoke, fire, debris and blood. Lots of blood. By the end of the show our rig for simulating blood from bullet hits was pretty efficient.”

And what was the atmosphere like on set? “Working with the cast and crew on set was a real pleasure. There were a lot of long days and stressful situations; we were basically shooting a feature film worth of footage every 3-4 weeks and insisting on top quality work from every department. If it wasn’t for the great attitude and camaraderie of everyone working on this show, I don’t think we would have been able to hit the level of quality we did. At the same time, the team at Shade was a great group of artists, as well as a fun, tight-knit family. Whenever someone on set asked, “Can you fix this in post?” I could confidently say, “Yes,” because of the quality of our team.”