I was born in Czechoslovakia, defected with my parents in 1975, and grew up in Toronto and Detroit. The first movie I ever saw was “JAWS” in a drive-in with my parents before I even spoke English and was immediately hooked. I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Film and Video Studies. I’m now a film editor living in Los Angeles and I’ve edited six feature films and hundreds of commercials, music videos, short films, documentaries, and web series.
As an editor, I’ve had to grow an ever expanding skill set that encompasses audio, VFX, and the rapidly changing digital video formats and codecs
that I have to work with on a daily basis. At some point in every project I’ve ever done, I’ve had to use Adobe After Effects in some capacity to either solve a problem, apply a visual effect, or deliver a final asset. The beauty of After Effects is that once you wrap your brain around the basics of the software, it can do whatever you ask of it. From the simple to the insanely complex, After Effects has helped me visualize and realize everything from simple animated titles to complex green screen 3D scenes.
I started using After Effects in 2002. The first time I opened it, I expected to find a green screen button, a light saber preset, and half a dozen fireball explosions at the ready. I didn’t quite grasp that After Effects was merely the platform, the conduit that would allow me to create whatever visual was in my head. It was simple yet complex, contained yet expandable, and capable of handling any format I threw at it. To this day, I believe the only limitation of what is possible with After Effects lays in the creative limitation of its user. Basically, if you can envision it, After Effects can make it a reality. The tools are all there and it’s up to you to wield them in the creative way that helps you manifest the shot you are after.
As a film editor, After Effects has allowed me to over-deliver on all my edits by giving me the option to share much more than a rough cut with directors or clients. I’m able to deliver believable VFX shots that propel the story forward and show the timing as I see it for those VFX shots. If I have to hand the shot off to my assistant or a VFX house, I can pass on my After Effects comp and I k now the final shot will adhere to my vision and give them an ideal reference to what I need. It’s communicating my intentions with visual representation that saves time when it’s crunch time. Also, I love that After Effects can handle any file I throw at it. In today’s quickly evolving world of digital cameras, every project has mixed formats and codecs and frame-rates and resolution that have to all live in one world. After Effects ingests everything and lets me do my work.
Currently, my favorite features of After Effects are: Warp Stabilizer and Dynamic Link. I’ve been cutting on Adobe Premiere Pro since 2007, and now I don’t ever have to render out video files for any VFX work. Those two features alone have saved me so much time and headaches, plus they give me more time to be creative while not interrupting my edit process. With Warp Stabilizer, I can smooth out any camera bump on a dolly shot, turn a handheld into a locked off tripod shot, or refine a steadicam shot if I really want it to float. The production value added by properly applying that effect is nothing short of miraculous. Plus, the ability to integrate After Effects with Adobe Premiere Pro and Photoshop all at the same time in Dynamic Link makes me a one-man post production pipeline that can achieve almost anything.
I’m also thankful that After Effects has embraced and allowed the use of so many third party plug-ins. Since After Effects is such a stable and robust platform, I know that the first place any new plug-in will work is in After Effects. For visual effects, it is the program that every student, filmmaker, and post house either own or are required to be adept with. It is the standard.
The most amazing thing I’ve seen in After Effects is its versatility. Everything from creative kinetic typography to insane 100-layer compositions for a space battle scene to the on-lining of feature films for delivery can all be done in one program. Mind-blowing! Thank you After Effects and thank you Adobe.
My site: http://vashivisuals.com/
My reel: http://vimeo.com/vashi