It was not easy to grow up in the middle of the Austrian Alps and having a dream about working in the visual effects industry. Back then, if you told somebody that you want to make visual effects, the usual response was more or less like that: “Visu… what?”

Sometimes it still feels like a dream but I am working in the visual effects industry.

My career started out as an IT professional and I transitioned very quickly into project management for software development companies. In 1999 I had a great opportunity to work in the United States. Most of the work was helping customers to survive the Y2K problem. After over a year I returned to Austria and worked for a software development company again. For the first time I experienced how much fun work can be. I had great bosses, amazing colleagues and challenging work. An amazing and wonderful working environment was the result. But things changed. They merged with a bigger company and an investor got involved. My bosses left and some of my colleagues were looking for new jobs. This was the time when I said to myself: “Stop dreaming, there must be a way into visual effects!”

I quit my job and left my hometown to become a 3D artist in the big city. I studied Digital Animation at a private school in Vienna for one year. After that I worked as a freelance 3D artist and at the school as a supervisor and teacher. Pretty soon I realized that the “big” city was not that big. In Vienna almost no visual effects jobs were available. I decided to move to Berlin and to finish my study.

After I had my Bachelor of Arts degree in my pocket I felt like that I was ready for the big world. But the world decided to have other plans which did not include me, becoming the world’s greatest visual effects artist. A big economic recession started to arise.

Through a lucky coincidence I got a job as a motion designer at an advertising agency. The agency was just starting out. We were only five people at that time and ready to rock and roll. We won a pitch involving video shootings, visual effects, 3D and motion graphics. After three years we had 40 to 60 people running around in the office and I was managing most of them. You might ask yourself “And what about becoming the world’s greatest visual effects artist?” Let’s put it this way, I was not born to be an artist. I became a production manager and team leader. I was responsible for IT and human resources, consulted the company owner in budgeting and controlling and was heavily involved in the companies strategy. But during all this time I was always responsible for the VFX and motion graphic projects. The company grew very fast and it was impossible to handle all these different tasks by myself. Things had to change and I decided to concentrate more on my core competence and became the Head of Motion Design. After the company reorganized I felt like it is time to move on.

I got my first job as a Visual Effects Coordinator. For some people it might sound like a step backwards in my career, but for me it was the first time I had the feeling that I was finally where I was supposed to be. Now a couple of years later I work as a Visual Effects Producer in the industry that excites me every day, do what I love and work with people I admire.