“Before I got accepted onto DNEG’s Production Training Scheme, I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to move back to London. Getting the role at DNEG was a huge moment for me.”
Tomas Loucky is a VFX Department Coordinator based in our London studio. He’s been working at DNEG for six months, originally joining us as part of our Production Training Scheme. After completing the training programme, Tomas was hired into his current role as Department Coordinator for our Build and Creature teams, working on the likes of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, The Flash and Fast X. Keep on reading to find out how Tomas navigated starting his career during the pandemic, what his day to day looks like, and why he loves facing challenges in his role.
Hi Tomas! What brought you into the world of VFX?
During my school years in Czech Republic, I specialised in computer networks but it wasn’t something that I was particularly interested in. When the time came to really think about what I wanted to do with my career I really liked learning languages, so I thought it’d be a great idea to move to London as that would give me the opportunity to improve my English. At the same time, one of my biggest interests was film, so I thought why not combine the two! I moved to the UK and studied Film at university. During my course I discovered that the area I enjoyed most was Production. I was also really interested in VFX as I saw it as the future of film, and there were so many opportunities in London to work in this area. Just as my Bachelors degree course was coming to an end and I was due to graduate, COVID happened. The film industry essentially froze just as I was excited to begin my career, which was really upsetting and confusing. So, I decided to continue my education and do a Masters in International Business Management – the course was recommended to me by one of my teachers as having a knowledge of business can be incredibly helpful for anyone looking to go into a career in Production. I moved back to the Czech Republic to be with my family and studied remotely from there. Then, as I was graduating with my Masters degree, the industry started to open up again and I was lucky enough to be accepted onto DNEG’s Production Training Scheme. I moved back to London for the programme and now I’m finally working in the industry I love!
What are your career highlight(s) so far?
As I’m still quite new to the industry and my role, I haven’t seen my name in any film credits yet which I’m sure will be a career highlight for me when it does happen. However, at the moment I can definitely say that my highlight is being fortunate enough to work on huge global Hollywood productions like Fast X – it’s something I’ve always dreamed of and I feel so grateful and fortunate to be able to work on these kinds of projects.
What is your day-to-day like as a Department Coordinator?
There are several meetings and tasks that I do every day. I check in with artists in the Build and Creature departments to make sure they are clear on what they are expected to be working on, that they have everything they need, and that they know they can reach out to me if they need help. I communicate all of this with my line producer and, if necessary, with other people from the crew such as supervisors. I do this in the morning and, if needed, we’ll also catch up again in the afternoon. The rest of the day is filled with lots of other meetings like dailies, and catch ups with the project teams and other departments. If I have a free slot throughout the day then I’m usually doing some scheduling in Shotgun, or helping someone out with a question they have or resolving an issue. Every day is different depending on who I’m speaking to and what they need. I like that there’s always a new challenge and that I need to be able to prioritise.
What do you like the most about your job?
I think it’s those challenges I just talked about, and that every day is different. When there is an obstacle it can feel stressful, but then when I look back I see that it was a moment that helped me to learn and grow. I also get to communicate with all the different departments, project teams and artists, and learn from them. I love talking to new people and the culture at DNEG is amazing. We have global teams so I get to experience different customs and cultures through my role which I find really interesting and enjoyable.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
Simply, don’t give up and be persistent! I applied for quite a few positions before I got accepted onto the Production Training Scheme and I started to lose faith that I would find a role in the industry. But, out of all the roles I applied for, this has been the best – the company, projects and culture are brilliant – so I’m really happy with how it turned out. If you give up then you’ll never know if the next role you apply for could end up being your dream job!
Time for some rapid fire questions – What’s one thing that is always on your desk when you work?
It’s a boring answer, but water! I usually like to do some kind of exercise before work, either go to the gym or for a walk or run, as it helps me to focus during the day. So I always have a lot of liquids around!
What’s your ‘special power’ at work?
Friendliness and positivity! Every day I speak to lots of different people and I like to chat and get to know them. It’s great to meet new people and learn something from them.
What are you most looking forward to every day?
Challenges. Although my days have a structure, there is always something different and new to get involved with. I also love to see the progress of the project I’m working on. If everyday was the same it would be boring for me.
How did you feel on your first day at DNEG?
I felt grateful. I definitely felt excited and a bit nervous too, but I was incredibly grateful to find a job in such an amazing company and industry, especially after struggling with graduating during COVID. I was so pleased I didn’t give up and felt so lucky to have been accepted.
What is your proudest moment to date?
My first day at DNEG. Before I got accepted onto the training programme, I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to move back to London. I needed a reason to come back that was more than just working in a pub! Getting the role at DNEG was a huge moment for me as all my hard work had paid off and it meant I could move back to the city that I loved.
Finish this sentence: DNEG is…
DNEG is the future – the future for me, as I really enjoy working here and can see a career path ahead of me that I’d like to achieve. And, at the same time, I think DNEG is the future of the industry through its growth, development of software and technology, and expanding into different areas.
To find out about VFX at DNEG, click here. And if you are interested in joining DNEG’s Oscar-winning team, stay tuned for our next ‘FOCUS’ and click here to find out more about our open positions across our studios in North America, Europe and India.