Tuesday Crew Day: Rob Garfinkel

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Tuesday Crew Day: Rob Garfinkel

Where are you from, where are you located now, and what are your ties to WV?

I am originally from Loveland, Ohio, and also lived in Florida for 4 1/2 years. I missed the seasons and moved in with my brother and his wife in Rockville, MD while I looked for work. After submitting a lot of job applications and many interviews, I was offered a job in Shepherdstown in November 2015. As of January 2016, I am now living in Martinsburg. So far, I am really loving the area and the outdoors.

What was your first job in film production and what was the experience like?

My first paid film production job was offered to me a few weeks after graduating from the Digital Animation and Visual Effects School. The movie is "Frank vs. God" and I was a visual effects artist. There was a team of three people working on approximately 150 shots for a few months, and it was a great opportunity to be working beside the teaching assistants that had helped coach me along the way during my time as a student. The movie is supposed to be released this year into theaters after making its run through film festivals.

What was your last job and what were you responsible for?

My last film job was as a teaching assistant for four quarters at the Digital Animation and Visual Effects School. During the course of the year, I assisted several students in 3D modeling/animation/rendering software, and compositing. I expanded my knowledge of the software I was trained in while going through the course, which added a few new software applications and techniques not taught during my time as a student. A number of the students I've helped along the way are now working on movies and games. Responsibilities varied, but essentially, I was the go-to person for the students to answer their questions and give critiques on the projects they were working on, to reinforce the lessons taught in the courses by the teachers, and to troubleshoot the issues that the students were having when things didn't go as expected.

During my time as a teaching assistant, I was also able to work on (unbeknownst to me at the time) "Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!" for SyFy/Asylum Films. The set piece that my graduating class used for our project was in storage, and a small crew and I were tasked with restoring the set piece to its original form for the film. The school's director had a connection with Asylum.

What advice would you give someone wanting to work in the film industry?

Never stop learning. Ask questions when and where appropriate. Think outside the box when you run into problems you can't solve. Be challenged with work. Finally, film work is hard. The days may be long, but seeing the end product makes the problems and struggles along the way worth it!