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November 2012

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NATHAN MCGUINNESS — DOUBLE NEGATIVE SINGAPORE Nathan McGuinness is well known in the world of feature film visual effects. This Aussie opened the well-respected LA-based VFX house Asylum back in 1998. During that time he was nominated for an Oscar (Master and Commander), four BAFTAs and walked away with a BAFTA (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). Even though Asylum was one of the top feature film visual effects studios in Hollywood, it became harder and harder financially for McGuinness to run the studio as he had envisioned. He closed its doors in 2010. After taking a short break, McGuinness signed on to run Double Negative Singapore (www., the sister office to 12-year-old London VFX house Double Negative, a company he dealt with many times while at Asylum. "It just seemed like the right thing to do," he says. "Asia was an interesting idea." The creation of digital effects can be done anywhere. "Once you walk through the doors at Dneg Singapore, it's really no different than being in a VFX house in LA or New York; the tech- nology is essentially the same," says McGuinness. So the idea of creating visual effects for feature films — like the recent Captain America, Bourne Identity, Total Recall and the upcoming Les Miserables — combined with the fact that Singapore is only a five-hour flight from Perth, Australia, his hometown, sort of sealed the deal. And he's not alone. "Opening up Double Negative in Singapore has brought people closer to home, people who have worked at MPC, Framestore, ILM, Digital Domain, Weta, and all these great companies." This international gathering of talent offers what McGuinness calls "a unique artistry," thanks to all the different cultures and world views represented. "I still have the same aspirations I've always had, and I still get to work with major directors and filmmakers," he explains. "It's now accepted to be working anywhere in the world, so it hasn't changed the client base I've always had." McGuinness, like many on his staff, brought family with him to Singapore. His wife Emma helps him run Double Negative, which he admits has made the transition easier. The Singapore government, through its Contact Singapore (www.contactsinga- agency, encourages companies from abroad to take advantage of all the country has to offer, including its healthy economy. They also help make the transition easier by helping with visas, housing and offering quality schools so those relocating can get a good education for their children. "My kids go to the Australian school here, and there are American schools, French schools, English schools... but it's still a multicultural country. It's retained its history, its religion, but it's Westernized, and they cater to foreigners, offering a clean, com- fortable and safe place to live." In addition to Contact Singapore's efforts, Dneg Singapore does its part as well. The studio's HR department works like a family, according to McGuinness, nurturing everyone who walks in the door. "Straight away we are working out their families, passing on schools and areas within Singapore. The last thing you want to do is uproot your whole life and then be stuck without any help at all. You can't be successful hiring people from overseas, or looking after your staff as a whole, without having a great support staff and making sure our international employment is as comfortable as possible — from getting off the plane to the end of your term or renegotiation." While English is one of Singapore's primary languages, McGuin- ness points out that they don't disengage on employment because of someone's language loopholes. "If he or she is a brilliant artist, Double Negative Singapore's office and creative director Nathan McGuinness, who packed up and moved from Los Angeles. we can make it work. There is so much talent out there, I don't want to lose that artistry because we might discriminate." This industry affords people the opportunity to live and work in cultures different than their own, and McGuinness encourages it. "They should take that opportunity because it's worth it. Just make sure you do your homework, and make sure it's the right move for you." KATIE HINSEN — GOLDCREST Katie Hinsen's path to New York wasn't motivated by a job; she just wanted to live in New York City. This native New Zealander, who is now an editor and jack-of-all-trades at Goldcrest Post ( in Manhattan, resigned her job as a DI editor at Wellington's Park Road Post when she made her decision — that was almost two years ago. Hinsen emphasizes that her move wasn't based on career path. In fact, while she had been Post฀•฀November฀2012฀ 27

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