Linda Spaggiari has done various successful freelance and full time Compositing jobs.
Why the creative industries?
Since I was a kid, I’ve always had quite good mathematical skills but have a very creative mind and have always been interested in the arts too. After graduating with a BA (Hons) in Fashion and Textile Design, and because cinema is one of my biggest passions, I took up an MA in Video Editing. At that point I discovered the world of VFX, which is why I then signed up to a course at Escape Studios and studied to become a Compositor, which reflects both my creative and mathematical approach.
Since 2014, I’ve been working as a Nuke Compositor, mainly in London and then Miami and New York, and I am now freelancing in Milan.
What’s your current role? What’s your favourite part of your job?
I am now a Mid Compositor, freelancing in Italy; I’m taking more of an active role in the creative process, and the pre-production. It took me years of hard work, perseverance, and putting all of my passion into my work to get my where I am today. Something that has helped me is having good relationships with my colleagues, and meeting so many amazing people, and mentors, that have really helped me along the way.
My favourite part of compositing is when I approach a new shot, listening to my music, and then, boom, I can feel something amazing clicking into my brain and everything just flows so naturally and starts making sense. It’s a bit tough to put it into words but I hope you get the idea!
What projects have you worked on? And what was your favourite?
I was lucky enough to start comping almost straight away after finishing my course, and I worked on many different features, which helped me to learn more on the job. I’d say some of the films that stand out for me are Florence Foster Jenkins, where I had my first more challenging shots, Bridget Jones’s Baby, where I had to take care of whole sequences for the festival scenes, and T2 Trainspotting, which was very intense, emotionally, as I have always been a big fan of Danny Boyle’s work, and I will always remember receiving a note that said: “Danny just loves what you did on this shot”.
What are you working on at the minute?
I am now freelancing, and working on a project for a production company that works a lot with fashion films. It was interesting as I was the one to approach them to see if we could work together, and I had more of a creative voice as we worked together on the concept and the pre-production in order to achieve something beautiful and functional to the storytelling.
How did you get into the industry?
I was working very hard on my reel, basically until they kicked me out from the lab at night, when an opportunity arose, and the Head of 2D at Escape Studios, Davi Stein, recommended me for my first job. After that I freelanced for a couple of other projects, when the company I was working for at the time offered me a contract.
I have to say I wouldn’t have done anything differently, I’m very grateful for the opportunities I had, I guess you have to be lucky on one side, on the other you have to work hard and put all of yourself into what you do.
Any other advice you’d give to budding creatives?
As I said, I think you need some luck on one side, but surely working hard, putting love and effort into what you do will make people notice you. Also having good relational skills, I think that is very important. That’s how I built my network of contacts, as a matter of fact my ex colleagues are not just that, they are my friends, my mentors, and I still keep in contact with them.
I’d say be yourself, be humble and kind, as well as respectful, work hard and put all of your love into your work and relationships.
Linda Spaggiari studied the Advanced Compositing for Visual Effects course at Escape Studios in London, and has since worked on projects including My Cousin Rachel, Grace and Frankie and The Alienist.