Interview with Daryl Munton – First Year Art Teacher

Interview with Daryl Munton – First Year Art Teacher

Interview with Daryl Munton – First Year Art Teacher


Daryl Munton is a first year art teacher at AIE Melbourne with an extensive industry background. We get a glimpse into what Daryl has achieved throughout his career. Currently his short film, The Gallant Captain, in conjunction with Graeme Base and his small animation studio, the Lampshade Collective, are nominated for multiple awards. The Gallant Captain will be screening at the upcoming Melbourne International Animation Festival next month.

How did you get started in the Film industry?

I studied graphic design at University because there really wasn’t any computer graphics course around Australia then. 

Then I worked in a small animation studio, called Conja, in Sydney making commercials and TV station identities. I was lucky enough to learn all I needed as a starting point to a successful career in the film industry.

Where have you worked at?

In Australia, I had the opportunity to work places such as Animal Logic, Rising Sun Pictures, Conja in Sydney and a few other smaller film and TV places.

My career has also taken me overseas for work in the United States, Canada and New Zealand. 

I worked at George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), Sony Pictures Imageworks and Rhythm and Hues in the United States, MPC in Vancouver and Weta Digital in NZ.

What have you worked on?

2013 Pacific Rim (visual effects artist - uncredited) 
2012 Life of Pi (digital artist: The Moving Picture Company) 
2011 The Adventures of Tintin (lighting technical director) 
2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes (lighting technical director: Weta Digital) 
2011 Cowboys & Aliens (digital artist: ILM) 
2011 Nullarbor (Short) (cg supervisor) / (lookdev and lighting artist) 
2009 Avatar (lighting technical director: Weta Digital) 
2009 Where the Wild Things Are (digital effects artist - uncredited) 
2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (digital effects artist: ILM) 
2006 Charlotte's Web (lighting lead) 
2006 Happy Feet (lighting artist) 
2005 King Kong (digital effects artist) 
2002 Gangs of New York (digital effects artist: ILM - uncredited) 
2002 Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (digital effects artist: ILM) 
2001 Cubbyhouse (CG supervisor) 
2000 The Perfect Storm (digital effects artist: ILM) 
1999 Deep Blue Sea (digital effects artist: ILM) 
1999 Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (digital effects artist: ILM) 
1998 Deep Impact (digital effects artist: ILM)
1997 Mousehunt (digital effects artist - uncredited)
1997 Starship Troopers

What was your favourite project and why? 

Star Wars was a great project to be involved in.  Obviously Star Wars was a huge trilogy during my childhood and it was influential in my decision to work on this venture.  I strived towards working at ILM so I could have the opportunity to work on Star Wars: Episode I and II.  I managed to achieve my dream through hard work, passion and determination.

Also working on Avatar was a highlight as I was able to expand my knowledge and work with ground breaking technology.

What was the most memorable moment of your career and why?

One of the most memorable moments of my career was attending the Star Wars Episode I premier in San Francisco.  Also in attendance was George Lucas as well as other big names such as Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and Robin Williams.  It was an amazing celebration of the team’s hard work and vision.

More recently I have really enjoyed working with Graeme Base on our second short film for The Lampshade Collective.  Lampshade is my small animation studio based in Melbourne were I make short films with friends.

What are you currently working on?

Currently my project is a test shot for a TV series my team want to get going. I am working with Graeme Base again and am pleased with how it is coming along. It is looking really good.

How did you end up at AIE?

I heard about AIE being one of the best film and game development schools in Melbourne, so I sent in my resume. It gives me an opportunity to pass on my knowledge to the next generation of 3D artists whilst working on my current projects.

If I was looking to get into this industry, what advice would you give me?

Spend hours, days and months learning everything you can about any software you can get your hands on. Then find the best course you can get into and work hard to make the best portfolio you can in the time you have.  Learn everything you can and find exactly what you’re good at. Never stop learning and adapting your skills. One more thing, be a GREAT team player.  This industry is ALL about team work.  You don’t have to be a genius, you just have to be great to work with.