Graduate Profile - Nathan Budarick

Graduate Profile - Nathan Budarick

Graduate Profile - Nathan Budarick

04-Nov-2013 We recently caught up with AIE Graduate, Nathan Budarick to discover what it’s like working at Digital Domain, using his industry skills to help students at AIE and his advice for landing a job in the VFX industry.

Which course did you study at AIE and what was the experience like? 

During my time at AIE I did the Certificate II in Creative Industries and then after year 12 the intensive Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media course. I really enjoyed my time at AIE, it provided a fun and relaxed learning environment with plenty of practical advice for starting off a career in film.

Can you tell us what it is like working at Digital Domain in Vancouver and the projects you worked on? 

Working at Digital Domain was a blast. I couldn't have asked for a better team.

I was lucky enough to work as an Assistant Technical Director for Rigging on Jack the Giant Slayer and a Rigger on Ender's Game. Both were an amazing experience to be working on such large feature films, something I will never forget.

A typical day consisted with either being assigned a new rigging task or working on something that had already been given to me. Half of my work was using Maya and the other half was creating build scripts in Python for the rigs.

What drew you to rigging? 

I enjoyed doing Animation, but I realised that what I enjoyed out of it was more the how the rig worked then the actual animation itself. I also really enjoyed the puzzle solving aspect of rigging over everything else and I think that really drew me to it.

What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far? 

That is a tricky question because their certainly have been a few. I think the main one would be not only working on a film that is based on a book that I love, Ender's Game, but also ending up in the Credits with my team and with such an all-star cast and crew.

When you were studying the Certificate II course with AIE in year 11 did you always plan to move overseas and work on the biggest movies in the industry? 

I actually did the Certificate II course twice, once in year 11 and then again in year 12. I never really planned to move overseas, at least not while I was doing the Cert II courses, but I always wanted to work on films. 

At the time I thought that might have involved going overseas at some point but my plan was to start off here in Australia and then move over eventually.

Where are you currently working? 

Funnily enough I am currently working at the AIE helping create some rigging tutorials and helping add some more rigging into the courses. I should be headed back overseas soon, but I am not sure where I will end up working when I get back. 

What is one piece of advice you would give to current students and recent graduates? 

Always keep your skills fresh, never give up looking for work, and be open criticism and change. Always aim to do something that you love doing, just because you started out wanting to be an animator doesn't meant that you have to keep doing that if you find something more interesting along the way.