For the latest entry in our series, which looks at the coronavirus crisis from the standpoint of individuals in the industry, we speak to Arslan Elver (Lady and the Tramp, Christopher Robin) and Pete Warbis (Avengers: Infinity War, Paddington 2) at Framestore, where they are working as animation supervisor and senior animator respectively on Warner Bros.’s forthcoming hybrid feature Tom and Jerry. Elver and Warbis are based in Framestore’s London studio, but, like the rest of the company’s 2,500-strong global workforce, they’re now working from home.
In normal times, part of Elver’s role as a supervisor is to liaise with clients overseas, typically in L.A. In this respect, his job hasn’t really changed in the crisis: he reviews work with Warner Bros. using the online conferencing system Cinesync, much as before. But when it comes to conducting dailies and managing his team at Framestore, the physical distance is more of an issue. In practice, it means constant meetings on Google Hangouts.
“One slightly tricky thing,” he says, “is that when we’re in the same studio, we can sit next to an animator … and explain things or show tips and tricks.” He and his colleagues are compensating by creating videos that instruct more junior animations in how to use rigs, facial controls, and the like.