About Bradley Stilwell
VFX/ANIMATION/REAL-TIME ARTIST, SUPERVISOR, MANAGER
I have more than 25 years of experience as a digital artist, technical director, supervisor, writer, director & producer, at several of the finest film, animation and digital visual effects studios in South Africa as well as abroad.
I began my career in Johannesburg, South Africa, after obtaining a diploma in television broadcast. I cut my teeth as an offline editor, first using VHS and later graduating to digital Betacam. I learnt a great deal about editing, all under the tutelage of editor/writer/director Donovan Marsh (Spud, Hunter-Killer).
I landed a job at the Video Lab in Blairgowrie, with their VFX unit ‘The House Next Door’, under producers Shirley Sunter, and later, Tracey Williams.
After some time as a 3D artist (Poweranimator) I moved into compositing using Discreet’s Flame & Inferno, all under the mentorship of Angus Kneale (Mill NYC).
I later transferred to Cape Town Video Lab, as a comp artist and 3D generalist, under GM Ermi Apostoli.
In 2009 I spent fourteen months at Animal Logic in Australia working as a lighting compositor on ‘Legend of the Guardians’. This was arguably the greatest growth period of my entire career. Under the direction of lighting supervisor Craig Welsh and art director Grant Freckleton, and within the wonderful culture that is Animal Logic, I gained a deep understanding and appreciation of the craft of digital image lighting and compositing. Sydney remains an epoch in the landscape of my career.
In 2010 I spent a year at Aardman studios in Bristol, U.K. on the Oscar nominated ‘Pirates!, Band of Misfits’, as a Lighting Technical Director. Another wonderful period of career and personal growth during which time I met a gorgeous South African girl named Nicole, who would steal my heart and change my life.
In 2012 I got married to Nicole.
In 2013 I spent six months working on the second season of Starz network’s ‘Black Sails’, as part of the on-set VFX team shooting 10 x 1 hour episodes for premium US broadcast.
In 2014 I spent more than 6 months as a compositor on George Miller’s epic ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’.
In 2015 I returned to Sunrise to produce and composite a successful sports marketing short for premier European soccer club Juventus.
I returned to Sydney, Australia in 2016 to join the crew at Animal Logic to work on two animated Lego features: ‘Lego Batman’ and ‘Lego Ninjago’.
In 2017, I travelled to South Australia and spent 18 months at Kojo in Adelaide as a CG supervisor on Anthony Maras’ live action feature ‘Hotel Mumbai’. A stretching yet immensely rewarding experience under the auspices of Kojo VFX supervisor Marty Pepper.
I spent the first half of 2019 working on the Netflix feature ‘Holiday in the Wild’, performing look-dev & compositing duties as well as some technical consulting.I am currently at Sunrise once again, working on several exciting projects.
Not only a ‘gun for hire’, I operate as an independent consultant and artist under the Lenscowboy brand. (www.lenscowboy.com)
I have extensive technical and production experience and I am expertly familiar with numerous film, photographic & digital film production technologies.
I have worked with some of the finest creative talent in the world, understand the value of recruiting and staffing correctly and enjoy working with enthusiastic people, learning from talented people and inspiring like-minded people.
I have two gorgeous sons; Kai and Hudson… with Nicole.
Please contact me via the contact page.
Click here to open full work history.
Bradley Stilwell Curriculum Vitae
November 2019: Compositor – Sunrise Productions, Cape Town, South Africa.
Nuke, Houdini, Arnold,Deadline on upcoming long form projects.
March 2019: Lighting, comp, look- dev supervisor/artist – Refinery, Cape Town, South Africa.
Nuke, Maya, Redshift, Deadline on Netflix feature ‘Holiday in the Wild’.
September 2018: VFX Supervisor/CG Producer – Lenscowboy Creative, Cape Town.
Lenscowboy provides creative services to the film, television and interactive realms. These include on-set supervision, data acquisition and management, VFX planning, breakdown, costing & production, art design and concept development. Please see www.lenscowboy.com for more info.
March 2017: CG supervisor/look-dev/lighting/rendering/compositing – Kojo, Adelaide’s premier creative studio, working on feature films, commercials, sports and new media productions. Responsibilities include leading the VFX team, administering Shotgun production asset management system as well as VFX completion and finishing using Maya/Nuke/Vray/Houdini/Deadline and others. Spent most of the year on Anthony Maras’ Hotel Mumbai, premiering September 2018.
May 2016: Digital Lighter/Compositor – Lego Batman & Lego Ninjago – Animal Logic, Sydney.
Nuke lighting compositor on Warner Bros. animated features using Nuke, Maya and a range of proprietary tools including Animal Logic’s in-house renderer Glimpse.
February 2016: South African VFX supervisor on BBC 5-partseries ‘Our Girl’ season 2. Responsible for supervising all local CG shots, including data, stills capture & element shoots. Liaise with Axis VFX in U.K.
May 2015: Supervisor, compositor, producer – Sunrise Productions – VFX/commercials/sports marketing.
December 2014: Freelance VFX supervisor: on-set supervision, shot planning and local costings, proof of concepts and pitching for several local & foreign produced VFX films.
July 2014: Nuke VFX compositor: Mad Max Fury Road – Comp’d several shots for George Miller’s epic feature film.
Responsibilities included green screen comps, dust and element creation and compositing, tracking and match-moving, rebuilding entire shots and camera moves for shots with un-trackable plates, CG harpoon and chain creation, tracking and comping, extensive rotoscoping, tyre track removal and clean up.
June 2014: Lighting/compositing supervisor – Sunrise Productions. I supervised rendering, lighting and compositing of a sequel to Sunrise’s animated RFU Ruckley campaign for English Rugby Football Union. During this time I also supervised the VFX for a live action commercial Sunrise shoot for ABSA Currie Cup rugby.
November 2013: On-set VFX supervisor & data wrangler – Black Sails Season 2. Responsibilities included on-set supervision of VFX shots, HDRI collection, texture stills, data collection and wrangling, green screen element shooting, conceptualization & pre-vizualization (CG) of key shots, recce and location scouting and general VFX correspondence with Los Angeles office. 10 x 1 hour episodes for Starz Network USA. Shot in Cape Town, South Africa.
May 2013: Freelance artist, supervisor, South Africa.
November 2012: Nuke, Maya, Renderman lighting/compositing/supervisor – Sunrise Productions, Cape Town: Welsh Rugby animated dragon mascot Campaign.
May 2013: Wrote and directed independent short film “Losing Track”. See www.lenscowboy.com for more.
February 2012: Independent VFX supervisor – Cape Town, South Africa. Supervised numerous smaller commercial VFX shots and projects.
May 2011: Lighting Technical Director – Aardman Features – ‘Pirates! Band of Misfits’, Bristol, England, UK.
Oscar nominated animated feature. Duties included live model plates and CG compositing, advanced re-projection techniques in Nuke including distort, undistort to match CG camera to live camera, 3D boat stand-ins using Nuke’s 3D environment, wet-line creation, HDRI creation, camera tracking CG elements to live plates, extensive fog and mist creation, lighting and rendering, extensive final stereo compositing using Nuke, Maya, Renderman.
November 2010: Nuke/Renderman/Maya lighting/compositor – Sunrise Productions – ‘Jungle Beat’ animated television series. Cape Town, South Africa.
August 2009: Stereo lighting/compositing artist, Animal Logic – ‘Legend of the Guardians’animated feature. Sydney, Australia. Extensive Pixar’s RenderMan and Foundry’s Nuke experience.
March 2009: Freelance VFX artist, South Africa.
July 2008: CG supervisor, Condor, Cape Town, South Africa.
September 2006: Supervisor – Sunrise Production, Cape Town, South Africa.
January 2005: Founded SolidPDA,a local VFX, Design & Animation studio in Cape Town, South Africa.
2004: Freelance Flame artist/ Maya animator – various facilities and studios around South Africa.
2002-2003: Maya animator – Video Lab, Cape Town, South Africa.
2002-2003: Flame artist – Video Lab, Cape Town, South Africa.
1999-2002: Flame/Inferno artist – House Next Door, Video Lab, Johannesburg, South Africa.
1997-1998: 3D animator – Alias|Wavefront Poweranimator, later Maya – House Next Door, Video Lab, Johannesburg, South Africa.
1995-1996: 3D animator – FormZ & Electricimage – Shaw pictures.
1994-1995: Offline/online editor – 3 machine Umatic/Digital Betacam, later non-linear (Turbocube) – Shaw Pictures.