Interview of Geoffroy Collin (RUBIKA Animation 2019), Lighting Artist on « Sponge Bob, the film ».

1) Geoffroy, you graduated from Rubika Animation in 2019. What is your background since leaving school?

Very quickly after my jury, I worked at Cube Creative in Paris as a Lighting/Compositing artist on the Mush-Mush series and the Mushables. I stayed there for 6 months, it was a great experience with a wonderful team. I learned a lot and the atmosphere was excellent. Then, at the end of December 2019, I went to Montreal to work on the film « Sponge Bob: Sponge in troubled waters » at Mikros Animation. My job on the film was Lighting artist, I was able to deepen my knowledge and learn new software like Katana, a Lighting and Rendering software. I also learned a lot about producing a film that is very different from a series. We have more time to fine-tune our shots and the teams are also much bigger. There were 5 of us at Cube but more than 50 at Mikros. It was an incredible experience, lots of meetings and lots of laughs. Then, the Covid arrived and we all switched to teleworking. The adaptation was quite quick but despite everything the atmosphere was different.

Since May 2020, I have been working in lighting and compositing on « Fireheart », the next film of the Animation Workshop. I’ve been physically back at the studio since July but 2/3 of the team are still working remotely. The zoom meetings continue despite everything!


Poster of the film « Sponge Bob, the film: Sponge in troubled waters » released on Netflix on November 5th.© Paramount Pictures


2) You chose to go to work in Montreal. How did your job search go from France?

Yes, I found my job from France. I used the school’s network to get in touch with several studios in Montreal, which I contacted by email and I quickly got a positive response from Mikros Animation. It all happened quite quickly and a month later I was in Montreal. The fact that I had a WHP helped me a lot because the procedures for employers are simplified and free.


3) How would you describe the country’s culture and corporate culture compared to those of France?

Even though we work more in Canada (40h/week and much more during the crunchs), I have the impression that the human aspect is much more emphasized. Already, the use of first names is very democratic, everyone in Canada is on first name terms! Many benefits are offered for the well-being of the employee such as Happy Hour, massages, Yoga classes, live models, breakfasts for the whole team, organized evenings, team building, etc. At the slightest tiredness, you can take a day off to rest. We do our best to ensure that the artist is at his best to work on the project.


After 5 years of studies in Valenciennes, Geoffroy now works in Montreal… and takes advantage of his weekends to get some fresh air!


4 ) The film o28, which you made with other students from the school, has had an incredible journey and has won many festival prizes (50 awards and 236 selections to date). What do you remember about the production of this short film?

It was really a year of intense production but the team was at the top! We worked a lot and, despite the difficulties, we had a lot of fun. I was lucky to have a very close-knit team where everyone got along well! The whole teaching team helped us a lot throughout the film creation process, from the script to the colour grading, including animation, rigging and editing, we always had lots of advice and opinions. The whole team is very happy with the film’s journey around the world and I would like to thank them once again, as well as the composers David Gana, Cyrille Marchesseau and our super sound designer Alexandre Jaclain, and all the musicians; without them, the film would have been very different.


Geoffroy Collin (centre) and the co-directors of the « O28 » team (RUBIKA Animation 2019): Otalia Caussé, Louise Grardel, Antoine Marchand, Robin Merle and Fabien Meyran


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