Enrico de Palo, born in 1966, is an italian VFX artist, specialized in compositing. He has worked for big international productions such as Furious 6, and After Earth, as a compositor. He also has experience as VFX supervisor for smaller productions.
Visual effects are Enrico’s passion, and this passion was so big that he decided to become a VFX teacher at Event Horizon School of Digital Arts.
In this interview we are going to see how hard it was for him to reach the top of his career, how his passion helped him and the way he tries to infuse this passion into his students.
You are a renowned compositor. How hard has it been to reach this level? What are the main steps of your growth?
The main goal of a VFX supervisor is to work on an international production. You reach that goal when you work for an american blockbuster, but this forces you to move abroad because if you stay in Italy, you will only work for italian productions.
If you want to work for important productions, you have to move to the USA, but this is almost impossible because American market isn’t open to foreigners, unless you have connections.
Fortunately, american productions are also developed overseas, they delegate their work to english-speaking countries like Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
I tried to move either to Canada or London to join the american visual effects market and become a professional compositor. After you do this, then you can move freely both in the american environment and in the european one.
I started with the movie “After Earth” in Berlin with Pixomondo and then I moved immediately to London with Double Negative.
You need to be lucky and have a great willpower. With a little skills and two or three years of experience in Italy, you can find a job as a decent compositor and then it gets easy. But I had no intention of spending my life in London so I moved back to Italy. Sometimes I move abroad to work for two or three months and I consider this as sort of holiday.
How does it feel to work for very important productions?
It feels satisfactory. It feels fulfilling when you speak with someone and you can say “I made THIS movie” and people know about it.
It feels a lot different to say that you made movies like “Il mercante di pietre”, “il 7 e l’8” or “Baaria” rather than “Furious 6”, “Kingsman” or “Hercules”.
This means that you’re filling your own ego. It is a personality matter because I don’t work for money but for passion and I must give the best of me on something that will live for a long time.
How do you define your job compared to others? Is it a kind of hobby?
It depends on the point of view, to me it is an hobby. It’s a matter of personality, I look it and say it’s a cool thing, some others say that they would never do my job. Each shot has a result, you create something that doesn’t exist and this is the great part of the work, you make a shot and it becomes something that’s partially yours, it’s something that you created!