Gergina Georgieva – when the interest in animation turns into a profession

Gergina Georgieva is a 3D Animator with 5 years of experience. Her professional path in the film industry began at the age of 20, as an intern at a Bulgarian VFX studio. In 2021, she started working as an animator at ReDefine, where she worked on various Animation and VFX projects and developed her skills in character and creature animation. Some of the films in her portfolio are Hellboy, Rambo: Last Blood, Kafka’s Doll, and RRR. Gergina teaches Animation in the VFX & Animation program at ARC Academy.

How long have you been doing animation professionally? How did it start?

My interest in animation started a long time ago, back in school. At the time, I had no idea what my professional development would look like in this direction. I just knew that it would give me pleasure. I was looking for different courses and online tutorials. Animation was never a chore, and maybe that’s why I liked it.

The summer after my first year at university, I saw an internship announcement at a VFX studio in Sofia. I filled out my paperwork that very evening, and I knew what a great opportunity this would be for me. I was subsequently approved, which launched my career in the VFX industry. I’ve been doing animation professionally for five years now, and I’m happy with my choice.

What are your duties as a 3D animator at ReDefine? What are the things that make you love your job?

Animation is not just creating movement, before starting work, we must first get to know our characters – what is their character, how do they talk, how do they move. We do this with the help of a script, storyboard, or brief.

Then we get our shots and schedules. Before starting work on a complex shot, it is useful to find or shoot a reference. We have no way of knowing exactly how flatworms or bearded vultures move, and we don’t need to. There is enough video material with which we can help each other.

And then the animation begins. Then the notes, then the animation again. A shot goes through many iterations before it is approved by the client.

What is your favorite project you have worked on so far? What makes it so special to you?

The most special project for me is the first project I worked on at ReDefine – RRR. Going from working in a small boutique studio to working in a global studio like ReDefine was both challenging and extremely exciting. It took me a very short time to get used to the change and start animating.

Wolves, tigers, bears, horses, deer… with this project, there was definitely no dull day. We worked really well as a team, and I think we’re all proud of the work we did and that we really enjoyed ourselves.

Is there a project you dream of working on?

The truth is that I don’t always watch the movies I’ve worked on, even the ones I’ve enjoyed animating. The reverse is also true: movies I like to watch are not always interesting to work on.

I think every artist dreams of working with big names that would win awards and popularity. But maybe my “dream” project would be so not because of the film itself, but rather because of the process of working on it.

What would you say to people who want to do this profession but are unsure about career opportunities? What are the opportunities in Bulgaria?

Along with all the bad things that came with the COVID pandemic, something very good happened in our industry: all the international VFX studios started working remotely. This greatly expanded our work opportunities. In this line of thinking, “development in Bulgaria” loses the meaning it carried until two years ago. Location is no longer an obstacle, it’s all about skill and potential.

There is definitely a field for development, but it is hard to reach for artists who are just starting out. I would advise them to take full advantage of every opportunity presented, network, and keep learning and developing their skills.

What motivated you to be a lecturer in the VFX & Animation program at ARC Academy? What is the most important thing you want to teach the students?

When I started working at my first studio, I had the unique opportunity to be trained by a fellow animator with vast experience and skills. He helped me greatly in my animation journey, and I realize how important that was to my development.

It is important for me to return this gesture by imparting my knowledge to the students at ARC Academy. In my lectures, I want not only to teach lessons but also to motivate students and awaken their interest in animation and films.

If you are interested in visual effects and animation and want to be a part of the VFX & Animation program, apply to ARC Academy now.