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Matan Abel—Virtual Art Department Supervisor, Happy Mushroom

Over the past 15 years, Matan Abel has worked on lots of cutting-edge VFX projects, including the game Call of Duty, numerous car commercials and movies such as 2012, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Last Airbender, Red Tails and Fast & Furious 5. Now, Matan’s getting into real-time via John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum’s virtual pre-production and The Mandalorian’s virtual sets.

In this podcast, Matan tells former boss Chris how his laid-back approach and honesty have helped his career trajectory. He talks about how he loves lighting tail lights despite knowing nothing about cars; overcoming cultural, linguistic and time barriers when he worked in China; and the practical and financial reasons behind the rise of real-time in movies. 


Happy Mushroom >

Matan Abel on ArtStation >

Matan Abel on IMDb >


4:09 When Matan met Chris

7:46 Videogames and working at Activision

10:21 Why Chris hired Matan

19:19 Going back to car commercials

25:12 Joining Pixomondo

28:37 Pop-ups and pipelines

33:52 Being a generalist

39:34 Going to China

49:54 Joining John Wick 3

57:45 Thoughts on the future of filmmaking

About the author

Christopher Nichols

Chris is a CG industry veteran and Director of Chaos Labs. He can also be heard regularly as the host of the CG Garage podcast which attracts 20,000 weekly listeners. With a background in both VFX and Design, Chris has worked for Gensler, Digital Domain, Imageworks and Method Studios. His credits include Maleficent, Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.

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