Josh Evans

What is your name? And what do you do?

My name is Josh Evans and I make funny faces in the mirror and bake pies...sometimes simultaneously. Oh, did you mean professionally? I am a CG Generalist with a special focus on Environments and Matte Paintings. It is my dream to one day turn these little stories I've been writing nearly my entire life into full films! It is impossible for me to close my eyes without some absurd adventure playing out and I not only need an outlet for 25 years worth of tales but think there are others who would get a real kick out of some of the stories I wish to tell.

When did you figure out you wanted to get into visual effects?

It was 1999. The Phantom Menace was in theaters (I saw it 7 times in the cinema, really) and I received a VHS, shoulder mounted camera for my birthday. The thing was a dinosaur, even back then. Given how well-used it had been previous to my receiving it, there was a special trick to even get it to record film. A jostle here, a nudge there, the holding of the record button for a set amount of time and, presto. I made so many little films ranging from laser soldiers hunting santa clause to stop motion lego extravaganza's. It wasn't until I was already in college, studying film and utterly miserable when I realized, visual effects were what I had been doing all along. Digital is perfect for me as I am antisocial and have a ton of energy that I can focus onto the screen, also I'm a control freak. The realm of cg was a perfect fit.

What do you like to draw? 

Monsters. Children with cute noses. Naked people from books of naked people for artists. Monsters.

Do you prefer to create images digitally or on paper or in a physical form? 

I use paper in the beginning stages, just to quickly rough ideas and sketch forms. But I'll scan in anything useful to turn into a model if I think it's good enough. I think both paper and digital have a place in my workflow.

What are a few things that inspire you to create new material?

Nothing is inspirational per se, having ideas is just kind of a state of being. I have my best ideas in front of a blank page and, as I have a terrible memory, I never remember anything I dream; which is a real shame because I'm sure they're immensely surreal.

What are some of your favorite film genres to watch?

I don't believe in film genres. That's actually what I wrote my thesis on for my MFA. It's a big shtick to fit in a few sentences but the raw distillation of the idea is that the current genre system is a broken trick that is not only unhelpful to the consumer but a missed opportunity for studios to make a bigger profit. I've proposed a solution through a bulletproof, alternate genre system that is entirely objective and has many uses to both aid in the creation of films for artists, the identification for consumers, and the demographics for marketing. 

Snobbery aside, I enjoy being caught by surprise, I love being terrified, and I want to have something difficult to intellectually have a conversation about when the credits have rolled. Films that can hit all three of these points have a great chance that I will love them.

Does Hollywood need a new model to distribute films?

Yes. 

They already have it but aren't using it. 

It is called piracy.

This could be the point where I go on a long and political rant about how piracy is helping the film/music industries but honestly, google exists for a reason and there is plenty of research to back these claims up.

Do you think the independent movie business will ever become bigger than Hollywood?

It has to. Triple A blockbusters are unsustainable and the massive failure of many visual effects studios over this year alone have shown that something really has to give. While we in Hollywood are duking it out, I see real potential for amazing indie films with fantastic vsfx on a shoestring budget with a tiny staff stepping up and really wowing audiences.

What are some of your favorite programs to use?

I'm an Autodesk/Adobe fellow. Maya and Mudbox are my current favorites and I don't know where I would be without Photoshop. Learning is probably my favorite hobby of all time though, so I'm always tinkering with new software.

Where did you go to college?

I attended the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Why did you choose that college?

I'm a bit instinct driven and I liked what I saw when researching them and applied only there. Once I make a life choice, it is made. In this case it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Oddly enough I take the opposite approach when doing vsfx, I'll test many different options before going for the approach that seems to produce the best result in a timely fashion regardless of instinct.

Advice for people who are starting out of college trying to get a job or internship?

Be persistent. You may never reach your goals and that's ok. Just try. Don't party, don't make too many friends, and don't waste your time being frivolous. If you need a break, do something that makes you a better artist or person. You'll be dead soon enough and there is no time to waste. Turn everything into a learning experience. Like video games? Figure out how they work while you play. Decide what is working for the game you are playing and why. Same with films. Same with music. Same with people. 

Never not learn.

I suffer from extreme depression and low self-esteem when it comes to my work. The greatest thing an artist can learn is to keep going. Don't think you are good enough? Doesn't matter. Keep working. You don't get to make that choice, HR and future bosses will make that choice for you.

Never stop.

How would you describe your visual style?

Lisa Frank and HR Giger had a child; when that child was five he put out the fire of a burning copy of Mein Kampf underneath a cross composed entirely of barbie dolls to the tune of Japanese Pop music being run through a blender. You witnessed this event while wearing rusty goggles and being caressed by a neon-flashing teddy bear with a kind smile and pointed teeth. The emotions you felt during this event when reduced to binary code and played back on a mandolin are exactly what my visual style looks like.

For fun:

If you were a sea creature where would you live and what would you be? This creature doesn’t have to be real. 

A seahorse. Because they are both romantic and foppish. 


If you had to create a fictional place what would you create? 

At the moment? A planet where everyone was born an adult, but only half an adult. They have approximately four minutes to find someone missing the half they have, judge their character, and stick themselves together with tape or bungee cords or whatever. Over time these two halves will scab over and they'll be stuck with each other, if they last long enough scars will form as a sort of cement. Divorce is suicide of course.

These few who survive are very conflicted and tend to avoid other groups, their society is based on avoidance as most of them are hideous to behold. But one pair starts the first plastic surgery business and ends up ruling the world with the mad stacks of cash he makes, until his left side unexpectedly dies and he has to drag around half a corpse while using his medical wonders to keep his right side alive. Is it worth the price? Will he go insane and create a robotic left side? What on earth is up with the small child who showed up in the third act, there were no babies on this planet right?

Stop asking questions, I'm making this up on the spot.

Harrumph.

If you were stuck on a sail boat what three items would you want with you?

1) A powerful laptop with solar charge abilities, an excellent battery, and satellite connection to the internet (thus providing all entertainment, creative outlet, and human interaction needed).

2) Some machine that converts salt water into drinking water.

3) I would say a LOT of food but I suppose that counts as more than one thing, so I'll say a giant block of ramen noodles...like big enough to fill the boat...mostly. I will tear off a hunk and soften it in my drinkable water and then eat them. So...it'll be like college all over again!