Sonya Teich, female software engineer with explosions in the background

SONYA TEICH

Dream Maker. Computer scientist and visual effects artist.

Female software engineer with a computer tablet in front of green screen with special effects
Female software engineer stands with explosions in the background
Female software engineer designs special effects on computer tablet
Digitally rendered city scape

I loved drawing and making up stories as a child, and I also loved maths. Bringing together these two interests seemed impossible until I completed a degree in Engineering and Computer Science, and landed my first job working for Disney Animation as a Visual Effects artist.

 

I grew up creating my own films and storylines with my sisters, using our toys as a characters, and creating effects with everyday objects around the house, like pouring water to create a "waterfall." As I got older however, the idea of working in film seemed less and less likely until I realised I could combine my skills in maths, and my interest in storytelling by going into engineering, computer science AND art. After I completed my dual degree in Engineering and Fine Art, I joined Walt Disney Animation Studios, a place where I could use both the creative and technical sides of my brain to bring stories to life.

My career then led me to work on films at companies like Sony Imageworks and Weta Digital. I eventually landed a role as a Lead Effects Technical Director at Framestore in London, managing a team of effects artists. The Effects Department is responsible for the things in a film that are simulated - like fire, water and magic. Even when unreal things are happening, our goal is to make the behavior of these elements look believable.

 

Using creativity, technical skills and attention to detail, I bring effects to life on the screen. Over the course of my career, I have put my skills to work on films including my childhood Beauty and the Beast, Guardians of the Galaxy and Avatar. Now I live and work in New Zealand, sharing my creativity and researching the world of visual effects. 

Where to next?

Find out more about how you can turn what you love into engineering, and what a future in engineering could look like, by exploring the links below. And if you have a question or comment, get in touch, we’d be happy to help!