Bilali Mack has always wanted to tell stories. Originally hailing from West Africa, Bilali was at Emerson College in Boston when he realized it was easier to make movies with computers instead of cameras. After graduating, he worked on Coca-Cola and BMW commercials, where he developed an affinity for Flame, Autodesk’s VFX and finishing software.
Today, Bilali is taking his experience to the next level as a VFX supervisor on feature films and TV series, including Let Him Go and Power Book II: Ghost. In this insightful and animated discussion, Bilali talks about the pros and cons of working with Flame, the creative differences between VFX for commercials and features, and how he directs smoke and blood to enhance the narrative. This podcast is a perfect upbeat start to 2021.
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4:25 Mack’s backstory: From West Africa to Windsor, Connecticut
12:47 Switching from commercials to episodic work
20:47 The magic of Flame
27:50 When Flame artists become VFX supervisors
33:11 The differences between commercials and episodic work
40:33 How limitations can be a good thing
44:05 Using visual effects to tell a story
49:57 Building relationships with directors and clients
57:06 Bilali’s directorial aspirations
1:03:10 Bilali’s podcast and documentary