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Christian Debney — CEO at Stage 23

Christian Debney’s incredible career began awesomely and has only become more awesome: his first job was building lightsaber props for Star Wars: Episodes I and II. After learning 3D for his own short films, he created VFX for Farscape, directed music videos, made animations for the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, set up a VFX firm and second-unit-directed little-known but much-loved Australian comedy Swinging Safari. Phew!

Now, Christian is putting his 20-plus years of experience in the movie industry to good use as VFX supervisor on sci-fi thriller Ascendant and as director of three films (one in VR) and a documentary. In this podcast, Christian talks about his career so far and shares tips and anecdotes about how he’s learned to create great work within budgetary and time constraints.


Stage 23 VFX >

Ascendant official trailer on YouTube >

Chaos Group interview on "Ascendant” > 

Christian Debney on IMDb >

Christian Debney on Vimeo >

Christian Debney on Instagram >


6:22 Starting in practical effects

10:27 How to make a lightsaber

14:37 Christian’s generalist approach

19:28 Work on “Ascendant”

22:29 Swinging Safari

28:3254 Using Chaos Cloud to render “Ascendant’s” VFX

34:12 The enduring legacy of Alex Roman’s “The Third and The Seventh”

38:28 Architectural model making and rendering

41:34 What Christian has learned from working in movies

46:41 Neill Blomkamp’s influence

51:35 “Ascendant” and Christian’s future projects

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.

Originally published: February 16, 2021.
© Škoda Design

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