Digistor Training Centre Manager Sarah Palmer meets Cathy Vogan. Cathy is one of our new industry-based Professional Trainers, providing both classroom and customised training at Digistor and at customer's premises.
Cathy, welcome to the team at Digistor Training Centre, it is great to have you on board.You have a wealth of experience working in training and production. What have some of your most recent ventures involved?
Pleased to be part of the team. Well I'm currently working on a TVC for "Choice" magazine, acting as post production supervisor for 6 student productions and have made around 60 of my own films in the last year, mostly docos, from interviews I conducted in the US, Europe and Australia. I've also been teaching VFX, editing and Broadcast Design over two schools. I guess you could say I've been pretty busy...
What are your main areas of expertise and how will you be utilising those in your training courses here at Digistor?
My areas of expertise are pretty wide, since I started making films in 1984 and haven't stopped since... I got into broadcast in 1991, running my own post production facility in Paris for 16 years, and later worked with larger companies and networks on daily prime time as a senior editor, grader, DVD author and compositor. I've seen broadcast "grow up", go digital and diversify into all its areas of specialisation and trans-media platforms. Working over the years with so many clients, artists and students, I've accumulated quite a repertoire of workflow strategies, and got familiar with a lot of kit and software. I'm pretty au fait with all of Final Cut Studio - old and new; Avid Media Composer and Adobe Creative Suite and have used Photoshop and After Effects since their respective beginnings.
I've also worked with the Discreet products and dabbled in Maya and Logic Studio / Pro Tools for audio composition and engineering respectively. Apple certified me as an ACT in 2007 and I did quite a lot of broadcast training for them, transitioning the ABC nationwide and Disney Pictures from the AVID to Apple platforms. At Digistor I might just find myself assisting some of our clients to bounce back… or for others who want to keep going with the fruit company, I could take them through the new integrated use of Pro X / Motion5 / Compressor. My preferred workflow as a compositor these days is to use Motion, After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator all at the same time… That's hot, and makes for very quick and effective results. Teaching multiple programs together is really effective when it comes to optimising a work-flow, and I guess that's where I'm going to be most useful to our clients.
You have worked with some interesting organisations both here and in Europe, Tell me about what you were doing in Paris?
Oh that's a long story… I started Fearless Studios (now Fearless Medi@terrannee) with French artist Dominik Barbier in 1988. My first job was to make a voyage "at the speed of light" for an attraction park called the Futuroscope and that took 3 months, using an Amiga 2000 and a GML Merlin. Now that's ancient history! I also started teaching computer graphics that year at the University of Paris VIII. We invested heavily - both time and money - and our studios did well, both as a broadcast facility and centre for artistic research. We were funded annually by the Ministry of Culture to receive artists from around the world, and at the same time, worked regularly with Canal + and ARTE. I think one of the high-lights was our production of "The Making of Brazil" with Terry Gilliam, where we even got to design the set. Apart from the broadcast work, which also took place at the Espace Kiron, I also lectured at the European School of Visual Arts and made a lot of films for which I have won 8 awards, including the Videokunstpreis (if anyone knows what that is…).
Since returning to Sydney in 2004 you have gained even more training qualifications and experience. What has that involved?
I was teaching at AFTRS for 4 years and I stopped for 3 months to do a full-time course in Maya 3D animation. About a year or so later I did another Certificate course in Shake Compositing; then an audio engineering course in Logic Studio. I 2007 I became an Apple Certified Pro and then went to Apple for a week and sat the Apple Certified Trainer exam. Since I got that certification with a score of 97% they were quite happy for me to train the broadcasters… Finally, last year, as a work requirement, I did a Certificate IV in Training Management.
On top of everything else you are an independent filmmaker, musician and artist. Does this help you stay up to date with new technology while keeping in touch with your creative side?
Oh definitely. I don't have much spare time, as you can imagine, and perfecting my own workflow enables me to get things out fast. Learning how to perform every task myself has also enabled me to jump right in and neither need nor have to wait for funding…
Thanks Cathy, it is great to have your skill and expertise as part of our team, thank you for your time and we look forward to having you as one of the Digistor Training Centre Professionals!
Sarah - Training Services Manager