Meet this week’s Wonder Woman, Hannah Cook, Double Negative Vancouver General Manager.
What drew you to a career in VFX?
I didn’t know very much about visual effects when I started, although I loved film. I was more drawn to the culture at Dneg – it was buzzing and full of people that were passionate about this industry.
How did you get into the Business?
I was introduced through a recruitment agency. I started off managing recruitment at Dneg, which I’d been doing for a while in different fields. I’ve since worked within quite a few different departments. I initially joined on a 6-month contract – nearly 11 years ago!
Women are still under-represented in the VFX industry – why do you think that is and what can we do to attract more women to join the industry?
Although I have seen a significant increase in the number of women applying for VFX jobs and joining the industry over the last 10 years, there’s still a far higher ratio of men to women. VFX could definitely be promoted as a career route within schools a lot more than it currently is. It would help if girls were encouraged early on to focus on subjects such as maths, physics and computer science as these all feed into VFX course curriculums. Those subjects seem to be attended by a much higher percentage of males and therefore VFX courses tend to be as well. The more that women are supported, excelling and celebrated within the industry, hopefully the more women we’ll see joining.
What are your thoughts about the success of Wonder Woman and what do you think it means to the industry?
I’m not surprised that it’s received such positive reviews – it’s refreshing to see a woman in the hero role. She’s very ‘real’ and easy to relate to as well as being strong and saving the world! As it’s less common for such a CG-heavy film to draw in a majority female fan base, I hope it encourages some of this audience to look behind the scenes and explore the world of VFX a little more. That would be a really great thing.
What would be your advice to the next generation of women coming into the industry?
There are many fulfilling career routes within VFX if you are passionate about creating epic images and work well in a team. The industry is made up of talented, driven people – gender really is irrelevant. Many of the smartest, most brilliant people I work with happen to be women 🙂