ftrack | International Women’s Day: 8 creative women on the industry today

In celebration of International Women’s Day, ftrack spoke with eight talented women from the creative industry to learn about their careers, their work, and their views on gender balance and diversity in the creative sector today. The Mill's Kate Gabriel and Samantha Pedregon were two of the eight women that took part.
Press March 11, 2020

Kate works as a 3D Artist at The Mill. She also acts as Chair for the London ACM SIGGRAPH chapter, where she oversees activities and organizes events.

Can you tell us a little about your journey in VFX?


Kate Gabriel: I’m from the Czech Republic, where I grew up as a very creative child, dreaming of one day becoming an artist. I studied furniture construction at high school and later Interior Design at university. That’s when I started experimenting with 3D software. My career in film and TV production began in 2011 in Iceland, where I worked as a Junior Lighter on the full-CG stereoscopic feature film Legends of Valhalla: Thor. I remember one of the previews in the cinema and seeing my shot on the big screen. I felt butterflies, realizing how many people would see it in the cinema!

I finished my Master’s degree in Interior Design but spent a lot of time remotely freelancing as a 3D generalist for clients in Finland. When I finished my studies, I created my showreel and submitted it to studios all around the world. I heard back from Blue Zoo Animation and went to London to work on Digby Dragon in the lighting and comp department. Afterward, I joined the commercial department at MPC.

I now work as a 3D Artist at The Mill. I absolutely love working in advertising; I enjoy the dynamic challenge each project brings. I’m learning new things every day.

Samantha is a VFX Artist at The Mill, having worked her way up from Runner. She recently worked as Asset Lead on the Apex Legends cinematic trailers.

Samantha Pedregon: Getting into the industry was challenging. My demo reel needed work, so people weren’t hiring me, but I needed the experience to get better! Unpaid internships weren’t ideal, but I was desperate to learn and improve. After a few years of jumping around smaller studios and honing my craft, my friend had told me about The Mill and the runner positions they offered.

As a runner, I was part of the client services team that kept the studio running. That involved anything from going into suites with clients to take care of food/drink needs, running errands for projects, arranging team lunches, and more. I was involved with a lot of small tasks, but being a runner also helped me to meet a lot of people in different departments. I made friends in CG, and after three months they requested my help on a project during the busy Super Bowl season. They realized I had more than just beginner-level skillset! I proved myself on that job and was fortunate enough to stay in a Junior VFX Artist role. In this position, I contributed to background assets and camera tracking. That gave me a great foundational understanding of the creative process, which came in hugely beneficial following a promotion to my current role of VFX artist.

Read the full article on ftrack.