Our Legacy is Our Future | Creative Director, Jeffrey Dates discusses new technologies at The Mill

At The Mill, a Technicolor Creative Studio company, we know Our Legacy is Our Future. Read insightful interviews & conversations with leading studio talent and industry experts, past and present. The series explores our rich legacy in Visual Effects and the future of creative visual arts.
Thought October 13, 2022

What iconic work led you to a career at The Mill? 

Well, at the risk of aging myself, that “Ah-Ha!” moment was when I watched Jurassic Park for the first time.  I was about to enter University to become an Architect when I realized that it was someone’s job to make Dinosaurs.  Why couldn’t it be my job?   So with that, I set out to learn how I could get into VFX.  Several years later, I started at The Mill as a Senior VFX Supervisor working on all manner of creatures.  But to this day I’ve still never made a Dinosaur.  So I’m keeping that candle of hope burning!

What cultural signifiers help define The Mill brand?  

I feel our innovation and creative curiosity mixed with our enthusiasm for new perspectives and voices give our experience and artistry their success and influence.  It’s easy to look back over the history of The Mill’s legacy and see the cultural influences that explode with each tentpole project we released.  

What are your expectations for The Mill now that we are a part of Technicolor Creative Studios’ global network of creatives?

As a creative and director, my expectations are to embrace all the talent that has folded together in all spheres! I’m looking forward to leveraging the global power of TCS to service the projects I’m concepting and directing in partnership with my clients.  We just got a huge Level-Up; you better believe I’m going to take advantage of it!  

As we look to the future, what are your hopes for The Mill – its people and our role in the creative industry? 

I hope we continue to lead in the VFX sphere, as well as plant our flag squarely as innovators in all the new areas rapidly defining themselves in our industry.  Areas like Virtual Production, Realtime production, and Machine Learning are all growing at an exponential rate and The Mill has been leading the charge as creative leaders in these areas and will continue to do so.

Are there any technical or creative advancements you hope we will lead?

Our innovations in Virtual Production, Realtime Production, and Machine Learning are already a few years in, I feel that we are positioned to continue being on the forefront of these spheres, and how they apply to creative campaigns and stories for our clients.  All the advancements allow us to be better storytellers and creatives which strengthens our ability to deliver exciting and fantastic work for our clients.

Stay tuned for more insights from our team of talented artists, producers, directors, and creative technologists. Watch the ‘Our Legacy is Our Future’ series here. View more of Jeff’s work on his website and follow him on Instagram @jeffreydates.