Karen Heston : Effecting The Story

Karen began her career in the fast-paced advertising world of NYC as a flame artist & on-set VFX Supervisor. Her TV clients included GE, Pepsi, Macy's, Comcast, Maybelline, and L'Oreal. Working with these brands, Karen honed her eye so that she could help directors tell a story in the most effective way possible. During her work in NYC, her commercial spots received CLIO and ADDY awards.

Karen re-located to Los Angeles in 2010 to work on features for Sony including; Arthur ChristmasSpider ManGreen LanternOZ, and Smurfs 2.

In 2014 Karen opened her own studio; Siren Lab Productions and took on the role of VFX Post-Supervisor and VFX Producer for BEASTS of NO NATION (dir. Carrie Fukunaga) for Netflix. She oversaw a team artists, outsourced vendors, and freelancers to crank through 300 shots which included explosions, squib removal, set extensions, CGI effects and explosions. 

Presently she is the VFX Supervisor & VFX producer on Ocean’s 8 (dir. Gary Ross) for Warner Bros.  She helps the director by doing temp comps on set and in the cutting room, so he can see what is possible for complicated scenes. She also directed the 2nd unit VFX plate shoot.

She holds a BA from NYU in Film & Television and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. She also attended Savannah College of Art and Design where she studied photography under an Ansel Adams apprentice.  She is a regular speaker at the DGA and looks forward to sharing her story with the new vfx artists. 

In this seminar, Karen will take us through the component of filmmaking that can turn reality into fiction and fiction into reality - Visual Effects (VFX). Through sharing some of her experiences in the realm of visual effects, Karen will demystify some of cinema's magic by sharing a few techniques and ultimately revealing how she has been successfully Effecting The Story.



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