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Sunday, July 21, 2024

“It’s Fun to Shut the Door in the Air!”

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Visual effects artist Kyung-soo Min is posing in front of the Doctor Strange poster in the lobby of his company.

“I’ve always been a game maniac. My dream to this day is to make games.”
The Korea Daily met with Kyoungsoo Min, a model texture artist at Santa Monica-based visual effects company Luma Pictures.

Having grown up as a self-proclaimed “video game maniac,” Min was inspired by the introduction footage of the video games. To this day, his job is entirely based on developing those types of artwork.

Min’s job is essentially to make fictitious creatures in the middle of the air.

In other words, every time an actor pretends like he is opening a door in front of the chroma key, Min’s job is to draw up a door that will go into completing the film. It may sound easy, but it is a task that requires time and endless ideation.

“It’s obviously hard to draw something that doesn’t exist,” Min said. “But I’m more amused by the actors who can pull off scenes without a tangible object.”

Min draws a variety of artwork. His job entails not only creating things that already exist in the world, but also certain things that may not be present in reality.

Avengers, Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Deadpool, Captain America, Doctor Strange and Insurgent are among the 14 films Min has taken part in. At first, his name was not even included in the credits. However, his name is included in the credits for Doctor Strange, an Academy Award nominee for Best Visual Effects.

“It was big that the movie was among the five nominees, even though we couldn’t win the award,” Min said. “It was an honor. I felt rewarded for the efforts I’ve made for the last year or so.”

Notably, Min was one of the main contributors for a Doctor Strange scene, which depicts several worlds of imagination overlapping each other.
in said that although he is honored to be part of a film that was nominated for Academy Awards, he personally has stronger attachment to Ant-Man as it is a film that featured his name in the credits for the first time. The most difficult film to work on for him was Insurgent.

“I had to create a completely depleted Chicago,” Min said. “I drew Chicago in its entirety and destroy a lot of buildings. The workload was extreme.”

Min added: “I was overwhelmed by the workload that came with having to demolish a metropolitan city. I wrestled with thousands of trees, hundreds of buildings and streets with a team of 10 people. You can even see the work on my website.”

The Korea Daily then asked Min to give an advice to those who have aspirations to become a visual effects artist.

“I encourage people to jump into something if it’s something that they want,” Min said. “Even though it may be difficult, you will obviously try harder if you have fun with it. When you do that, you will eventually start doing a good job at it.”

Min enrolled at an art school at a fairly late stage of his life at 28, but said that he found his way to success by focusing on what he truly wanted in life.

Additionally, Min explained that the visual effects industry is meticulously categorized and that it is only natural for students to take a lengthy period of time to choose their path. All in all, Min’s advice for them is to start creating any artwork as soon as possible.

Min still has another dream that he has yet to fulfill. That is to realize his vision of making a games, which has been his inspiration since he was a child. Min is still studying to fulfill his dream to this day and does not agree with the preconceived notion that children can become violent if they play video games excessively. He added that playing video games has played a huge part in developing his imagination and creativity.

Currently, Min is part of the team that is producing Spider-Man: Homecoming.

By Byung Chang