Jacquelyn Racine is an experienced VFX Coordinator, She facilitates smooth production workflow through efficient task and resource management for visual effects in some of today’s biggest films. Jacquelyn is known in the industry for the ability to establish priorities and multitask efficiently in fast-paced environments.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I have always been fascinated by the film industry as a whole. I watched movies and television series seeking to understand how a masterpiece could be created from an idea. To me, it signifies the fruits of labor and cooperative effort among a production team. As time went on, I became more intrigued by the visual effects department specifically, and how it embodies the marriage of technology and creativity. Learning more about the visual effects industry gave me an understanding of the production process from an entirely different perspective. As technology changes, visual effects need to stay on trend and ahead of the curb. Learning all this made me want to serve an integral role on the frontier of advancements in film.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I don’t really have a typical day in that my work varies constantly. Working in production, you have to be prepared to handle any new challenges or obstacles daily. I anticipate changes to my schedule and troubleshoot any issues as they arise. I support my productivity by tenaciously maintaining a “to do” and “pending” list. I am perpetually updating and organizing my email inbox, evaluating the needs for the day. This helps me focus my energy on the high-priority, time-sensitive tasks.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Many people in my life would describe me as ambitious. I am dedicated to my objectives and work hard to achieve them. I have always spoken my intent into existence through my determination and perseverance to make my dreams a reality. I have a goal, and my ambition is the driving force that projects me forward.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that’s been surfacing in the online community is a deep appreciation for a film’s before & after VFX reel. Videos and images of this process are being posted more and more, showcasing the amazing performances achieved by the visual effects department. These VFX breakdowns illustrate the range and scope of work that is computer generated by an entire team of artists. With these videos accessible online for a wide audience, it educates our community on how much is altered during post production. This trend is a testament to how integral visual effects is to filmmaking in the modern era.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
In visual effects, like life, it’s about being adaptable. The industry is constantly shifting and evolving, updating itself in tandem with new software releases to stay nimble. I am always willing to embrace new challenges to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of film. When faced with an obstacle, it just increases my determination to work hard to overcome it. I am a big picture thinker, with a deep appreciation for the collaborative effort; capable of seeing how small distinct parts come together to form a greater final product. I have the necessary skills required for my position but I am also constantly working to develop new ones. I am passionate about innovation in VFX and I want to play a role in the advancement of film.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Dream big and don’t let the fear of failing stand in your way. I have always been a pragmatic thinker, solving problems with logic and sense. But sometimes our passions cannot be rationalized. I used to believe that what I wanted for my life was unreasonable and unrealistic. I was afraid of failing or making a mistake – so I scared myself from even trying. Once I started imagining my goals could be a reality and acknowledged them out loud, things started falling into place around me. My family & friends have supported my ambition wholeheartedly, and I trusted that if I worked hard enough, anything could be achieved.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
In certain instances, taking hand-written notes is a more effective organizational method. I like to write my notes out in a notebook and then transcribe them to my laptop. This helps me re-read and memorize the key pieces of information I need to recall.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Consume new content – film, TV, mini-series, documentaries, etc. Keep watching and educating yourself about our industry in all its facets. There are so many storytelling methods & techniques we can learn from. Stay current and aware of the type of content audiences are consuming.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Make strong connections wherever you go and leave a positive long-lasting impression. I know from experience that the film industry, and the visual effects industry for that matter, is very small. Everyone is interconnected in one way or another and you should never burn any bridges. You never know who the next person could be to support your career. You always want to grow your network and nourish those relationships.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The film industry as a whole, is not a career for the faint of heart. It takes constant dedication and determination in the face of adversity. I have faced many roadblocks along the path to achieving my goals. There hasn’t been one distinct failure, per se, but rather a multitude of challenges and obstacles to overcome. At the start of my career, I worked in administration for a visual effects studio, but I knew I wanted more. I wanted to explore the VFX production process and challenge myself. I had to prove my worth within the industry, to be considered for a different role. I was considered against people with more experience, the best education and technological expertise. I didn’t let that intimidate me, in fact it fueled me to fulfil my dreams. I persevered and showed my dedication to the craft, leading me to reach new heights in my career where I continue to push even further.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A business that would be highly sought-after in the VFX industry is an application that assists in breaking down a script. By that I mean – a software that you import a script into; it dissects the scene headings, action beats and dialogue; and spits out the information into an excel document. This would be a major time-saver for any production team member in the VFX field. Also, if it is a new draft of the same script – the software determines the distinct changes and parses that out by highlighting the new sections in the excel sheet.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The most recent purchase I made for over $100, was an office chair. Upon starting my remote work, I quickly realized that my set-up was not up to the standards I required for work. I invested in the comfort of my home office and will insist it was money well spent.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
As a VFX production team member, I am constantly using Microsoft Office Suite to create and maintain tracking documents for all our projects. Recently, the most effective tool for communication and live document editing has been Microsoft Teams. Similarly to Slack, Microsoft Teams includes direct messaging and project-specific channels. However, the biggest benefit to Teams is the application integration and file storage. You can upload a document to the application (Word, Excel, etc.) and edit simultaneously with other team members. This has proven invaluable while working remotely, ensuring that all parties involved have the latest information at their fingertips.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I am currently reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle Melton. I believe this is an important book for all women to read in order to understand their own power. So often we ignore our inner voice and get caught up worrying about external forces rather than our own self. This book has helped me re-center and balance the boundaries in my life.
What is your favorite quote?
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
● Don’t be afraid of ambition, embrace it.
● Make and maintain positive relationships everywhere you go.
● Learn and evolve concurrently with technology; you won’t regret it.
● Trust in your abilities. You have the tools, apply them.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.