SAE Oxford graduate Amber Ronaldson tells us about her work on Wes Anderson film

06 Sep 2019

We spoke to award-winning SAE Oxford Digital Film Production alumna, Amber Ronaldson, about her work as a VFX Production Assistant for the Moving Picture Company.  

Since graduating she has worked on films such as Isle of Dogs, directed by Wes Anderson. We asked Amber to tell us a bit about her experiences at SAE and her day to day role. 

Could you tell us a bit about your current role, such as your day to day duties? 

My role involves administrative duties including checking artists’ timesheets, booking meetings, notetaking in client reviews, also making sure shots are sent to be delivered to clients. 

How did your studies at SAE help you secure this role?

The Digital Film Production course at SAE gave me knowledge of the technical aspects of VFX. 

What was your favourite aspect of the Film course at SAE? 

My favourite aspect of the film course was how hands on it was. We spent a lot of time working with the cameras, Steadicam operating and using the editing and colour grading suites. 

If you had to describe your experience at SAE in one sentence, what would you say? 

I cherish my memories of my time at SAE; it was a lot of fun. 

Have you won any awards for your creative work? 

I won a Best Film award at Middlesborough Film Festival for my student film at SAE. 

Interdiction TRAILER from Erimus-Productions on Vimeo.

What was your student film concept? 

My student film 'Interdiction' was based on a poem by Robert Browning called Porphyria's Lover. It is set in 19th century Russia and tells the tale of two women, who have been found out that they are lovers. This short film delves into their last night together. 

Do you have any advice for SAE students who would want to follow in your footsteps?

There’s nothing wrong with starting from the bottom and working your way up. It’s actually better. 

Why is it better? 

I think a lot of students want to start working in their preferred job position right away and get disheartened when that doesn't become the case. I spent a lot of time working up to the position that I am in now compared to some who already have contacts and connections in the industry. I started out as a runner and with my work ethic, passion, hospitality, knowledge and willingness to learn more, I became someone that people could trust and want to work with again and again. This, in turn, led me to becoming promoted and also being considered a valuable part of the company. 

What’s next for you? 

I’m doing freelance work on set, continuing from my experience of working on the set of Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson) 

What did your role on Isle of Dogs involve? 

When working on Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs, I was in the Puppets Department helping with the wrap of the film. I created a database for all the materials to be uploaded to, where photographs and measurements of the puppets needed to be taken and documents scanned in. This could then be used for a Behind The Scenes book or a future sequel. 

Connect with Amber on LinkedIn