Media Production House

Gary Fedorenko – Visual Effects (VFX) Supervisor

VFX supervisor Gary Fedorenko

Table of Contents

Hello, my name is Gary. I started my career in 2012 as a visual effects artist. Now I am a Visual Effects (VFX) supervisor, and in this position, I participated in the creation of the feature film: Yellow Bus (2023). Inspector Jamshed (2023).

Music videos such as DJ Bhediya X Bandi Piya AA (2020),  Molham feat. Dyler – SUKKAR (2022).

Baltic Buves (2014), Soultrotter’s Nobody (2016), EXPO2020: Be There (2019), 49th UAE National Day (2020), Hamaki x Fortnite (2022), and numerous commercials and promo videos.

Throughout this article, I will discuss the features of the connection between the computer graphics workshop and the film set, as well as the importance of an intermediary between the digital and film worlds. It’s about the VFX Supervisor. What is the role of this specialist in film production? Can the project be done without his services at the pre-production and production stages? Let’s see if we can figure it out.

Who is a visual effects (VFX) supervisor and what does he do?

VFX Supervisors are all about creativity and making the impossible happen. In practice, what does this mean? Sit down with the film or advertising departments and figure out what kind of scenery you need. Also, you have to decide what computer graphics to use. Is it necessary to replace costumes? Can we shoot from a helicopter or a drone?

In the script, when you reach the part where it says: “… and then the 20-meter robot breaks part of the wall and grabs the actor…”, everyone looks at the supervisor and asks: “how are we going to do this?” He has to answer.

When a special effects supervisor is lucky, he gets a script to digest, and he can plan everything and hit everything on stage. Sometimes the studio already has the special effects plan. However, it’s the supervisor’s job to decide what can be done.

So he can implement what was thought out based on the scenario, he has to figure out how and what to do, as well as what methods will be effective.

VFX supervisor Gary Fedorenko

VFX supervisors' next steps after pre-production

As soon as the pre-production stage is complete, the production stage begins, that is, the shooting of the video advertisement or the film. Supervisors ensure that everything is filmed correctly and in a way that avoids causing headaches for visual effects specialists later in the process (in post-production).

A blue screen is supposed to appear before filming so you can superimpose various shots.

In video production, the supervisor has to work closely with the director, videographer, art director, costume department, and other departments.

Adding special effects on top of the footage is crucial to making the footage look realistic.


On a project, the VFX Supervisor starts when the script is approved. The heads of departments meet to talk about the shooting with the director, cameraman, executive, or line producer. At this stage, we discuss topics like shooting locations, costumes, stunt tricks, props, artistic decisions of scenes, filming methods, and filming equipment for each scene. Immediately, storyboards are made based on the results of discussions, and, most importantly, methods for solving computer graphics problems.

Individual script reading of CG scenes

VFX Supervisors can save a lot of time by doing individual readings for CG scenes. This is instead of attending to readings every day for a week or two throughout the discussion of all scenes. This is regardless of whether they have CG shots in them. Computer graphics readings are more productive – after all, only departments that directly involve themselves in CG scenes should be presented. In readings, it becomes clear how and by what means the director’s tasks can be solved. In one scene, the character meets his stunt double. Either you need a motion control system, or you shoot with a tripod.

The moment of compromise between the director and the producer is critical here, because a motion control system costs a lot of money per shift, and shooting a camera from a tripod may not be suitable for emotional and artistic tasks for a director or cameraman. You can order a programmable slider, but there may also be risks of a poor-quality trajectory. There are options to order motion control of previous generations, which can be quite inexpensive. In one of my last projects, this system failed to work very well – the software periodically crashed, and the focus control electric drive stopped working, so the Magician focus puller had to manually control the focus during all takes.

As a result of this situation, the filming shift slipped off schedule for several hours. The material for further CG work turned out to be of poor quality. By discussing the available experience, we can come to a compromise around the prevailing issues. After reading the scenes with graphics, a preliminary estimate is drawn up, based on the producer’s understanding of the approximate cost for CG production.

VFX supervisor's problem solving

Unexpected things happen, though. A producer decided to shoot car drives against LED panels instead of chromakey on one project. The answer is obvious and right if you have a lot of scenes like that. LED panels look more natural and better quality than chroma keys, and don’t require any post-production work. However, certain things need to be done before filming. Shooting backgrounds and getting high-quality stabilization is what I’m talking about.

It’s also important for the director of photography to have certain skills.In contrast to chromakey drives, all the work that would have gone into post-production is done by the film crew on set.There’s the positioning of the backgrounds, their color and gamma correction, and the inability to mount the backgrounds on the set. It’s all time-consuming.

The use of LED panels with a low refresh rate is another nuance that can be seen on the set. Micro-lags and a strobe feel appear on such panels when shooting side-views from a car. This happened to me when I had to fix footage that was already there. We rotoscoped all the scenes shot on LED panels, correctly positioning the backgrounds in terms of size, height, speed, and color.

As a result, when discussing possible ways to shoot computer graphics scenes at readings, it’s important to explain the nuances, based on their experience, and to pick an option that’s less expensive and also works well with such material in post-production.

The next stage in production is production, shooting itself. The beginning of this period implies that the tasks in all CG scenes are agreed upon and fixed. In addition, the technical requirements for them are written and all the workshops involved in these scenes are informed and ready for shooting. For shooting scenes where the result is not entirely clear or unforeseen situations may arise, test shootings are often ordered, for example, by the second unit. On one of the projects, I developed a method for applying markers to match moving in a dark scenery. Later, CG was required to fill the interior with smoke and fire. The markers were colored LEDs that could work in a dark interior through a dense haze of props filled with smoke from a smoke machine. At the moment when the scenery was ready, tests were carried out with the involvement of a second unit, pyrotechnicians, and understudies of actors. The results of the filming successfully passed the tests on match moving and simulation of fire and smoke. Verdict – according to the technology I developed, it was possible to shoot such scenes under computer graphics.

In a film crew, teamwork is often about compromises that weren’t discussed. It’s because of the lack of filming time. CGI scenes need more time than conventional scenes, but not all producers agree. Quite often, there are projects with enough time for shooting and you enjoy the work.

VFX supervision and stunt action crew

One day, on the set of the stuntman’s fall,a strange problem happened. The camera is at the level of the 5th-floor balcony, directed downwards, perpendicular to the ground, and should come down with the stuntman. According to the creative team, the stuntman was supposed to fall from the balcony facing the camera and with his back to the ground, and the CG team had to remove cables and safety equipment. The stuntman was put on a safety belt, ropes were attached to the belt, and ropes were attached to the belt. But in each take, the stuntman rotated around the axis of the belt when he fell. They tried to fix it with stretch marks, tied to the leg and the body, but it did not get any better.


The time allocated for this shot was 10 minutes. The director and the second director agreed to shoot this frame differently. While the camera filmed the fall plate without a stuntman, I prepared a chroma key and an apple box. Having spread the chroma key on the ground, I put the apple box. The stuntman lay down on it with his back at waist level and regained his balance. We made it to the time we were allocated to shoot that day.

VFX supervision tools, gear, and equipment

VFX supervisor Middle East

It is wonderful to see the computer graphics industry’s progress and technical development. If I came to the first shoot with a camera and a set of tapes, every year the set for getting to the shooting became more and more. What is now included in the equipment package of the VFX Supervisor in my person on site? These are a copter, a camera with a set of lenses, a tripod for the camera and a tripod for light, a panoramic head for shooting spherical HDRI, a laptop with a charger, an external SSD, a chromakey, a grid for shooting optical distortions of optics, a set of markers for match moving of different sizes and LEDs, batteries, a flashlight, a laser, and a regular tape measure, a laser pointer, tapes of various colors and sizes, tool kits, fastener kits, strings, foam balls of various sizes, tennis balls. Sometimes you look at all this and think many of the items in the package were taken from the illusionist’s set.


But in fact, our computer graphics crew are real illusionists. We help the viewer experience emotions, be surprised, and rejoice. I note that not only for the audience but also for the film crew, we are also illusionists. It is not obvious why VFX Supervisors intervene in the filming process, forgive the location change, demand a retake, arrange balls, request chroma key stories, or change lighting, but they trust you. I would like to thank them for their understanding and trust.


Media Production House

Let’s Get Started?

2D Motion Graphics Services

Content Creation [$%^&* $^%$}"^%#] Social Media [$%&@) &*$#*^#] visual effects [%#{}")&*(&^%#%*] motion graphics [$%^&* $^%}"I&^%#] video production [%#{}")&*(&^%#%*]