career began in the spring of 1979 when left the Cal Arts
Character Animation program to work as an effects animator
at ILM in Marin County. Happily up to his neck in work, he
stayed awake for over 2 years straight with copious amounts
of coffee in order to contribute to the animation of visual
effects for The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of
the Lost Ark and Dragonslayer.
Tron started up production, recruiting him for a
position in which he designed and animated effects to simulate
computer animation. He stayed after completion to assist
the start of other projects until the coffee ran out.
an effort to pursue the new technologies, John went to MAGI
Synthavision, one of the pioneering early computer animation
houses. But the coffee wasn't very good and this stay was
short term. Leaving in April of 1983, he opened Available
Light Ltd. with fellow animator, Katherine Kean.
Light was a proving ground for new methods and techniques
for effects animation and was immediately pressed into service
handling overflow work for the major effects houses. This
enabled the fledgling company to earn credit on such pictures
as GhostBusters, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
and Willow. Clients included Apogee, Boss, Lucas
Film and Disney.
the company grew, it's reputation for creative solutions,
efficiency and cost effectiveness brought in projects directly
from the studios. These included the films Ghost,
Tales From The Crypt, Mortal Kombat, Stargate,
My Favorite Martian, and Miss Congeniality.
In the year 2000, after
a successful 18 year run, he made the decision to close
the doors of Available Light as a production facility. Unplugging
the coffee pot for the last time, he hit the road as an
independent effects supervisor and designer.
as an independent have included X-Men, and Hart's
War. He now finds new and interesting places to buy
his coffee while on the road.
©2007 John Van Vliet. All Rights Reserved.