The Focus is conducting a series of interviews with VFX professionals from all over the world who moved to various locations for their careers. In these interviews, they will talk about their decision to move as well as their work and life in a new city. ‘Bangalore in Focus’ will feature VFX professionals who moved to Bangalore, India.
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Jamie Wong is a Compositing Supervisor based out of MPC Film’s Vancouver office. He spent nine months in Bangalore as a 2D Supervisor and agreed to share his experiences of living in India.
He has worked out of many of MPC FIlm’s studios, but even for him moving to Bangalore was an exciting and fulfilling adventure.
What is your name, job title, where are you from and how long did you live in Bangalore?
My name is Jamie ‘Yubu’ Wong, I’m from Liverpool, and am now 2D Compositing Supervisor in Vancouver. I lived in Bangalore for nine months.
Where were you living before starting with in Bangalore?
I lived in London (England) for five years, Montreal (Canada) for one year and then Vancouver (Canada) for two years before moving to Bangalore.
What was moving to Bangalore like?
It was definitely eye opening. Adapting to another language and culture is always going to be an interesting challenge. Everyone out there were really friendly and always offered their time and advice. English was the only language I was able to communicate with so I was very much reliant on my co-workers for help. They helped me acquire a sim card for my phone and helped direct me to the best food and shopping places. My move was made very comfortable, partly thanks to the people I met along the way.
What did you know about Bangalore before moving and how did that change during your time there?
I knew absolutely nothing about Bangalore before I moved there! Being thrown into a world I had little knowledge about opened my eyes to the fascinating culture that exists in India. I had to adapt to a new environment and its cultural and social norms, which differed from any other city I’ve lived in previously. I learned more about Indian food, traditions and lifestyle.
Whilst living there I learned about the roughly 22 different languages and the many dialects in India, and found it fascinating how one individual could say they knew 10 languages…
What was your favourite thing to do in Bangalore?
As a British person, I enjoy my cups of tea. After trying the many delicious varieties of teas in India, there was one that will always be memorable. One of my colleagues took me to a tea store not far from the studio. The milky tea was freshly brewed and served in an unglazed clay cup topped with saffron spice. The flavour was exquisite, I have not come across a flavour like that anywhere else in in my travels. I even kept the first cup I ever drank it from.
What’s the most memorable experience you had there?
Viewing the sights and working in another country is always a memorable experience. However, as I was preparing my departure from India, I received a few emails from my team telling me what a valuable impact I had on their growth as artists. This is something any mentor would cherish. Sometimes when you are so focused on getting the work done, it’s easy to forget the impact you can have on your team members.
What did you love most about the city?
The varieties of food and restaurants I was able to try. From main courses to desserts and even continental breakfasts, Bangalore is not short on excellent food. Also almost every month there was some sort of festival. I was just very sad to have had missed ‘holi.’
What was your favourite memory at work in Bangalore?
Starting my third day of work in India, standing front and centre in a theatre room introducing myself to my Godzilla: King of The Monsters compositing team. As I spoke, my mind separated from my train of thought and a spontaneous feeling of excited emerged. “I’m in another country…. I’m in India — this is so cool!” That moment of self-realisation that one of my dreams had suddenly been made a reality… “Nice to meet you all. I’m your new 2D Supervisor here at MPC FIlm.”
“Viewing the sights and working in another country is always a memorable experience.”
What do you like most about Indian cuisine?
Nice and spicy, although some dishes can almost be too spicy… I liked the variety of the curry — who knew there could be so many different variations? The most interesting visual curry was a green chicken curry. I believe it was hariyali green chicken curry — the chicken being green from being marinated in fenugreek leaves and coriander. I also loved shawarmas and tamarind grilled chicken…
How does the culture at MPC Bangalore differ from other sites?
For myself when work culture is involved, the camaraderie and support of fellow colleagues is one of the stronger aspects I value in every MPC Film location. Everyone does their best to look after the person on their left and their right.
Who would recommend Bangalore to?
People looking for an adventure.— thefocus.com