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VFX ProductionSystems Manager

VFX Production

The systems manager is responsible for the infrastructure and computer systems within a VFX/CG animation organisation. The manager will be in charge of a staff of pipeline technicians, programmers and database administrators.

The manager will need experience in areas such as technical support/operations as well as a good overview of the CG pipeline plus significant knowledge of the needs of a modern VFX/CG production house i.e. File size processing and space needs for the more Data intensive parts of the pipeline.  Ideally the manager will have wide experience in data governance and management.

This role is critical as it directly affects the ability of the entire studio to deliver work on time. The system manager’s input is key in providing adequate IT infrastructure to allow for quick turnaround changes from the client.

  • In collaboration with heads of department and the finance department the manager plans & develops the IT budget to maximise capacity whilst keeping down cost. This applies to hardware as well as software.
  • The manager liaises with key production staff to arrive at software purchase choices weighing up whether the software is fit for purpose with as well as cost effective
  • They will also guide the implementation of new technology to the studio.
  • The role requires the manager to constantly assesses the Artists/Technical Directors needs and whether the IT System of the studio meets those needs. This can include scheduling upgrades and performing backups of software and hardware.
  • The systems manager is also responsible for security and integrity of the content produced via the choice of software security and general security measures. This is a hot topic now in the era of content leaks to the internet.
  • Aside from duties above the systems manager also has day to day duties which are essential to the smooth operation of the studio. e.g. ensuring all support staff are trained adequately, crisis response plans are well planned and ready, studio organisational policy is developed and quality standards plus strategic planning is in place.

Is this role right for me?

To succeed at this job you need:

Experience in computer systems support, ideally in a lead role.

Experience managing people as an IT manager.

A Bachelor’s (BS) in Computer Science, MIS or in a field related to IT management. Excellent knowledge of technical management, information analysis and of computer hardware/software systems.

Knowledge of the VFX pipeline.

Ability to present clearly effectively various IT considerations to other managers/producers in a clear way to aid hardware/software choices.

Strong ability to work calmly under pressure, particularly in a storage/power outage crisis.

Solid organisational skills and ability to inspire and mentor junior staff.

Knowledge of the software utilised by artists and the advantages/ drawback of particular software choices.

Works with

  • Studio manager
  • Senior Production management
  • Artist managers
  • Line producers
  • VFX producers
  • Support managers
  • Production coordinators

Career Path for Systems Manager

Career Path: Work in the support team, building experience of systems, leading support team.