Manuel Reyes Halaby VFX Supervisor

Jellyfish Pictures at 20 - Walk Down Memory Lane with Manu Reyes

Each month we're going to be taking a walk down memory lane with one of our awesome talent. Kicking us off for the series is VFX Supervisor, Manu Reyes.

When did you join Jellyfish Pictures and how has it changed in that time?

I joined in June 2016. Back then, the animation division of the company had just wrapped up Floogals season one and Dennis and Gnasher: Unleashed! was about to kick off. The bulk of the company was based in our old Margaret St. office, and the Oval offices weren’t open yet. Now we have a massive new office in Brixton, and everyone is working with virtual workstations. What a change!

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What are your top three projects you’ve worked on whilst at Jellyfish and why?

As a supervisor I work on fewer projects than artists, since I am on them from beginning to end, so this one’s easy to answer: the shows I have supervised!

Bitz and Bob. The first TV series I supervised at JF. We were the first ones to use the offices in Oval, and also the first team using the virtual workstation system that’s now become the company’s signature tech. The show ran really smoothly and it was a great experience.

How to Train your Dragon Homecoming. Our first project collaborating with DreamWorks Animation. Overall an incredible experience and an honour being able to contribute to such a huge franchise. And we won an Annie Award!

Spirit Untamed. Jellyfish’s first animated feature film, also with DreamWorks as a client. Our biggest project ever, that made the team grow to over 300 people. It was a tough project, given all the pandemic circumstances, but we managed to finish the movie in time and met a lot of brilliant people along the way.

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What has working at Jellyfish taught you?

Quite a few things! One of them is that when the team is motivated, they will overcome any budget or time limitation and go the extra mile to make the project a success.

What makes you love working at Jellyfish?

The company has grown to a considerable size, but it still has the vibe of a smaller company, where anyone can suggest ideas or have a coffee break with some of the directors. Also, seeing the evolution throughout the last five years, I feel that my input has greatly contributed to the company’s success. That feeling makes me feel useful and motivated.

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What's your favourite Jellyfish memory?

There are a bunch of great moments, but one of the biggest highlights has to be our trip to Los Angeles to attend the Annie Awards ceremony, and getting one of the awards that night. The experience was truly remarkable.

What makes you excited about Jellyfish’s future?

Every project I have worked on since I joined the company has meant a massive jump in quality and team size, so I can’t wait to see what comes up next!

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