Creating Something from Nothing: A Conversation with ARTEM Founder and SFX Supervisor and Mike Kelt
With 28 years’ experience producing effects, props and sets for film and TV, ARTEM have an extensive portfolio which includes work in live events, exhibitions and visitor attractions. Their creative problem-solving enables them to bring their clients’ ideas to life.
Whatever your vision, no matter how big or small, ARTEM can bring it to life.
The Fan Carpet had the pleasure of Speaking with Mike Kelt, the CEO, Founder and SFX Supervisor of ARTEM, he is also a tireless advocate of the British film industry.
Was there a defining moment for you to pursue Special Effects as a career path within the industry?
I didn’t choose to enter Special Effects, but rather got into by accident after applying for two temporary jobs at the BBC in London. I was working in Scotland and thought it might be nice to spend six months in the ‘Big Smoke’. Both jobs sounded as if they were within the Set Design department, as it was then known – I got an interview for the one that turned out to be in the SFX department. To cut a long story very short, despite being two hours late for the interview due to snow on the tracks from Glasgow, and answering some questions completely wrong, I got the job!
Can you name three movies that you look to for the Special Effects that have taught you something or strive to aspire to?
There are a few movies that mark turning points in Special Effect. For me, 2001 and the original Star Wars showed what could be done using traditional techniques, such as miniatures filming; Terminator 2 made audiences sit up and take notice of digital possibilities with the liquid metal Terminator; and Jurassic Park was important because it put an end to Ray Harryhausen’s puppets!
How do you help Actors better understand and visualise the Effects you use in order to give the performance needed?
We create Physical SFX (as opposed to Digital VFX) and I assume you are referring to acting in a process screen environment. I always feel sorry for the actors in those situations as it must be difficult to get into a performance. With physical effects, what’s happening around you is for real – but we often still have to carefully explain what we are doing, as it can come as a bit of a shock. When you ‘shoot’ actors dead, for example, there can be blood everywhere!
To find out more about ARTEM visit the Official Website.