About Terrence Robertson-Fall
sculptor, engineer, visual effects artist
Here is my short Bio:
#Passion exhilarates me toward the fantastic.
I have been an artist all my life, always drawing cartoons and fantasy characters.
As a child, Star Wars changed everything.
I found creativity and passion in art, computers and engineering.
As an engineer, I designed electronics and software for Indycar racing engines, radar and satellite tracking systems, and built show cars.
As an artist, I have built animated characters for many blockbuster feature films.
I have an Indianapolis 500 Winners ring, three patents and worked on an Oscar nominated film.
My passions include my wife, sculpture, photography, auto racing, fantasy stories, and the wild outdoors.
A passionate life
I have been an artist all of my life, since I was a wee lad. I was always drawing horses, cartoons, fantasy characters, you name it. Then in 1977, while I was in elementary school, Star Wars hit the theaters. It changed my entire outlook on what was possible. Creating special effects for movies, animating miniature characters on film, the artwork needed to realize the filmmaker's vision, it was all so exciting. But it was a fledgling field without much opportunity for a kid in the Midwest.
Another new field, personal computers, sparked another passion. I learned to write complicated software programs in Junior High School, and that continued on through High School. I never stopped drawing, though, and found it was all creative, just in different ways. I then followed the family tradition of becoming an engineer. Working in the automotive field and finding yet another new passion.
I was fortunate enough to get involved in Delco Electronics' Indycar racing program. I was instrumental in helping Al Unser Jr. and the Penske Team win the 1994 Indianapolis 500. I then moved into research and development. This led to building and presenting show cars that exhibited the future of automotive electronics at international auto shows. I then moved to developing a vehicle based satellite tracking system for which we were awarded three patents. Between working the Indycar racing circuit and exhibiting show cars around the world, I found it was all kind of like show business. And that brought me back to that idea of working in visual effects.
I was living in Los Angeles while designing futuristic automotive electronics, right in the heart of the movie industry. Yet another new field had blossomed with the 1995 movie Toy Story. Computer based animation had arrived. I was adept at programming computers, and was an artist. I thought to myself, "I can do that!". So I got some animation software and as many books on the subject as I could find (the internet was kind of just blossoming too) and started to learn. I took a chance and quit my engineering job to work at a small animation company that created television commercials. It was fun, building and animating characters on screen like the yellow Walmart Smiley and the Comcast Digi. I kept learning on my own time, and eventually landed a job at Sony Pictures Imageworks.
My first film was the animated surfing flick Surf's Up. It was a blast and was nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar. In short time I became a Lead Character Setup artist, building main characters for the animation team and running teams of my own. I worked on the animated films Smurfs, Hotel Transylvania 2 and Storks, live action fantasy films Oz The Great and Powerful and Alice In Wonderland, and big action thrillers Edge of Tomorrow, The Amazing Spiderman 2 and Spiderman Homecoming. Building animated characters that could blend into fantasy worlds as well as the real world was exciting and gratifying, as well as an incredible challenge. I built the bird-like wings for Finley, the flying monkey in Oz The Great and Powerful. I sculpted hundreds of muscle shapes for the Smurfs and the digital stunt double for Spiderman, making them move believably on screen. We even fooled the Spiderman Homecoming director and lead actor into thinking one of our all-CG videos was real.
I still had my own ideas though. After spending years sculpting digital horses, little blue gnomes, dogs, cats, wings and people, I found that I needed to express my own ideas and thoughts in sculptures that could live outside of the big screen, off of the paper. I wanted my characters to occupy the real world with us, as well as tell stories that I thought were important. The characters that I help create for feature films tell fun and exciting stories, and I want my own sculpted characters to tell rich and inspiring stories.
I have experienced many passions throughout my life, each one an exciting new adventure that has enriched me. My characters all have that #Passion. They aren't static or indifferent. They are dynamic and full of emotion. I believe that #Passion exhilarates us toward the fantastic. It lifts us from the normal aspects of life and drives us into what is possible, or even impossible. As Lewis Carroll wrote in Alice in Wonderland, sometimes I think of six impossible things before breakfast. Impossible things are just a bigger challenge. #Passion overcomes challenges. It gives us a bold heart that overcomes adversity and keeps us going even when the going gets tough. #Passion makes you care. It connects us with those around us. Spreading kindness and joy makes a better and happier world.
I hope my characters can instill that passion in others, help them find their own #Passion.
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