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REALTIMERS: Shannon Moran, VFX Editor

22 November 2022

If there’s one thing we love more than VFX, it’s our team. REALTIMERS is a chance to showcase the amazing people behind the pixels to see what makes them tick.

Meet Shannon, our VFX editor, who discovered her love for video editing in her high-school glee club, of all places. 

Name & job title:
Shannon Moran – VFX Editor

Where do you fit in?
I am the revolving door at REALTIME, starting with getting footage in the building, working with pipeline and other teams to get it to artists and then checking the final product and sending footage out to clients. Then making some cheeky reels after for marketing.

How did you get your start in the industry?
It’s a very magical mystery tour. I started self-taught in high school teaching myself offline editing then making silly videos, after a failed career in Theatre in college I changed majors and got into film editing. I worked in Offline TV in Denver Colorado before moving to the UK to continue my studies at the Met Film School in Visual Effects and Animation. While working there as a technical support took that self-taught attitude I found an online class in a new software at the time called “Hiero” that combined my love of Editing and VFX. Talked on a few message boards and got the eye of advertising at Framestore, and that was all she wrote. I worked there for 6 months as a sort of baptism by fire of what to do (and not do – I made a lot of rookie mistakes) as a VFX editor. Then worked at Moving Picture Company for four and a half years, three of them I was the PR VFX Editor where I was responsible for everything showreel and promotion of the company and award reel submissions, and created and produced (along with others from editorial) a show called Monthlies. Later my role moved to LA but was taken on board as a VFX editor once again for The Lion King. Moved to DNEG to work on TV and landed working on the show Dark Cystal, then following year was lead VFX editor on Netflix’s “Cursed”. The pandemic happened….and then found the team here at REALTIME. 

Your superpower?
That one is easy. Teleportation. After being a commuter for 7 years from Brighton to London I just can’t do it anymore and I would also save on travel to the States and see my family more. Fancy going to Mom and Dad’s for Dinner (snap finger) poof in America, then poof back in UK to finish work.

What inspires you on the day-to-day?
The need to create something. Sometimes (usually at the most inconvenient time) I will see an idea for a trailer, reel, animation, something. and within an hour have made something or planned it all out. Sometimes it comes out great and makes me go “wow did I really make that?” and other times I will be like “woof that was crap” but I’ve gotten that creative energy out and I feel exhilarated.

My desert island film / TV show / animation / game / artform / piece of artwork is:
OH, wow I’m so bad at these. I just recently finally was able to answer the “what song would you play to save yourself from Vecna” (Little stranger things reference) – So sadly don’t have a really profound answer like “oh I would take Atlas Shrugged or the works of Salvador Dali” unfortunately my interests and inspirations change so frequently.

Your soundtrack whilst working:
If I need to solve an issue – probably a beautiful mind soundtrack. If it’s just plug and chug getting sends and turn over done, some EDM Remix playlist on YouTube or my feel-good playlist. Something with a steady beats per minute to keep my focus 

If you could work with anyone who?
Maybe not a who, but more a what. One day I just want to work on a Star Wars project in some capacity. I’ve come close a couple times, and I’m ever hopeful now with TV VFX and things. I’ve been blessed to worked with some amazing creatives already. So yeah, something Star Wars or Jurassic Park.

If not this, then what?
I’ve always had a backup plan if editing never worked out. I loved the idea of hands can be healing. So, I toyed with the idea of a massage therapist or sports medicine of some kind. I come from 5 generations of nurses so medical has always been in my blood. 

REALTIME came at a good time for me and my family. Right at the middle of the pandemic, the idea of an Editorial Job being working from home seemed inconceivable before 2020. Like stated before commuting for 7 years and the hours was really taking a toll on work/life balance and I was thinking that I need to make a hard choice and walk away from the industry. But I feel REALTIME has shown that life after pandemic there is a place for hybrid and a work at home culture. This year (2022) has been a growing and learning period for REALTIME but I feel like it’s the combination of work/life balance that I need. 

People would be surprised that
I was in Glee Club in high school before Glee club was cool by the TV show. We called it show choir and I absolutely love to sing and dance and contemplated going into musical theatre. Funnily enough, going to a show choir camp (yes, they did exist) was what got me into video editing as someone did a scrapbook video and I hunted the person down (thank you again Jamie wherever you are) and asked him a million questions and he said all you need is a “firewire cable and record on a minDV tape” and the rest was history. (And yes, I’m that old my start was before tapeless media)

Advice you’d give yourself if you were just starting out?
That a Career doesn’t define you as a person. I am not just VFX Editor Shannon, no I am much more than that.