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REALTIMERS: Matt Gardner, HR Manager

04 August 2023
This week, we meet our newly promoted HR Manager, Matt Gardner, who alongside being a HR whiz, is a trained butcher and fishmonger, with a degree in mathematics to boot!

Name & job title:

Matt Gardner, HR Manager


Where do you fit in?

My role spreads across the whole company, fitting in when and where needed. HR is there to oversee most parts of the employee lifecycle (with support from the fantastic Skills & Development and Talent Teams), from onboarding, to pay, to benefits, to offboarding and so on.


How did you get your start in the industry?

Although I’ve been in HR & Admin roles for quite a while, this is actually my first role in the VFX industry! I’m an avid gamer, so to be able to work in a role I love for a company that does something I feel so passionately about is extremely fulfilling!


Your superpower?

Definitely learning. I’ve always been the kind of person who is looking to learn new things, and I’ve previously been told my brain is like a sponge (I’m assuming this was a compliment)! After finishing university, I definitely felt like my brain was missing the stimulation, so I ended up studying through apprenticeships, learning more hands-on skills, and got into some random hobbies in my free time (this ranges wildly from things like learning to crochet to sitting and watching 3 hour videos about astrophysics, pandemics, or the god particle), and even recently studying Korean!


What inspires you on the day-to-day?

I’m a very empathetic person, so knowing that I’m making people’s lives better or easier or giving people the chance to feel listened to plays a big role in getting me motivated day-to-day.


My desert island game:

Any Final Fantasy game! If you drop in on me during my free time, I will be playing Final Fantasy, be it XIV online with friends or spending my free time playing 1–16 one after the other, that’s what I’ll be doing!


Your soundtrack whilst working:

I have a very varied (and questionable) taste in music! I can bounce between Kate Bush (Wuthering Heights, of course), to current pop, to bands like Rammstein, however, most of the time I just listen to whatever monstrosity of a playlist my Spotify concocts for me!


If you could work with anyone who?

Square Enix, of course! It’s my dream to see the ins and outs of a Final Fantasy game being created!


If not this, then what?

That’s a very difficult question! I very much love living in the moment, which has gotten me into some strange roles in the past! I’m always up for trying anything at least once, so I’m sure by now I’d be something like a part time astronaut or a professional dog washer if someone asked me in the right way!



The moment I saw the Subnautica Below Zero trailer was something we’d worked on, I knew this was something I needed to be a part of! It’s a pleasure to be surrounded by such talented individuals who love what they do (and do it so well)!


People would be surprised that

I’d say either that I’ve got a degree in Maths, or that I’m a trained butcher and fishmonger!


Advice you’d give yourself if you were just starting out?

At the risk of sounding cliché, don’t stop yourself from trying new things because you’re afraid to make mistakes, you’ll always make them; just learn to own them!