REALTIMERS: Matt Gardner, HR Manager

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!

REALTIME teams up with Riot Games on Project L

We’re thrilled to announce that we have been working on Project L, the new tag-team-style fighting game from Riot Games!

Watch the latest dev diary to hear all about the newest developments, and if you’re attending EVO 2023 in Last Vegas this week, be sure to check out the playable demo on showcase.

REALTIMERS: Sean Kelly, Senior Producer

Meet Sean Kelly, our Senior Producer, who spends quite a lot of his weekends and holidays travelling the country to conduct weddings for people! Piqued your interest? Thought so.

Name & job title:  

Sean Kelly, Senior Producer 

Where do you fit in? 
I mean, very few places, frankly, but here I’m on the Games Team. 

How did you get your start in the industry? 
Honestly, I kinda fell into it sideways, I finished Uni doing Marketing and Management (don’t judge me) and joined a Grad Scheme for the Royal Bank of Scotland. I ended up doing a placement in their in-house film team – and fell in love with that. I worked my way up to Producer, then head of the team, before going out into the wide blue yonder. I worked in various agencies directing, writing, and producing live action stuff before that tiny worldwide pandemic hit, and I moved to Animation and VFX – and never looked back. 

Your superpower? 
I’m from the West of Scotland, so I can’t ever say anything positive about myself I’m afraid.
If I had to choose, I suppose it’s an unending ability to make jokes at even the worst of times…often especially at the worst of times.  

What inspires you on the day-to-day? 
It’s the really obvious answer, isn’t it? Working with really talented people who do some amazing stuff that I could never hope to in a million years. Working with them and learning as much as possible is constantly a source of amazement and inspiration for me.

My desert island film / TV show / animation / game /artform / piece of artwork is
Grim Fandango. One of the first games I played on my absolute trash fire of a PC as a kid. Got me into the whole Lucasarts point n click – not to mention warped my sense of humour in general.
Something about the melding of Film Noir, Art Deco, and Mexican/Day of the Dead aesthetic and storyline just got me good. I had never played anything like it before. Even loved the remake that came out a few years back. And the music…. oh the music.  

Your soundtrack whilst working: 
Quite a lot of lo-fi video game soundtracks strangely enough. I’m a sucker for anything with big brassy stabs though, so anything with that I’m your huckleberry.  

If you could work with anyone who?  

I suppose since this is a work thing, I should be classy and aspirational and say someone like Billy Wilder or Mel Brooks.
But, meh why not if this is a fantasy – Indiana Jones.  Fight me.  

If not this, then what?  

If not producing, I’d probably have darker hair…or still in Marketing and comms…shudder 


I have a powerful urge to pay my bills and eat.
But perhaps more than that, I really wanted to get more involved in gaming and away from TV and Film. REALTIME has a great range of projects they work on, and some genuinely lovely people to work with.  

People would be surprised that… 

I am a Legal Humanist Celebrant and spend quite a lot of my weekends and holidays travelling the country to conduct weddings for people and steal as many canapes on the way out as possible.
I can legally marry you or bury you. Nothing in-between 

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

Nothing is ever as good or as bad as you think.
Learn from the f**k-ups and move on. Enjoy the win’s but don’t get cocky kid.  

REALTIME team up with Codemasters for F1 23 ‘Braking Point 2’

Two years after the critically acclaimed F1® 2021, we have teamed up with our old friends at Codemasters once again for the eagerly anticipated F1® 2023 Braking Point 2. Our team crafted over fifty minutes of in-game cinematics using the latest in-engine solution and state-of-the-art performance capture tools.

Braking Point 2 allows players to immerse themselves in a compelling racing story that gives a unique peek behind the curtain of the world of Formula One. The story revolves again around rival drivers Aiden Jackson and Devon Butler, but with the added twist of them being teammates for the newly formed Konnersport Butler Racing Team, alongside a new female driver, Callie Mayer.

REALTIME was tasked with creating cutscenes that ranged from emotional character performances right through to on-track action, featuring intense races and high-speed collisions.

“The visual fidelity we were able to achieve this time around was a huge step up from F1 2021. Everything from the lighting to the skin shaders and facial animation, we advanced every single element of our render quality.” Says Ian Jones, CG Director. 

REALTIME Partner with Access VFX

We are very proud to announce that we are now members of ACCESS: VFX!

Promoting inclusion, diversity, and awareness is at the very core of what REALTIME believes in, so we are super excited to be a part of an industry movement that champions these values.

Learn more about the great things ACCESS: VFX are doing : https://www.accessvfx.org/