James Knight, the virtual production director for AMD, has made a wealth of critical contributions to the film industry throughout the course of his truly remarkable career. Known for his outstanding visual effects work, Mr. James Knight has made his mark through the use of performance capture while working on films like I Am Legend, Avatar, Hulk, 2012, Prince Caspian, and The Amazing Spiderman, just to name a few. A versatile and passionate professional, Knight has also utilized him immense visual effects skills while working on video game projects that include Gotham Racing, Scene It, Batman: Arkham City, and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Due to his extensive professional experience and expertise, Mr. Knight is one of the industry’s most sought-after professionals and is considered an important voice in all matters concerning performance capture and visual effects. As a result, Mr. Knight has taken on an active role with several professional organizations, including the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), the Visual Effects Society, and The Academy’s Scientific and Technical Achievement Committee. In his role on the board of directors with the Los Angeles chapter of BAFTA, Mr. Knight has worked diligently to secure widespread support for BAFTA-LA’s education and outreach programs.
Although the majority of Mr. Knight’s work is based out of Los Angeles, the performance capture and visual effects expert travels frequently to work on film projects all over the world and seeks inspiration for his work from the diverse surroundings he encounters while on location. Despite the extensive travel schedule often required of him, Mr. Knight continues to routinely take advantage of the travel opportunities that exist outside of his professional work and has returned from his international adventures feeling refreshed, invigorated, and eager to tackle the challenges of a new film or video game project.
1. What is your favorite thing about traveling?
Whenever I travel to a new and entirely unique location, I feel tremendously energized by my surroundings. This is obviously beneficial for professional reasons, and it certainly makes working on a project feel much more akin to recreation rather than work.
2. Is traveling a hobby or a lifestyle for you? How did you get started?
I’d call traveling a lifestyle for me, and I was fortunate to have a family that was curious about the rest of the world and wanted to experience it firsthand.
3. What is the most beautiful place you’ve been to?
The South Islands of New Zealand are absolutely stunning, but it is not easy to rank all of the beautiful places I have been fortunate enough to visit over the years.
4. Do you have any exciting travel dates planned for the future?
My upcoming schedule does not include anything at the moment, but that will probably change quite soon.
5. What are some travel tips you’d give to someone inexperienced?
I’ve met a lot of people who have a negative view of traveling for work purposes, and I think everyone should be much more open-minded about travel opportunities regardless of the reason behind traveling.
6. Where would you like to go?
I’ve heard some wonderful things about the Pyrenees mountain range, so I’d like to visit that region sometime in the future.
7. Where would you like to revisit?
Maine in the summertime is especially relaxing, and I’d certainly like to revisit England.
8. Do you travel alone? Why?
I usually travel with a fairly sizable group of people when on assignment, which is why I prefer to travel alone for recreational purposes. I enjoy both, but your perspective tends to change when traveling alone.
9. If you could pick the top 3 places every person should go, what would they be?
Michoacan, Mexico; London, England; the South Islands of New Zealand.
10. Do you travel light or do you pack up the house?
It depends; if I’m traveling for work I have to pack a ton of equipment, but if I’m traveling for recreation I prefer to bring just a few necessities.