James Knight, AMD’s virtual production director, is one of the film industry’s most innovative professionals and has served as performance capture specialist for remarkable movies that include Avatar, Hulk, I Am Legend, 2012, and Prince Caspian, along with countless others. A visual effects expert, Mr. James Knight has earned the respect of his film industry peers due to his consistently exceptional work ethic and his natural penchant for creativity and innovation, especially with regard to his specialty in performance capture.
Mr. Knight, who currently resides in the Greater Los Angeles Area, has also applied his unique skill set to the video game industry. The virtual production director has left his distinctive mark on a number of popular and visually breathtaking video games, including Star Wars: The Old Republic, Batman: Arkham City, Gotham Racing, and Scene It, among a host of additional games as well. A member of The Academy’s Scientific and Technical Achievement Committee as well as the Visual Effects Society, Mr. Knight’s contributions to the film industry have helped expand the range possibilities available to filmmakers across all genres.
In addition to serving as the virtual production director for AMD, Mr. Knight continues to be involved with the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, also known as BAFTA. Mr. Knight sits on the board of directors for BAFTA’s chapter in Los Angeles and serves as the co-chair of the BAFTA Video Games Committee. Along with the countless tasks associated with serving as a committee co-chair, it is also Mr. Knight’s responsibility to compile and review membership applications while also securing sponsors with the goal of funding BAFTA’s education and outreach programs.
In every one of his many diverse endeavors, Mr. Knight has exhibited a sense of professionalism and a passion for innovation. These qualities are surely part of the reason Mr. Knight has enjoyed such a remarkable and successful career in the film industry.
1. What was your best/favorite subject in school?
The high school I attended had a wonderful and unbelievably advanced film and video production program, and I took full advantage of all the courses available to me.
2. What was your first job?
I worked as a performance capture specialist on some smaller film projects before securing positions on major film productions.
3. Where and how did you first get into the industry you currently work in?
My work drew some attention while I was still attending college, and I also had the benefit of a mentor who helped me secure some early opportunities.
4. How have those jobs prepared you for what you do now?
Every project is different, so my skill set has only continued to expand with each film I’ve worked on over the years.
5. Describe the best day of work you’ve ever had.
Finishing up a film and seeing the finished product is an unbelievably rewarding experience, and I’ve relished each and every one.
6. How do you keep yourself motivated?
There are unique challenges you encounter during the course of each new project, and I deeply enjoy the opportunity to take on these challenges by coming up with innovative solutions.
7. What kind of business ideas excite you most?
Few ideas excite me more than the kind that successfully expand that which is possible, regardless of the endeavor involved.
8. Have you ever tried any unorthodox techniques to attract attention to your business?
Fortunately, I’ve never felt it was necessary to try anything out of the ordinary to attract attention to my business.
9. What personal achievement are you most proud of?
I’m proud of every film I have worked on, but I am also incredibly excited about the opportunities available to us through AMD.
10. What wisdom you would have liked to share with yourself when you first started out?
In an attempt to be deferential, I missed out on a valuable learning opportunity during my first film project. I would have liked to have taken better advantage of the knowledge and wisdom possessed by those around me by asking more questions and seeking more insight and professional advice.