Mila’s Own Florence Durante speaks about Matte Painting

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Please share with us a little bit about your background. Where you live and where you are in your career.

I am a French matte painter and I just recently moved to San Francisco.

How did you arrive to the world of VFX and animation?

I started out my career in photography then moved into digital retouching in Paris before I decided to become a matte painter. I have been lucky to travel with my job. I have worked in London and then Australia working on major feature films.

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Who or what inspired you most?

Anything and everything, it could be a place, a friend, a story, an artist, a movie.

What is your role in the animation industry?
I am a matte painter in the film industry, and working in animation is very new to me.

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What are you working on or what you last worked on?

The last project was The Martian

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Do you have a personal project?

I always have an ongoing project, whether it s photo series, concept, drawing, or matte painting. I always want to create images.

What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever received?

My mentor and good friend always had and still has a huge influence on me. His energy and determination to go on his creative path has been the most valuable input in my life.

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What drew you to join Mila?

First I was really touched by the story, which is still unfortunately very accurate nowadays. I think an animated movie is the greatest way to tell a meaningful story and reach out and touch the young and not so young audience. I also wanted to try out animated movie and I have been very intrigued by the international crew.

I am lucky to be part of the internet connected team of Mila. The story the style and the workflow make Mila a very unique creative experience.

Can you tell us a little bit about one of the matte paintings you did for Mila?

The Trento valley has been a really interesting challenge. Not only it had to look like the real location but it had to have this cartoon style to feel right and also a sense of suspense to fit into the movie. I have been studying a lot references of Trento from WW2 and then mixed 3D and painting and more photos to get to the final look. It was a lot of fun :)

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