Mila’s Own Florence Durante speaks about Matte Painting


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.


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.


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

The last project was The Martian


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.

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 🙂