Special Effects

Eight Things About : Shaun Donovan SFX Supervisor.‹ Back to Special Effects


Shaun Donovan - SFX Designer / Supervisor.

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1)      What is your name?

My name is Shaun Donovan.

2)      So Shaun … Tell us a little bit about yourself?

“Well I’m 55 years old and I’ve been involved in special effects with the BBC and Artem for over 30 years, and it shows”

3)      Do you have any hobbies or interests?

Yes, but none of which really involve what I do at work. I’m interested in Art, Music, literature and cycling.

4)      Wonderful - Tell us a little bit your role here at Artem?

Well, after starting on the floor as a Technician in the early 1990’s, I then became a Senior Technician and then a Supervisor about fifteen years ago which involves talking to clients, estimating jobs  and then running the  jobs once they are confirmed. I tended to specialise, when I was making things in high finish work, in particular - paint finishes, that sort of thing. I still act as an un-official consultant in that regard now.

5)      How did you find out about Artem?

I worked with the founders of Artem at The BBC, in the visual Effects Department and they announced they were leaving one day. I intended to get out of the business shortly afterwards but Mike Kelt rang me and asked me if I would do a weekends work. I didn’t go home for fifteen years.

6)      Since you have been at Artem, what has been your best experience? or more than one?

Well!  Work related experience?  That’s very difficult to say. I think the best thing about Artem is the people that you work with and I’ve met some really good people over the years, and, yes - that’s the main thing. It’s the human side of what we do. It’s difficult to pin it down but the over-riding feature is the collegiate atmosphere – you never feel that you’re alone.

7)      What advice, if any, would you give anyone starting out in the industry today?

Don’t do it!!! –

No ... I think is a very different industry today from what it was when I started, the increase in technology – in CAD, CNC all that sort of thing makes it a very different prospect and I think people tend to specialise more now than they did when I started. I think that is the main difference, so I think that for people to be computer literate but still keen on making things is really important. This business is one of the few that you can actually make a reasonable living by making things in this country. I think it is very difficult to do otherwise.

8)      Thanks Shaun – One last thing, tell us a joke or a fun fact?

Alright – my favourite joke is a Tommy Cooper joke.

Tommy Cooper goes to the Doctor one day and says “Doctor, It keep thinking I’m a moth”. The Doctor says “Well I can’t help you, I’m afraid you need to see a physiatrist”. Tommy Cooper replied. “Well, I was on my way there when I saw your light was on” …

Thank you so much Shaun.