Adam Stern has worked in film and television for over twenty years. In 1997 he founded Artifex Studios , which now houses close to forty artists and staff, and has created visual effects for over sixty feature film and television projects. After years of being fully devoted to Artifex's growth, Adam has recently turned his attention to his own projects as a writer/director. His two shorts, The Adept and FTL, both screened at festivals around the world and received numerous awards and nominations, and have paved the way to his feature directorial debut currently in development.
Often when I picture an ideal scenario of my professional situation five to ten years in the future, I imagine myself actively directing features and commercials, while also owning a small VFX company that's self-sustainable while also supports my projects' VFX needs. My role models for this are the likes of George Lucas, who founded ILM to create visual effects for Star Wars, James Cameron, who co-founded Digital Domain to create visual effects for True Lies, and J.J. Abrams who founded Bad Robot, which is both his production company and a "creative hub" of R&D and various VFX needs in his own films.
I met Adam ahead of working for Artifex as their on-set VFX supervisor on YouTube Originals' Weird City, and I was both impressed by his relaxed and confident leadership of Artifex, and inspired by his successful balancing of his responsibilities running the studio while also developing and producing original sci-fi narratives as vehicles to building his "second" career.
In this episode I sat with Adam and try to understand how he's able to strike that balance, and steer both projects forward, with both profiting off of each other in the process.
FTL on Vimeo:
Artifex Studios 2018 reel:
Weird City trailer:
Opening and closing song: "14 Days" by Akın Sevgör.