Ava DuVernay urged Hollywood professionals to allow newcomers, including those "who are not the same as you ... the kindness to enter this space and give them the tools to blossom” during a keynote Saturday at the Visual Effects Society Summit at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills.
She described her experience as a black woman from Compton, who moved from publicity to filmmaking and has now been granted a VFX education on the latest techniques while helming the upcoming Disney tentpole A Wrinkle in Time, which she says has “allowed me to continue the storytelling in post.”
The director of Selma and Queen Sugar admitted, "The scope of my visual-effects knowledge before Wrinkle in Time was a digital crowd crossing the bridge in Selma."
Thanking her VFX collaborators in attendance, including Wrinkle in Time VFX supervisor RIch McBride, DuVernay said the VFX collaboration has been "transformative" and she has become a “VFX snob."
“I’m now a nightmare because I know what's possible," she added, getting a laugh from the VFX crowd as she acknowledged that she can ask for most anything in the VFX realm.
Set to open March 9, A Wrinkle in Time is a fantasy story based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Madeleine L'Engle. The film stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Chris Pine.