Andrew McCully had always envisaged himself working in the creative industries. However, it wasn’t until he’d completed another qualification in the arts that he first realised which creative career path he wanted to pursue.
“In my last year of art school, I thought about heading into this industry. I wanted to be involved in awesome projects, much like the films I loved growing up," says Andrew.
“I just love immersive storytelling so that also includes great books, video games, tabletop roleplaying and music. I knew I wanted to create and be involved in those kinds of projects."
After completing a Diploma of Art and Design, Andrew is involved with creating films that he grew up with, quite literally, at Pukeko Pictures.
Wellington-based Pukeko Pictures is in the unique position of being closely aligned to Weta Workshops. This means that, as the 3D Story Lead, Andrew gets to work with Weta on a variety of interesting projects. One of these projects is the highly anticipated reboot of Thunderbirds. Yes, that Thunderbirds.
Andrew is involved in an early stage of the Thunderbirds animation process. His responsibilities include designing shots and sequences, animating vehicles, and “working with the director to help tell the story."
So what is it like to be a part of reviving one of the most popular science fiction shows of the '60s?
“It has been quite surreal to work on a show that I used to watch as a kid," says Andrew.
“I'm a big Thunderbirds fan so it's been a lot of fun to work on it. Seeing all the amazing work Weta Workshop has been doing with the miniatures has definitely been a highlight."
For Andrew, this job is well and truly living the dream: “I'm involved in an early stage of the process, working on pre-visualisation (previs) to help tell the stories. And Pukeko Pictures is a fantastic place to work with great colleagues."
Andrew looks back at his time at Media Design School and the work that he produced there fondly. He's still proud of the short film, Funeral Home Piñatas, which he and his classmates completed in their final year.
“I thought what we managed to achieve in those 8 weeks was pretty cool and travelling to the Annecy Animation Festival in France to represent the team was an awesome experience."
Andrew credits the teachers and tutors at Media Design School in helping him to achieve his goal of working in film and television:“The teaching and facilities at Media Design School are industry standard and unequalled in New Zealand. It is the place to go if you want to enter the 3D Animation industry and you're willing to put the effort in to excel."