“People don’t see the scaffolding, only the completed building” was the advice given by Chad Moffitt when referring to the building blocks in his varied career.
As an animator, director and actor, and with a career spanning LOTR trilogy, King Kong, Thunderbirds Are Go, and recently cast as Sir Edmund Hillary in the movie docudrama, Beyond the Edge, Chad has no shortage of inspiring and entertaining insights. His passion for acting, technology and psychology is evident, which leads him towards his successful and so called “imprecise career”.
When the opportunity arose for Chad to deliver a presentation for us as part of Techweek’18, we jumped on it. Technology and Bad Luck, a behind the scenes look into a life of a tech creative; a feast of acting showreels, visual effects, animation, and sketchbook ideas. Even a lesson on how to walk with ‘swag’.
We caught up with Chad after his presentation for answers to all the best bits, and the blessing that bad luck has bought on his career this far:
Q. What was your presentation highlights?
“It was really cool to talk to people after the presentation, especially students. The presentation itself is kind of a one way monologue so it was great to actually have a conversation with people afterwards.”
Q. Any curveball questions on the night?
“Best question was ‘what are you doing next?’. I’m currently doing something that’s not related to animation at all, so the question made me think about (and realise) some possible connections there, a possible common theme or continuing evolution in my life. I love it how questions can do that.”
Q. You wear many hats – actor, animator and director – do you have a fave?
“It very much depends on the particular job. My all time favourite is when I can be learning and that happens in all of those areas, just depends on the specific situation. And I think you can learn in every situation, especially the ones that are least enjoyable.”
Q. ‘Technology and Bad Luck’ — what’s been your best tech moment and any memorable bad luck moments?
“Best technology moment? My first computer, a 386 with a whopping 4mb of memory.”
“Best bad luck moment? There are several times I’ve been turned down when applying to courses or jobs, and they pretty much all lead to great things, despite the massive bummer that they were at the time.”
Q. What would you be doing if you weren’t in tech?
“Probably counselling. I’m actually currently studying counselling. I’ve been interested in the ‘helping’ world and in psychology for ages.”
Q. Whats the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Save a version of your work then go crazy and make a mess.”
Q. Any advice to someone entering the creative tech sector?
“I recommend actively, preemptively working on ways to de-stress and deal with conflict. These things are 100% guaranteed to be a part of your work life, so being pre-prepared and being able to keep yourself safe and healthy is super important. And it takes time, just like building a healthy body does.”
Q. Do you see any future challenges for our students in this field?
“I think the challenge for creative types is always how to juggle your creative work as an actual job. In some ways it’s easier when it’s not a job, and you’re just doing your own artistic thing. When it becomes a job, and you’re being creative in very specific ways; being directed by other people; compromising, it can feel quite different. I think this has been a dilemma for artists throughout the ages, and it will continue to be.”