Unravelling VFX’s gender downside

We speak to 3D creative director Daena Lorne about the shocking lack of women working in visual effects, how she managed to break into the industry and what the solution could be

Only 30 years ago visual effects were very much in their infancy. Today, the once burgeoning industry is growing at pace, spurred on by our insatiable appetite for new content to stream. Everything from films and TV shows to adverts and games depend on visual effects these days, and new studios specialising in VFX are cropping up everywhere from the UK to New Zealand.

While there is clearly huge demand for creative talent, the statistics on the industry’s hiring practices reveal a woeful lack of diversity within its ranks. A new report from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and Women in Animation found that there is a ratio of 3.6 men to every one woman working in VFX on average, and even more shockingly, 208 men to every one woman of colour. Meanwhile another survey by Animated Women UK shows that nearly three quarters of women over 30 in animation and VFX feel they face career barriers because of their gender.

3D creative director Daena Lorne is one of the exceptions to the rule, having carved out an impressive career for herself in VFX. Now a full-time freelancer and currently based in LA, the 31-year-old previously held full-time positions at a number of London studios including MPC and Territory Studios, where she worked with brands ranging from Sky to Sofology, alongside various film and TV projects.

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