Interview: Chris Wronka, Motion Graphics and Visual Effects at MindSmackTV

Lily Cedarbaum

Lily Cedarbaum

As a college student in NYC, I quickly got sucked into the world of television internships and became addicted to it right away. Starting off in Corporate Communications at NBC Universal, I eventually networked my way into internships at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Joy Behar, The New York Television Festival, Doctor Oz, and Saturday Night Live. While I loved my internships at high-profile networks and festivals, I was excited to branch out and try something off-beat after graduation. To shake things up, I spent a few months living in Los Angeles, where I spent time freelancing and meeting with contacts before finding my way back to New York for a job at MindSmack TV.

The entertainment industry is a hard field to navigate, and I am excited to be a part of The Media Chronicles to assist others along the way!
Lily Cedarbaum

Chris Wronka recently graduated from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) with a BFA in Film & Video. His wide-range of work experience on-set as a production coordinator and sound mixer led smoothly into his position at MindSmackTV. Chris has additionally worked as editor on a number of independent film shorts and brings that know-how to every aspect of his daily activities. Now that he is fully ensconced at MindSmack, Chris aims to further develop his post-production skills for the next generation of media. When not seducing a screen, Chris can be found (or heard) exploring new music and films. He lives in Astoria, Queens where he can enjoy a nice bike ride across the bridge.

So, for the technologically disinclined/nubes out there, please explain your job. What is a typical day for you? What programs do you use regularly?
I mainly work as an assistant editor for four editors, but also do some motion graphics and minor visual effects. So I use After Effects and Avid mainly throughout the day, plus all the other programs I need like Compressor and Adobe Encore for DVDs. It’s hard to really pinpoint a typical day, but it can range from being extremely busy trying to ingest footage into Avid for three different projects while at the same time creating graphics, to just focusing all day on one graphics piece that’s needed “eventually.”

What first made you interested in post-production and how did you end up applying for the School of Visual Arts? What were your favorite classes?
I first became interested in post-production while at film school at School of Visual Arts, but earlier than that I got into filmmaking in general while in early high school. I knew I wanted to go to film school in a film-centric city and wanted to stay on the East Coast, so that meant NYC it was! I liked the SVA facilities when I visited and also the focus on filmmaking that SVA has even starting as a freshman. My favorite classes were “After Effects,” “The Art of Editing,” and “Existentialism.” Yes, SVA does make you take some electives.

Was that where you developed your interest in graphics? How does your ability in graphic design play into the rest of your job?
Yes it was. I liked the idea of creating stuff without having to gather all the people and resources it takes to make a film. Graphic design actually comes secondary for me, since I concentrated as an editing major at SVA. It’s something I’m working on getting better at day by day. It’s a very important skill to have.

Why promo work? How does working with smaller projects (promos, interstitials, sizzle reels) differ from working on television shows and film? 
Cause that’s where the work is! (For me, at least, coming right out of school.) Working on smaller projects is great because it means I am constantly learning new techniques that I couldn’t if I were working on one large project. For example, learning

Lily Cedarbaum

As a college student in NYC, I quickly got sucked into the world of television internships and became addicted to it right away. Starting off in Corporate Communications at NBC Universal, I eventually networked my way into internships at Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Joy Behar, The New York Television Festival, Doctor Oz, and Saturday Night Live. While I loved my internships at high-profile networks and festivals, I was excited to branch out and try something off-beat after graduation. To shake things up, I spent a few months living in Los Angeles, where I spent time freelancing and meeting with contacts before finding my way back to New York for a job at MindSmack TV. The entertainment industry is a hard field to navigate, and I am excited to be a part of The Media Chronicles to assist others along the way!

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