At Work With… Daniel Saldivar, Founder / Creative Director at White Rhino VFX
The ‘At Work With…’ Interview Series is our way of bringing you behind-the-scenes with the names and businesses included in our Texas Production Directory (TPD). We want to showcase the creatives that cover all levels of production experience, backgrounds, and geographies around the state.
This week’s spotlight is on Daniel Saldivar, Founder / Creative Director of White Rhino VFX based in San Antonio and a Texan for 15 years.
What’s the most memorable experience on a project or production that you’ve had and what made it so special?
Every project is memorable, either for the crew you work with, the client, or the way the finished product ends up. Each production is enjoyable for its individuality; we strive to always work on something different. I'd have say, a memorable moment, was my first opportunity to VFX Supervise a film, Redwing, out of Whitewright, Texas. Starring Glen Powell, Joelle Carter, Bill Paxton, Luke Perry and Frances Fisher. This opportunity allowed for problem solving and for us to work with the filmmakers to bring their vision to life.
What are the skills required to succeed in your specific area of expertise?
Filmmaking is a very ensemble experience, so necessary skills are to work well with others and have clear communication. The technical craft of visual effects requires the skills of having a great eye, knowing your software, and learning the principals of filmmaking, design and visual effects.
What advice have you been given that continues to be helpful in your work?
"Be a 'learn it all', not a 'know it all'.” We strive to continually grow as artist and human beings. We never want to be "know it all people", but we are remain students of life; taking a class, developing our skills, learning a new software. There's so much you can learn from the people around you.
In your industry, collaboration is the key to success. How do you best foster collaboration with your colleagues from project to project?
Clear communication is key. We have huddles at the start and end of each project as well as daily check-ins. We like to anticipate what the client needs are before the client ever asks. We are constantly leaving room for people to offer their input based on what their experiences are from previous projects.
What tools and supplies can’t you live without in your job and why?
Coffee is probably the greatest invention to man, but in visual effects, our main tools and supplies look like Nuke, Fusion, Da Vinci Resolve, Adobe, Mocha Pro, computer networks and high-speed internet.
How have Covid-19 safety protocols affected the way that you work?
In post-production, everything is remote already, so it wasn't a huge change for us. At the beginning, we remained on lockdown and transitioned to a work from home workflow. Over these last several months, the team has been vaxxed and we've transitioned back into an office workflow.
What’s the best part about working in Texas?
The people for sure, working in different markets you really get to see the attitudes of crews and people you work with. Texas just has one of those things where you know you're in good hands and it’s going to be done right. No ego, no fluff, just hardworking/ high-quality, talented people.
Why do you choose the Lone Star State as a place to live and work?
Our families are here, the cost of living is low, which is beneficial to everyone around us. From a professional side, I’d say it’s the people who continue to exude the work ethic and quality they devote to their craft. For us, Texas is home, no matter what other markets we work in. We know great work is being done in Texas. We hope we are part of that history.
Interview has been edited for brevity.
Texas has thousands of freelance individuals, companies and associations that serve the film, television, commercial, video game, animation & XR industries.
If you or your business are listed in the Texas Production Directory, we want to hear about your special skills, memorable experiences and more.