Studio News

The View From The Third Floor: Jeannine Kernisan

05.09.2023 — Categories: , , ,

What is your name and what is your position at TTF?
I’m Jeannine Kernisan, Lead shot creator and occasional postvis trainer.

How long have you been with TTF?
I’ve been with TTF since my apprentice days 7 years ago.

What does your role look like day to day?
When in a shot creator role, I spend my days doing primarily postvis shots, which is always fun because they’re each like little puzzles. When a Lead, my day is mostly helping the supe with the show’s daily needs and helping the artists have and know all they need to do their shots. If I can, I like to stir up morning meetings with a question of the day (mostly ridiculous hypotheticals), so we can start the day with some laughs and conversation. I also take particular joy in training people that don’t know postvis. I think it’s an important skill for all artists to know, and I enjoy seeing the ranks of my postvis army grow.

What led you to work in the visualization and entertainment industry?
My overall origin story in the industry started with a high school aptitude test, of all things. A quiz told me my top 3 career matches were: 1. Director of Photography, 2. Animator, 3. Garbage collector. I didn’t want the third and didn’t understand the first, so I looked into animation and thought it sounded fun. I begged my parents to let me go to art school, where I majored in animation, and then spent months and months after graduating trying to get hired somewhere with my very crappy reel. I fell into visualization when a professor of mine pointed me towards TTF. Like so many, I had no idea what visualization was, but at least I could animate, right? I got into the apprentice program and the rest is history.

What is your favorite part about working for The Third Floor?
My favorite part of working at TTF are the vibes. Hear me out. First, I genuinely love my job. Like, it was tailored for me and I just happened upon it. I thought I’d only ever animate, but I learned through postvis that I’m way more technical than that. With tracking and comping, I get to solve puzzles and chuckle at actors’ in-between faces all day. Second, the company culture is always fun and welcoming. All of us have heard stories of people with jobs that they hate or working in toxic environments. I’ve rarely run into stuff like that here. 99% of my time here has been full of good people and good times. Even during the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020, this company managed to hold together and make the most of it. AND we unironically play hacky sack, which is honestly one of my favorite parts.

What advice would you give someone looking to get into this industry?
My advice would be to get studying. This job requires a lot of knowledge; film language, softwares, on-set terminology, soft skills like communication and time management. Having these skills be proven and applied (like on a resume or reel) not only will help you get your foot in the door, but it’ll also help you understand where in the industry best fits you. Maybe you started as a creative but realize you’re better suited to production. Maybe you wanted to be in front of the camera but have more talent behind it. Learning from many perspectives and trying new things will help you understand yourself and will present you with opportunities that are best suited for you.

How have you grown at TTF?
In 2021, I spent the year being what I called a “Pop-up Postvis Professor.” We had an influx of postvis shows and not enough artists that knew how to do the shots. So I hopped from show to show teaching artists how to do various postvis skills. While I was happy to see my army grow, my favorite part was actually just interacting with everyone. With the whole Work From Home setup, we don’t really get to see anyone anymore. With the training role, I was able to catch up with people I hadn’t seen in ages and also meet new people. And in training them, I met others who knew things that I didn’t, so I was able to learn from them and pass on that knowledge to future teams. As an added bonus, my IMDB for the next year was pretty lit.

What’s your favorite creative outlet?
It’s hard to choose a favorite creative outlet because I have so many that I like for different reasons. Instead, I’ll say that my current obsession is crochet. I’ve always liked working with my hands and crochet is relatively low-impact because it’s not time-sensitive and you can take it anywhere and make just about anything. But BY GOLLY is it so much work. So like I normally do with new obsessions, I go too big too fast. Proof: my current and FIRST crochet project is a “jacket”. For my anime fans, it’s Tanjiro’s haori from Demon Slayer. I thought it would be easy because it’s just squares. I’ve been at it for over a year… I probably have another 6 months to go.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from just about anywhere. I try to consume as many different types of media as I can so I can see how other people express themselves. There’s nuggets of greatness in every genre, culture, and perspective. What do I do with all this inspiration? Honestly, they get pinned until I finish current creative projects. Otherwise I could fill every soundstage on the WB lot with unfinished projects.

What was your biggest influence as a kid?
My biggest childhood influence is probably cartoons. My grandma always tells me that my career makes a lot of sense because she would find me at 6am watching cartoons. I was always attracted to the limitlessness and freedom and creativity of them. They told a million stories in a million ways. In a way, they raised me; taught me things and molded my sense of humor. And then anime came in, but that’s another story.

Are you doing anything at the moment to grow and develop your skills?
My current area of skill growth is actually in music. My friends and I like getting together and jamming and my job is to hold down the rhythm. Not wanting to be a one-genre pony, I’ve been trying to learn the percussive styles of all kinds of music. Practicing is truly the most fun and most difficult part of it all. Connecting my brain to my hands and feet is not easy. Sometimes I wonder if they’re connected at all. But it’s been a fun ride and makes me want to expand my knowledge even further.

Fictional character you’d share a pint with
I’d love to share a pint (or a pipe) with Gandalf. I’d love to hear his stories. And maybe he could teach me those cool pipe smoke tricks he does.

If you’re not from LA/London, where are you from?
I’m originally from a farming county in southern Maryland. LA is way larger and more crowded than I’d like. Being from MD, yes, I am obligated to try every crab cake I come across.

Go-to karaoke song
-I have a list of go-to karaoke songs, but my number 1 is “What’s Up?” by Four Non-Blondes. And yes, I’m down for karaoke whenever. Please. Let’s go.


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