Less than two years after graduating from CCS, Michael Tonder was nominated for a Visual Effects Society (VES) award nomination in 2005 for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program.
"My reaction about the nomination was one of surprise and excitement," said Tonder. "It was nice to be nominated and, as with any type of nomination for something you had a hand in making, it felt good."
Tonder worked with a team of three other designers to transform footage of Blair Field in Long Beach into Dodger Stadium. To achieve the effect, they meshed photographed elements from Dodger Stadium with images of Blair Field and added computer generated crowds and set pieces. The environment was used in Episode #005 of the CBS Clubhouse mini-series.
Since Stargate works with a diverse client list, Tonder's assignments vary in time and complexity each day. He sets up shots and creates visual effects for television programs; some he works on regularly and others are new for upcoming seasons.
"There are times when you have less than a few days to get something done...this can be very stressful and consume a great deal of your time," said Tonder. "You'll find yourself working all weekend and late into the night.
"I'm always growing and learning as an artist. This industry moves so fast that there's always something new to learn. Plus I'm doing what I love to do...I couldn't imagine doing something else."