Fuse's Finer Details with Jeremy Melton

A special conversation with Art Department Supervisor Jeremy Melton

Jeremy Melton

Let's get to know you a little, Jeremy; tell us about your background. How did all start for you in VFX?

Going through college, I was always interested in Film. I took all the film classes that were available. I did not know there was a career in Art and Film until the Release of the Lord of the Rings art books came out. "Wait... They drew and painted all of this?!?!" It changed everything for me. My first job was in video games, but I still wanted to work in Film and TV. I got a short gig at Zoic designing a lot for the "V" TV show. I was hooked. I did not look back at gaming. That was the start.   

You originally studied to illustrate children's books; how did you transition? Is there anything from that form of art that translates?  

All about the visual narrative. It's about trying to tell a story or an idea in a single image or designing something in a way the viewer understands without me saying a word.   

What's your process when designing concept art for a client?

Well, first, it would be talking to the client. Get inside their head and find out the vibe a tone they are looking for. I hope this does not sound cheesy, but music will start to play in my head as we go over what is needed. A vibe. A tone. When I start the actual work, I play music that coincides with that task. I put on the headphones and start my flow. My favorite ones are when I lose myself in that "World" and find out it has been 5 hours since I got up. I then present it to them. Hopefully, they will see the vibe.   

What project are you most proud of while at FuseFX?

I love everything I work on at Fuse. If I had to pick one, it might be "Preacher" I was already a fan of the show when I started at Fuse. I noticed that one of the Supervisors had his room all decked out with toys, posters, and a bunch of Preacher stuff. I did not know him at all. I was VERY new at Fuse. So I just walked right into his office and said... "You don't know me, but I am a HUGE fan of this show, and I would give my left foot to be part of it." He just stared and said, "Good to know." A few weeks later, he gave me a shot. I was immensely proud.   

This is a high stake, high-stress career; what makes you get up in the morning excited about your day-to-day?

I genuinely love my job and my team. We support each other, collaborate, and bounce ideas off each other. When we can, we work on being as creative as possible. That creative exploration keeps us motivated.  

What is your role in developing artists on your team?

I show them everything I know about designing, concepting, and visual narrative. Still, I do not want the "Jeremy Show." I want artists to be themselves and as well-versed as humanly possible. So I work with all of them to discover their strengths and weaknesses. They do the same for me in return. I prefer to be collaborative.    

What would be career advice for those who want to pursue this wild world of VFX? 

  • Be open-minded
  • Be flexible
  • Be understanding
  • Leave all attitude at the door
  • Work well with others
  • There is always something to learn     

When you look back, what are some of the projects you most look back on fondly? And why?

The design heavy ones like "Raising Dion," "Agents of Shield," "Preacher," and "The Orville." They all had a lot of design aspects that let me be really creative.     

Which project did you learn the most from?

All bring something different, honestly.    

What would be your ideal project?  

Anything Fantasy. Huge Fantasy Nerd. I haven't done much in that genre yet. Rings of Power would be AMAZING. ANY of the new Tolkien Universe/Books that are in preparation.     

What's one project you would have liked to have worked on past, present, or future, and why?

Lord of the Rings. Any of them. It's where it all started for me. The sheer craftsmanship that went into each detail is stunning.    

One word to describe yourself:

One word to describe FuseFX:  

One word that makes you happy:   

Thank you for your time, Jeremy. We're lucky to have you at FuseFX. I'm excited about seeing your upcoming art and designs come to life!            

About Jeremy Melton: 
Jeremy Graduated from CCS (Center for Creative Studies) in Detroit, Michigan, with a BFA. Jeremy has been working in entertainment for 18 years. He has worked at places like Vivendi Universal, Pandemic Studios, Zoic, and Pixomondo and has been at Fuse for seven years. He is Father of 2 boys and has been married to his wife, Renee, for 29 years. The whole family still enjoys collecting music, playing video games, and having movie nights together.           

About the interviewer:   
Oscar Negroni is the Marketing Director for FuseFX, where he oversees the marketing strategy, messaging, and positioning for the FuseFX brand and its corporate Fuse Group. He has over 15 years of experience as a digital marketer & content strategist for the private sector, start-ups, NPOs, and large-scale events. With a BFA in film & television production from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Oscar's passion for all facets of production and keen insight into market and audience trends make him a leader in the space.        

"I put a lot of my energy into placing the artists up front and center, giving our clients some insights into our amazing staff who do incredible work, inspiring students to see a path and excite future talent to join us on our journey."