London

This Londoner worked on an Oscar-nominated film and he's only 25

Londoner Lachlan McKinlay still cannot believe the first feature film he worked on is up for several Academy Awards. The 25-year-old is a visual effects editor at Framestore in Montreal, one of the visual effects companies involved in the post-production of Don't Look Up, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence.

Lachlan McKinlay helped with visual effects on Don't Look Up, which is up for 4 Academy Awards

Lachlan McKinlay, 25, said his parents, along with a communications technology teahcer at London's South Collegiate Institute, fostered his passion for films from a young age. (Submitted by Lachlan McKinley )

Just hours away from the Oscars and Londoner Lachlan McKinlay still cannot believe the first feature film he worked on is up for several Academy Awards. 

"It feels so surreal," he said. "[When I found out about the nominations] I had to pinch myself a few times that the first ever major project I've worked on became an Oscar-nominated film." 

McKinlay, 25, is a visual effects editor at Framestore in Montreal, an award-winning visual effects and animation company with offices around the world.

Just a year after graduating from film and media at Queen's University, McKinlay landed a job with the company and ended working on Don't Look Up, a dark-comedy from Netflix starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence.

The visual effects team at Framestore, supervised by Carlos Monzon, worked on more than 150 shots in the movie Don't Look Up. (Niko Tavernise/Netflix)

The film garnered four Oscar nominations including best picture, original screenplay, original score and film editing. Framestore is not nominated for Don't Look Up, but nevertheless McKinlay and the team at Framestore contributed to the film, working on visual effects for outer space sequences including rockets, a comet, the moon and an intricate deer-bird creature. 

"I was a piece of a big team, but the team put in great effort and work and I'm thankful that I got to be alongside them and helped out in this great achievement.

"It felt like a dream come true for someone like me that has been dreaming of the day I will be working on big projects since I was a tiny kid."

McKinlay said he owes his love for storytelling to his parents, especially his father Michael McKinlay, an award-winning playwright and board member of the Forest City Film Festival. Back in high school, it was his communications technology teacher at South Collegiate Institute who played a big role in fostering his passion for film, McKinlay said. 

"Ms. Marzano really kindled that flame inside my heart and love for film on top of my parents, who have been showing me films since I was a child. Ms. Marzano really helped push me in that direction and kind of put me on the path where I am today."

McKinlay is currently working on two projects with Framestore, including Slumberland, a Netflix production starring Jason Momoa.

"I just want to continue learning and creating with my peers," he said.

"My major goal is, I really want to pass the torch and help other aspiring filmmakers and students to get to where they need to go."

As for Sunday's awards, McKinlay said the pandemic has put a damper on big viewing parties, but he will be having a few friends over to watch the Oscars on his big screen in Montreal. 

"I'm honestly still thrilled and still absolutely stunned that this is happening."

With files from CBC

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