Meet the Talent: Nikolaos Manitaris, art and technical director

Age:  34

Place of residence: Thessaloniki

Position : Art and Technical Director

Please describe a day in your life :

I wake up in the morning, make my coffee, and open the pc, doing some 3D work and perhaps some fitness exercise. Music is also important for my work, so it is always part of my family. I really enjoy listening to the news. I need to know what is happening and the current situation regarding politics.

How many projects are you currently working on? Please describe them :

Working on 2 video clips adding special effects for UK song artists. It is common nowadays to hear song artists wanting to add fire effects, explosions, and other things to their video clips; however, the last one is unique cause I had to create a flying car in space!!

In your opinion, who is the most influential person/company in the world of technology these days? :

Tesla because this company, along with Elon Mask, possesses the necessary attitude to dare new things and enter new territories that other companies and people avoid entering.

If you could pick one app/product/project existing now that you wish you were involved in, what would it be :

 I would love to be involved in the work of Epic Games and Reality Scan in the field of monumentalization (digitizing natural and cultural heritage sites), making sure to preserve in a digital form the precious heritage that we, as a human species, created over the years of our evolution.

Nikolaos Manitaris
Abstract the Rapper singer who Nikolaos built entirely in 3D

How do you see technology evolving in the next ten years?:

Things will be exciting, given the constant rise of AI in more fields.

What would you like the industry to look like in ten years?:

I hope that the 3D/CGI/ VFX industry will be shaped to facilitate storytelling rather than ensure that you possess the necessary technical abilities to stand out in the industry. We, as 3D artists, have to build knowledge and skills through constant trial and error, investigation and personal perseverance, which sometimes is exhausting.

What are the three characteristics you have that make you successful in tech?:

Efficient, eye-catchy and not able to be replaced by another tech.

What is the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your career?:

Technology advancements and how to combine all the available tech and software for the production of a single product.

What is your greatest achievement up until today?

The ability to supervise, monitor and manage an entire production from the beginning to the end based on 3D/CGI/ VFX/ Computer Animation/Post Production etc. This requires multidisciplinary knowledge and abilities in a variety of fields.

What do you wish yourself with respect to your career?

Stability is essential in our industry; you cannot expect yourself to make explosions or breathable dinosaurs for the rest of your career, so it is necessary to aim for stability and ensure that this also affects the individuals positively way, the persons near you.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Life is a mystery; I started working in an advertisement agency, making TV advertisements and working for English Language Teaching companies doing educational videos.

What is your next goal?

I have worked in the industry of 3D for the last 16 years, and my goal is to establish Thessaloniki as an essential player in our sector cause that as a territory possesses both the institutions that can support our industry and the unique geographical position. Thessaloniki is a small town that allows easy transportation and is an attraction for many new companies seeking a place to establish their offices. One of m many goals is to help companies build their teams, scout talents and recruit them and establish offices in Thessaloniki.

FX Nomination at London Fashion Film Festival

What tips do you have for people who want to start in the tech world?

Brace yourself with lots of patience and force yourself to make as many mistakes as possible in the beginning because mistakes might be fatal later. Self-motivation and a supportive environment from your family are also essential to stand out.

If you could say something to your younger self, what would it be?

Trust yourself and your motivations.

What do you think non-tech people around you (family, friends) think you do?

They think that I create comics.

What is the invention of the century in your eyes?

World Wide Web, wherever the world wide web is established, poverty goes down, the amount of illiterate people is down, and knowledge is expanding; in a few words, the world wide web means growth.

What can’t you do without? (app/product…)

I check my emails regularly, so the email app is essential.

·Which famous person would you like to have dinner with and why?

James Cameron because he managed to distinguish himself as a visionary director in a period when no social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.) existed. Despite that, he created unique films that stand out even today. Moreover, he and his team did well at the box office, given the limited ways of promotion of the era. The movie Titanic, for instance, had the highest income for many years, and they achieved that many years ago.!! Even today’s movies find it difficult to deal with Titanic!!

Where would you like to travel next?

For some reason, my mind has gone North in Sweden over the last few years.

If you were asked to stay on a deserted island for 6 months, what 3 things would you take with you?

A lighter, knife and a rope.

Do you have a person who influences or motivates you?

My daughter and my wife, especially my daughter, is the person that motivates me the most with her kind attitude.

Last thing regarding which you told yourself, “how come no one has ever thought of it”?

Making high-quality educational videos using the 3D Computer Animation Technique. Many people think education should strictly focus on pedagogy, but it is essential to learn and have fun, so edutainment makes me think of that.

Anna Vissi (Flegomenos Troxos)
Anna Vissi (Flegomenos Troxos)

Last thing regarding which you told yourself, “how come you haven’t thought of it”?

When I discover a new pipeline through a variety of software that allows me to build unique projects.

What is the greatest miss? (you thought it would never work, but it turned out to be a great success)

Making high-quality educational videos using the 3D Computer Animation Technique. Kids are the final customers, so it is essential to aim for them.

What did you dream of creating/inventing/doing as a child?

Movies were my thing; I wanted to tell stories, and this is what I do basically because every project I built in 3D tells a story of a character or product.

How did covid-19 change the way people view technological development?

Covid-19 paved the way for establishing a new way of working, which means that the percentage of employees available for every company worldwide is much more significant than before. This means that the potential growth is maximized, hence the technological development and the ability to combine different minds efficiently through various cultures and countries. The outcome of covid-19 is yet to be revealed.

Andriani has been working in Publishing Industry since 2010. She has worked in major Publishing Houses in UK and Greece, such as Cambridge University Press and ProQuest. She gained experience in different departments in Publishing, including editing, sales, marketing, research and book launch (event planning). She started as Social Media Manager in 4i magazine, but very quickly became the Editor in Chief. At the moment, she lives in Greece, where she is mentoring women with job and education matters; and she is the mother of 3 boys.