Back to newsfeed

Talent Spotlights

Tiger Talks 🐯 Alexandra Diaz De Cerio, Lighting Supervisor

The countdown is on! The Tiger’s Apprentice is hitting Paramount+ in just a little over two weeks!
Whilst you eagerly await, we’re kicking off our Tiger Talks interview series, where our Mikros Animation teams spill all the behind-the-scenes details about their contributions to the film.

15 January 2024

It’s Alexandra Diaz De Cerio, Lighting Supervisor on The Tiger’s Apprentice, kicking things off: she talks about her pivotal role in the film, her favorite scenes, and what made her proud during the movie-making process:

  • Could you share more about your journey in animation in general and at Mikros? 

I got the animation bug when I saw the Final Fantasy 7 commercial on TV at the age of 16. Even though I had no idea how they created those images, I knew that’s what I wanted to do! So, I started tinkering with 3DSmax and Photoshop on my own and later joined ESMA in Montpellier.
After that, I worked in studios all over the world: Sydney, Buenos Aires, and even China, for example. It was enriching in every way. Mikros Animation in Paris contacted me to be the supervisor on The Tiger’s Apprentice, and it turned out to be another incredible adventure!

  • What was your role on TA as the Lighting Supervisor? 

I joined the project during pre-production for lighting. Initially, it was just Dimitri Trouvé and me. He was incredibly supportive, bringing me up to speed on Mikros Animation’s pipeline and offering technical support as a Katana black belt with ample experience! Initially, my task was to detail the film to determine our lighting needs (team budget, etc.). An excellent team had already developed custom shaders and a pre-look for a test sequence. So, I was responsible for finalizing the film’s look and establishing a collaborative lighting/compositing workflow with the Compositing Supervisor in Paris, the talented Guillem Ramisa De Soto. After that, I built a solid team! 

  • How was the collaboration with Paramount’s creative teams and Mikros teams? 

Collaboration with Paramount went smoothly: we presented plans with a preliminary pre-compositing by the compositing team, and we quickly provided them with what they visually expected. For the establishing shot of the first sequence in the dojo, they even told us that, in 20 years of their career, it was the first time they approved an establishing shot for a first sequence so rapidly. As for Mikros, it’s a studio filled with incredibly talented people I would gladly work with again. 

  • What were the main artistic and technical challenges on TA? 

The main challenge was keeping the team motivated until the end because there were quite a few slowdowns beyond our control, and we had to move forward with what we had. I didn’t want to finalize the film at the last minute with insane overtime for my team. So, we implemented different workflows than initially planned to work in ultra WIP, requesting some tools to assist us. The lighting team opened, reopened, re-re-reopened plans countless times to set up what we could. It was still pretty rock ‘n roll 🙂

Tiger's Apprentice Animation Mikros
  • What’s your favorite scene? 

It’s too hard to pick just one! I’ll mix it up: my favorite scene is in the city at night, during the arrival at the antique shop and the rooftop chase, and inside the antique shop. Different atmospheres were created at different times, and there are some really beautiful things.

  • What are you most proud of on TA? 

My team! Honestly, they nailed it, and it wasn’t necessarily an easy production. They stuck with it until the end, doing a top-notch job with joy and good spirits. They did some beautiful things. It was a pleasure to work with such friendly and talented people; I have the best team 🙂 and I’d be very happy to work with them again. 

  • Describe the film in 3 words. 

FX, FX everywhere! 

  • Any last words? 

A huge thanks to my team, really, you guys rocked it! Lucie Le Cloirec, thank you for your invaluable help; you were my right-hand person! Thanks also to those who trusted me and gave me the opportunity to be part of the Tiger adventure. Thanks to David Dulac for understanding the realities of production and teaching me a lot. Thanks to Satine and Xavier Chabin for putting so much energy into making our requests possible and helping us move forward more smoothly. Thanks to the glowing glass for supporting our teams. Thanks to Cyril for his good spirits! (Come on, I’m sure that made you smile, Cyril!) and thanks to the entire TA team because it’s each person who made this film possible 🙂 

Thanks Alexandra!