January 26th, 2018
2018 is going to be a big year for us at LNG Studios, with so many exciting projects in the works, it’s hard to not love what we do. Amidst the excitement of starting the new year, we realized that we would not have reached our newest milestones, surpassed our greatest achievements, and continued to grow as industry experts without the chemistry that lies in the foundation of our teamwork. We understand that creative work draws from deep inspiration so we function as a tight unit; we're loyal and supportive to one another while challenging each other to bring our A Game to the table. It may sound corny, but our amazing and dedicated team is the cornerstone to our continued success and the inspiration behind our newest blog series “LNG Coffee Break” - an intermittent blog feature that highlights our unique and talented staff. Join us and get to know our team on a more personal level, and who knows, you might just learn a trade secret or two.
We’ll be kicking off the series with Jeremie Ruffino, our Studio Director. Jeremie has a Masters in Video Game Creation and Project Management. Before joining LNG Studios, he was the Technical Project Manager at a Real Estate Tech Company and Co-founder of A&J Visualization. Jeremie’s industry experience, innovative mindset, and design expertise makes him a natural leader when it comes to real time architecture visualization. In his current role as Studio Director, Jeremie manages interactive and visualization projects for clients, tests innovative technologies in the architecture and real estate sectors, and oversees experiments in LNG’s R&D lab.
When did you join LNG Studios?
I joined LNG Studios in October 2015. I’m originally from France and I traveled to Vancouver in 2014 during the holidays. I decided to check out some companies that were in my industry and that’s when I met Matt, one of the Partners at LNG Studios. We kept in touch and I eventually ended up interviewing for my position over Skype. After getting the job and sorting out my Work Visa, I packed up everything and moved to Vancouver.
What initially attracted you to LNG Studios?
When I was in France, I worked for a company in the same field as LNG Studios. However, the company that I was with kept hitting walls and was constantly running into financial and recruitment issues. I was a bit stuck and didn’t feel like I was being challenged enough. I appreciated LNG’s open environment and their willingness to take risks in their continued quest to push for growth and innovation. Their values were aligned with my own and I felt like LNG could help me move forward and succeed in the business.
What does a typical day look like for you as the Studio Director?
I usually start out my day by making sure that everyone on my team knows what they are supposed to be working on and have all the resources they need for their projects. Around 50% of my day is spent in meetings with different teams, partners, and clients. Sometimes I’m in-and-out of the office, helping the sales team, or working on client solutions. Now that we are accelerating in our period of growth, my number one priority is to make sure that everything is running smoothly.
In your opinion, what are 3 key attributes that a Studio Director should have?
1. A good grasp of the general and technical skills that’s used around office - it could be anything from production and design to project and team management.
2. Understanding and being aligned with the company’s vision and values.
3. Being able to solve problems efficiently and effectively.
What are the elements about VR/AR that get you the most excited?
I like how VR and AR have the ability to blur the border between our reality and the 3D environment. We are able utilize technology to bring a part of the 3D immersive experience into our everyday world. We can use this for so many things, from entertainment and education to everyday tasks like grocery shopping. It’s exciting to think about where this is headed.
How has the introduction of VR/AR changed the architecture and real estate industry?
AR and VR technology have definitely elevated the experience of being able to conceptualize and feel out a particular space. There are certain things that you won’t be able to visualize just by looking at a blueprint, floor plan, picture, or even a video. For example, it will be hard to determine if a room is really big enough for your liking or if you can host a dinner party for 10 friends just by looking at a floor plan. Put on a VR headset and suddenly you are able to walk around in the space and can start to make connections like “ok yeah, this place is totally big enough for my couch and I can put that lamp over there…”. VR helps to create a more intuitive map for your brain to follow, it takes out all the guesswork and provides you with information in the form of an immersive experience.
What are 5 things that you can’t live without at the office?
My laptop, my cellphone, my coffee mug (with coffee!), my glasses, and my desk toy(s). The first four are pretty standard but there is a story behind my desk toys. It’s an old trick taught to me by one of my data development professors. He always has a yellow rubber duck on his desk and whenever he ran into a problem or got stuck he would “talk” it out with the duck. Chances are, by the end of his “conversation”, he would have figured out the answer. This technique works well for me, it helps me problem solve by letting me run through all my options and discover new information along the way. If you would like to try it out, I recommend having the conversation in your head like I do so the office doesn’t think you’ve gone crazy but hey, do what works for you!
If you had to pick, what is your favorite LNG team activity to date?
It would definitely have to be our Friday Lunches. In France, people work from 9am-7pm because we take 1-2 hours for lunch. It’s a great way to casually talk about work and get to know your coworkers outside of the office setting. So when I first started at LNG, I went out for lunch on Fridays with a co-worker who was also French. Little by little, others started to join us. That’s what I loved about it, it all happened organically. People from the office just started coming along until it became a part of the office culture. It’s great to see the team enjoying this tradition and getting to know each other better over food.