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Goodbye Notes from Friends and Former Employees

I can't express how much I've learned, grown, and enjoyed working with all of you the last 15 years. It's been an amazing privilege to have met you all and be involved in these projects. Working on the big Hollywood shows is at times a thrill and at times a drag, but the Matte World team has always been my reason to love working here. I sincerely hope to work with you again, hopefully on a Matte World project in some new location, or wherever we meet again. - Ken

MWD Farewell Announcement
Archiving The Work
Visit the MWD Archive Site

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It's been wonderful working and dreaming with everyone at Matte World for the last 20 years. We've solved lots of puzzles and seen so much magic over the years—tin foil into mountains, paint and glass into environments, baby powder and baking soda into snow, salt into waterfalls, pillow batting into clouds, scaling miniatures up to become castles and shrinking people down to become crowds. It's been an adventure I'll treasure always. Thanks to each person who helped MWD come alive and leave its mark in the world of VFX over the last quarter century. Today, a little piece of my heart goes with Matte World. - Todd

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A world without Matte World. This is something I never let myself imagine. When I heard of its closing I was initially saddened, but as I look back at the years and recall all that has been achieved there, I feel, as I have always, an overwhelming sense of pride. And although I haven't been there for years, what makes Matte World special to me are the people. I know how hard the crew at Matte World worked to achieve those images up on the screen; real blood and sweat went into every frame.

Craig, as a VFX Supervisor, has an incredible eye and a singular aesthetic. What people don't always realize is that he has an uncanny ability to pull together a crew. He will pick talented artists and technicians and lead them with vision to create some of the most beautiful work ever done for the film industry.

Thank you Craig, I learned so much working with you and the crew. I feel very fortunate and honored to have worked at Matte World. I'm proud to have been a MatteWorlder and I will always be a MatteWorlder in my heart. Best wishes for the future for you and every one of your gallant crew. - Paul

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I can't tell you how lucky I feel to have stumbled into MWD almost 15 years ago. So lucky that you took a chance on me, with no experience at all. Matte World was my first "real" job out of college, and the starting point of my whole career. And what a great place to start! Surrounded by great talent and great supervision, I learned the ins and outs of this crazy business we're all in in a way I would never have been able to anywhere else. You let me be your sysadmin, your software developer, your grip, your compositor. I got to go behind closed doors with you in Hollywood to see some of the historic matte paintings few get to see. I got to hold the Emerald City in my own hands. How cool is that? Matte World will always have a very special place in my heart. I do hope we get the opportunity to work together again soon! - Mike

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Hi Craig, I am really sorry to hear about closing of digital drive. I hope you are ok, I know must be very hard making this decision. I am deeply hurt by hearing this news since you and Matte World had given me the opportunity to work with legends like you and Chris Evans which I will treasure all my life. I have learned so much from all the projects we worked together, which is priceless. Good work is so difficult in this industry and I have done my best work with Matte World. I will never forget that you took a chance on me and gave me the opportunity to work on two Oscar-winning projects. I am always here whenever you need me for any project—anything small to big thing. I will be constantly looking out for any talks you give in the future. Thanks again for everything you have done. You truly are my mentor. Please Keep in touch - Geeta

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Craig, thank you for making MWD such a unique place to create matte paintings: something to be proud of. From the "family" style company to all the practical and miniature shoots we did, MWD was truly a one of a kind place to work for. I had an amazing time working with you Craig, Ken, and all the artists. All the best and looking forward to hearing from you in the future. - Eric

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Hi Craig, I got the news of Matte World closing it's doors while I was at Siggraph. MWD will always have a special place in my heart. Given the chance to come on as an intern and work my way up the ladder has always shown me that hard work pays off. I really do hope that even though the Digital Drive location has closed its doors that Matte World will continue on whether it's sooner or later. I thank you for giving a student like myself a chance to make her way into this industry. I will never forget it. I have faith that this is not the final goodbye. So with that said, I won't say goodbye, but 'till we meet again'. Take care of yourself and I'll see you soon. Best, Daphne

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I am still in a bit of shock and somewhat numb from the news that Matte World is closing its doors. There has never been a place like MWD and there will never be another place like 24 Digital Drive—a place of true innovation where artists pioneered creative ways of thinking outside the box, creating beautiful works of art, exceeding the demands of an ever-evolving industry. I feel honored and fortunate to have had a chance to work with you, Craig. Thank you for being so generous with your time, your mentorship, your trust, and friendship throughout the years. I have learned so much working with you and Ken and every Matte World artist I have had the honor of collaborating with—an amazing group of people. Matte World has been, and shall remain, my extended family. Although this may be the end of 24 Digital Drive, I look forward to the day when Matte World reemerges to continue to make movie-making history. I wish you and Ken the very best and hope to see you both soon again—maybe even take a plane for a ride, a couple of "touch and go's", and some aerial photography ;) Till then, Stay Great! - Luis

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So sorry to hear the news about MWD. Paul and I were talking about the tremendous influence you had over the art of matte painting and our industry. Everyone in the matte department here was inspired from your presentation at Dreamworks. Thanks for coming to share with us. Hoping you will continue to inspire us with all with your genius and vision Craig. I feel fortunate to have been mentored by you and everyone at MWD. Here's to the future. One door closes but new opportunities arise. - Scott

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Really sad to hear 24 Digital Drive is being shuttered. My time at Matte World was an especially exciting time in my career. The work we did on Zodiac and Button was inspiring because we really got to explore creatively—whether it was taking a flight over Sacramento to get the perfect shot, figuring out how to work around French aviation security restricted zones, or cutting up cardboard boxes on the stage to build a model city street. Matte World had something special that I have not found at other places, and I am definitely wistful for those years we worked together. I still clearly remember hearing a lecture you gave at the Academy of Art when I was a lab tech there, and getting inspired to learn more about the history of matte painting Thanks for giving me an opportunity to do so much more! - Mike

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Just wanted to say first off how much it bums me out that MWD's doors are closing. Even though I only worked with you on a couple of films, the atmosphere at the office was a great fit for me. You treat your artists with respect and put the creatives first, something that some VFX facilities forget to do. I am very proud of the work that we put out, and am very grateful that I got to work with you guys on two really rad films. I also truly appreciate the Cinefex love that Craig gave us on Captain America. Having my name printed in that trade magazine really made me proud to get recognition for the hard work we all put in. - Brian

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I'm so sorry to hear that Matte World will be closing its office!! You guys were the best EVER!!! I'm sure it will be very soon when you open up a new location and start doing the fun and amazing work again. Just remember to keep me in mind when you do. You know how much I love working with all of you!! I learned so much from everyone there and you had so much patience towards me for all my crazy questions. Thanks for everything for the past seven years. It was an unforgettable experience. I am sure there will be more to come in the future!! Sincerely, Jaymie

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I just today heard the news, and my heart skipped a beat. MWD is where I got a new direction in my career. I can never thank you enough for the chance you took on me. I look back on my year with MWD. What a time of incredible energy, creativity, insanity, and ultimately, artistry! It still blazes in my memory like the sun. You have created such a legacy with MWD. A legacy of images, of talent, of craftsmanship. I wish you the very best in your future endeavors. And like so many others, a part of my heart will be waiting for the day when I hear about MWD 2.0. - Christopher

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Sorry to hear the news on Matte World. I have to say reading that brought tears to my eyes. - John

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I'm sorry to hear the news. Itís really an end of an era. The integrity of your artistic aesthetic, the innovation, the dedication, and the overall kindhearted vibe of the place will be missed in the film industry. I personally have left my heart among the slide archives, glass paintings and computer work stations. It was always more than just a job and I'm grateful for all I learned at Matte World. Endings are beginnings too, I suppose. An inspirational and creative workplace, always! - Lisa

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I just wanted to extend my thanks to you and the rest of the crew for allowing me the honor of working with you on some fantastic projects. It was such a truly unique privilege to be able to learn from you and your team. You have given so many artists wonderful opportunities and kept the beauty of filmmaking alive in your methods and I am very proud and humbled by the opportunities you have given me! I am sorry to hear about the closing but I wish you great things in the future!! :) Take care and good luck! - Mieke

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It's devastating to me. MWD was quite literally the only place I ever worked that I truly enjoyed, other then my home office. If I had never worked there, there are so many things that I wouldn't have been able to do. I never felt the level of creativity, the amount of history, the genuine collective understanding of film, and the camaraderie that I felt at MWD. It was the shop that I compared all other places to, and I still do. You guys took me in as a very green and probably not so professional artist and taught me so much, both creatively and professionally. I always had this (sometimes awkward) need to impress you all. I hope you know it was because I always saw you all as mentors. I had been reading Cinefex since I was a kid and knew about MWD, long before I had even decided to do this kind of work, and it was a dream for me to work there. I got way more then just a paycheck working there, and its sad to think I may not have that feeling again. I don't want this letter to be misinterpreted or depressing, so Ill stop now I'm not sure what else to say, other than Thank You - Clayton

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I heard the news today that Matte World will be closing its doors. I know it's been quite some time since the last time I have seen you but the news saddens me, I never thought that this would happen, I got my start at Matte World and to hear that its going to close its doors is something that is very upsetting. I hope the best for all of you, if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. Take care and best of luck. - Can

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I'm very sorry to hear the news. I'm sure we'll work together again. Good luck in the future! Take care, Chris

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I'm sorry but at the same time hopeful that MWD 2.0 will launch soon! That could be a new and exciting beginning! Working with and you has been a true pleasure and a blessing! I wish you and your family all the best and continued success. With much appreciation! - Derek

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This is sad news. The thoughts and sentiments you expressed in the email are very meaningful to all of us who have made the work at MWD a big part of our lives. Fortunately we each have unique talents and experience and therefore opportunities exist for us to go forward in yet unseen directions. I hope to keep in touch with you in particular. It's been an honor and pleasure to work with you. - Chris

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I went to Matte World's site the other day and was really sad to see that you had decided to close shop. I trust you have other things going on - so maybe it's not all bad - but for me it was sad to see. In some way my few years working with you and the guys were some of the best in my life. I learned so much working with you.

Around when things started shifting to digital, you and I had a conversation where you described what we did as being the state of the art for a 100-year-old art form. I never forgot that, and I have always been very proud that in some small way I had the opportunity to work in that world with you, Michael, Chris and Wade. Pre computer. That has formed so much of my personal approach to art.

I remember my first day on the job. We were doing Robinhood Prince of Thieves. We were all sitting in the front room watching the shot loop by, and you and Michael were talking about aspects of the shot I was completely new to. To me the shot looked awesome. And I was just sort of giddy to be there. And then Michael asked me whether I thought it looked real. I don't remember what I said. Something useless no doubt. "Yeah it looks really great." or something totally uncritical. But I still remember feel honored that I was even asked. Who the hell was I to say?

I remember another time - no clue what show we were working on - Malice? - but I was whining about how I didn't think our plan for the shot would work. I just kept on and you uncharacteristically lost your temper with me (in your gentle way) and said - well then what do you suggest Joel? And I didn't have an answer. And we did it your way and it worked fine. That was a defining moment for me. It was the first time I really learned the lesson that you don't complain - you offer ideas. That's all that matters. That lesson has served me very well ever since.

Working on StarTrek VI was a closed loop in my life. I grew up a trekkie. And as we all know, you're not really a trekkie unless you are an original series trekkie. And that I got to work on shots for the final film with the original cast, well, I guess in some way I could have died the next day because that part of my life was complete.

Anyway - I just wanted to say hi. And that I was thinking very fondly of you and Matte World. All the best, Joel

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The electricity is off! The electricity is off! Press 5 to indicate you have received this message. Okay. Have a nice day. Goodbye. - phone message from the Matte World Digital server, upon shutdown.

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