I can finally say “looking back on 2020.” Ah, that phrase which I’ve longed for 366 days to say. (That’s right, remember, 2020 was a Leap Year). There are a lot of things we could say when looking back on 2020. Most of them I won’t mention because I don’t want to spark a collective trauma flashback.

Being a huge nerd and fan of their work, one of my favorite opportunities was the hookup with Weta Digital. The New Zealand based Visual Effects company that’s been responsible for such epics as the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, as well as the visual effects in dozens upon dozens of your favorite movies from companies such as Marvel, DC, Disney, and Netflix.

Back in August, I had the pleasure of talking to Weta Digital Creative Arts Director Gino Acevedo. Someone who immediately made it onto the shortlist of “Ben’s Favorite People on Planet Earth”. Not only has Gino worked on some of the most legendary films of the last 30 years, but his home office has all manner of cool memorabilia from his work and fandoms.

This particular interview centered on Gino and Weta’s work on the second season of Netflix’s hit superhero series The Umbrella Academy. We’re stuck between the two seasons, so here is a little taste of that Baby Pogo and AJ Carmichael action that we oh so enjoyed during season two!

Who is Gino Acevedo?

Originally from Arizona, Gino started out in practical effects such as special effects makeup, prosthetics, puppetry, and mask making. Having cut his teeth in the 90s on films such as Nightmare on Elm Street Part V: The Dream Child, Alien 3, Death Becomes Her and Species. Gino naturally progressed into an illustrious career in visual effects. Eventually ending up at Weta working as the Senior Prosthetics Supervisor and Creature Art Director for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Eventually Gino took on his current role as Creative Art Director for Weta Digital; a sort of liaison between what’s created in the physical and digital spaces, working heavily in both mediums.

So check back for part II later on!

For more on The Umbrella Academy, stay right on That Hashtag Show.