May 23, 2022
Meet the Butcher Birds — Mason Ross
Mason Ross – 2D & 3D Editor, Graphic Artist, Technical Director
In this series, we’re celebrating the exceptional team members that make up Butcher Bird Studios. Today, we’re sitting down with Mason Ross to talk about his multifaceted role, what led him to Butcher Bird, and what advice he has for those who want to kick start their career in the industry.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and what led you to a career as a 2D/3D Artist/Graphic Artist/Technical Director?
I spent most of my adult life in Baltimore. Baltimore has a thriving and very supportive live performance community. In my twenties, I wanted to say yes to every project and often that meant having to learn new skills to help create whatever avant-garde project I had just signed away part of my life to. After fifteen years full of parties, plays, and performance tours, I racked up a wide knowledge base and the ability to say no. Not long ago a good friend of mine told me that I’m better than a Jack of all trades, that I’m more of a Queen of all trades. Best compliment of my life. My technical theater skills led me to work on live streams at Adult Swim Digital for three years.
Can you describe your role in the team, and how it has evolved since you joined Butcher Bird Studios? (I see you’ve garnered quite a few roles!)
I started off running graphics for a week-long live show at Butcher Bird Studios about a year ago. I knew the program Q-Lab very well (Q-Lab is a marvelous program by Figure 53 for live cueing, it does everything) and Butcher Bird allowed me to run it alongside their typical workflow. This kind of opened the door for me, showing fellow nerds some software they weren’t familiar with and being able to immediately talk-shop. I let them know that there were some other tools in my kit and they started throwing me some other work to see what else I could do.
What makes Butcher Bird Studios unique?
Honestly, see my above answer. The fact that I was able to express interest in doing other kinds of work with Butcher Bird other than live graphics and their response was to see where they could fit me in was absolutely glorious. I’ve watched so many people here play different roles from project to project simply because they expressed interest in wanting to gain intimate knowledge of another aspect of the beast. We are here because we like the work, what more could you ask for?
What has been your favorite project with the team and why?
I’m not allowed to talk about it.
We had a lot of fun, everyone was honest and polite, diligent and yet able to let things go.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a creative career?
Create. Keep creating. Help others create. Do it for free, and hope for a job.
Can you anticipate what might be the next big thing in the industry?
Augmented reality. It’ll be here soon and it will take some years before it catches on, but it is going to allow creators to move in directions they aren’t even contemplating yet. Here’s hoping it won’t be the catalyst that ends humankind as we know it.