Member Profile: Nafisa Baker
1. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?
I am a technical director and I have been in the industry for 3 years now.
2. What was your first job?
My first job in the industry was at Mr. X FX as a Jr Pipeline TD
3. Where did you complete your formal education?
I have a BS in Computer Science from University of California, Irvine and a Masters in Entertainment Technology from Carnegie Mellon
4. How did you first get involved with ACM SIGGRAPH?
As a student at CMU, we had the opportunity to attend any large conference, and I chose SIGGRAPH.
5. What is your favorite memory of a SIGGRAPH conference?
During my time as a SIGGRAPH volunteer, I met so many amazing people! I’ve kept in touch with them through Facebook and they have done extraordinary things!
6. Describe a project that you would like to share with the ACM SIGGRAPH community.
Quite recently, I worked as an ATD for Venom at DNeg. It was a challenging project that was absolutely fantastic. I’ve just seen the film and I can definitely say the hard work paid off! The effects were amazing!
7. If you could have dinner with one living or non-living person, who would it be and why?
I suppose this should be someone famous, but I would probably say my grandmother. I never got to meet her, and would love to have at least one dinner to talk to her and get to know her. She was an amazing feminist pioneer in a country that looked down on a working woman. She overcame all of the adversity and simply thrived. If I can strive to be half the woman she was, I will feel accomplished.
8. What is something most people don’t know about you?
I really enjoy rap music and can do a bit of freestyle myself! I will be starting a rap blog on my website very soon!
9. From which single individual have you learned the most in your life? What did they teach you?
I’ve learned the most from my father. He came to the US with very little. He worked nights and went to school during the day, and still took time to be a good dad. Eventually, with the help of my amazing mother, he earned an MBA and became the Vice President of Accounting at Martin Container Inc. He taught me that hard work and perseverance will get you through any tough time, but you must be willing to push through it.
10. Is there someone in particular who has influenced your decision to work with ACM SIGGRAPH?
My graphics professor at UCI. He passed away a few years back and around that time I had given up the dream of working in graphics. He was an inspiration and showed me that this field is amazing and fascinating. I only wish I could have said thank you for pushing me to pursue this field.
11. What can you point to in your career as your proudest moment?
The first time that I saw my name in the credits of a film. I worked so hard to get to that point, and to see my name in a film was absolutely wonderful. Although I’ve seen my name in a few films now, it still doesn’t get old. It makes me feel really happy to have worked on some amazing productions!