If you have a hunch the public has no clue what your job involves – or even whether it exists - you may be right.
76% of Britons can’t tell the difference between real VFX jobs and those plucked from far-flung worlds such as Mad Max, The Hunger Games and Her, according to a recent study commissioned by the fishing oilskin manufacturer Stormline (er, no, we don't see the connection either).
In the quiz now available online, over 1,000 adults were shown a selection of job titles labelled as ‘in demand’ by the Home Office, along with jobs from futuristic and fantasy films, and asked them to guess whether the role was real or Hollywood fantasy. The jobs that proved the trickiest to categorise were in visual effects (plus chicken sexer, which weren't still not convinced is a real career).
Over half thought a matte painter – a role crucial to countless film scenes – was make-believe. Yet 38% guessed that the Head Game Maker – who orchestrates child-killing, inescapable bloodbaths in The Hunger Games – was a real job (though to be fair, we bet that is someone's real job title at a few games companies). Worse off was the shader writer, a admittedly very technical VFX role whose work was deemed fantastical by two-thirds of participants.
Overall, almost a third of answers given were incorrect, and over three quarters of participants gave at least one wrong answer. It turns out VFX jobs seem less plausible than the stories they bring to life.