#WFH Diaries: Toya Drechsler of MPC

As confinement continues in most parts of the world, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Toya Drechsler, who oversees visual effects at London-based Moving Picture Company’s office in Los Angeles.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

My name is Toya Drechsler, I'm from Munich, and currently co-Head of Nuke (VFX) at MPC's L.A. studio.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

I live in Los Angeles with my roommate.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

Pretty good, actually! There are a lot more calls and video chats, but our engineering team has done a tremendous job at making the work-from-home situation as seamless as possible. Unless my neighbors steal the internet, it's like being in the office!

Describe your socializing strategy.

As I am literally living half the world away from some of my friends and family, I allocate the time I would usually take to commute into the office to talking to my European loves. In the late evenings, I talk to my American friends, have game and movie nights, and use stolen moments in between for deep talks with my roommate.

What are you reading?

Mostly industry papers on new technological developments and workflows, so if we ever find ourselves having downtime we can allocate those moments to research.

What are you watching?

I'm watching a lot of The Great British Bake Off. It calms me down to not think about my own flour shortage, and hearing the British rain gives me sweet memories of all my friends over there.

What are you listening to?

My father has taken it upon himself to record a personalized podcast for me. What better way to spend a pandemic than to listen to your dad tell stories from his and also my grandparents' youth - to smile along with every story, and to realize how small of a commitment staying in is against a backdrop of what has happened in their lives? Apart from that, I am also a massive fan of Reply All and have listened to most episodes several times.

How are you staying fit?

We have cleared space in our living room and are taking daily dance, boxing and yoga classes. There are currently a lot of Instagram live feeds that have full classes that are amazing. I also found my favorite dance instructor from London is doing classes online, so I'm delighted to finally work out with him again.

Have you taken up a hobby?

It's a bit early for that, as we are still very busy, but I did buy a broom system (which I did not know existed before this) and I will broom and shrub my balcony to brilliance once it arrives.

Any tips for getting necessities?

We used a website yesterday to get groceries and it was very convenient - since we don't own a car, which makes sense, seeing as I don't know how to drive. This was our big chance to finally buy a whole watermelon and not have to carry it back from the store!

An awkward moment since all this started.

Getting into the package room in our building and trying to triangulate to stay 2 meters away from everyone at all times was a bit like a computer game shimmying around the walls.

Best work email you got since all this started.

Two colleagues and I took over the Nuke department from our brilliant predecessor right when the stay-at-home order was put in place, and despite being incredibly busy, our MD took the time to tell us we were doing a good job at managing the department throughout this new situation. It was unexpected and sweet and I might frame it - no one is seeing my house for a while, anyway 🙂 .

An aha! moment since all this started.

I learned how to re-set my router today. I feel like I've grown up years.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

I think it is dangerous to try and hypothesize about the outcome of this. All we can do, really, is try and make the best decisions we can during this time. This will end at some point. The questions are: How do you want your relationships to be affected by this? Which state would you want to find your body and your mind in after this? Who in your life is genuinely important to you that you haven't reached out to in a while? Who might need help? And if we are all trying to be the best people we can be, we can hopefully come out of this without regrets, and possibly with a few closer bonds than before.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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