This is tricky, since a “regular day” totally depends on where you are in a project’s timeline. On a typical live-action VFX film job, I would go through the following broad stages, the length of which would vary depending on the size of the job.
The initial pre-shoot planning and design stage involves taking the brief for the work from the film’s overall VFX Supervisor or Director, planning and scheduling with the VFX Producer, and determining the best way to tackle the technical pipeline challenges with the CG Supervisor. Sometimes, we may begin any design or conceptualising work that needs to be done, especially if it impacts on how the live-action footage will be shot. If any of the shots or sequences require creative or technical previsualisation, I’ll supervise that process and work with the production team to make sure that we’re ready for the shoot.
I’ll then attend the shoot, working with the film’s overall VFX Supervisor or Director on-set to make sure that what is being shot will creatively work according to the brief we’ve been given (as well as watching to make sure the scope of work stays roughly within what we’ve quoted and budgeted for, done in collaboration with the Producer). I’ll also work with an on-set data wrangler to collect all the data we’ll need (eg photography, measurements, camera info, set reference, 3D scans, etc) to execute the VFX correctly back at the studio.
Once the shoot is done and we’re back at the studio, my job is then to supervise the different stages of digital post-production, covering the creation of the digital assets (i.e. props, sets, characters, vehicles, etc) we need to put into the shots, briefing and reviewing shot creation, quality control (making sure that the shots are all being brought up to a consistently high standard) as well as managing client expectations at each stage of the process.
Sometimes my work days have involved some wacky stuff. I’ve directed Nicolas Cage in a reference photo shoot on set in LA for World Trade Center, conducted a “virtual” location scout across a digital model of Darwin with Baz Luhrmann while working on Australia, and traversed forests, lakes and beaches in Alaska and New Zealand to shoot background plates for Walking With Dinosaurs 3D.
As far as a regular day goes, the only constant is coffee.