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Special Effects Technician

Julia Hiroko Howe

Meet Julia Hiroko Howe, who turned her love of sci-fi and fantasy into a 20-year career as a special effects technician. Her superior project management skills made her the perfect choice for several well-known projects.

Julia grew up loving science fiction and fantasy film and television. That passion led to a 20-year career as a special effects technician focusing on project management in the television, feature film, and games spaces. She is an expert in mechanical, motion control, VFX, and database administration. A master at solving complex production challenges, she kept fast-turn visual FX pipelines running smoothly on Steven Spielberg’s “Falling Skies,” balanced the demands of international collaborative crews on the feature “The Great Wall,” and planned and executed builds of giant physical FX pieces for shows like “Hyperdrive” and “Ellen’s Game of Games.” She has collaborated with prominent names in the entertainment space like Netflix, Legendary, and ABC, among others. We are extremely proud to be Julia’s financial partner while she manages the demands of her profession. Meet Julia in our new Member Stories spotlight!

What is the key to finding success in the entertainment industry?

“Always be learning something new and never stop communicating. Being on set can be stressful, but even on the most challenging productions, you need to recognize we’re all in it together. Every craft approaches the process from its own unique perspective, and you can be a more effective collaborator with an open mind and a willingness to learn, no matter how long you’ve been in the business.”

What inspired you to want to pursue an entertainment career?

“I grew up loving science fiction and fantasy film. I was enthralled by how engineering and storytelling worked together to bring entire new worlds to life in games, movies, and television. Now I get to be part of those productions.”

How would you compare your experiences with First Entertainment with other financial institutions that you have banked with?

“Excellent, top-notch professionals. Wait times are never long on the phone when you need to reach a human operator.”

What has your experience been like using our digital banking? 

“I love mobile banking because I work overseas a lot. First Entertainment has been excellent because credit unions are easy to find overseas and paychecks clear faster than with traditional brick and mortar banks.”

Tell us something about yourself you would like the entertainment community and First Entertainment CU family to know.

“I love trying out new features. If you have a beta tester program for any future online features, I’d be interested in being a part of that.”

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First Entertainment Credit Union membership is comprised of the people in entertainment whose individual stories are as unique as they are inspiring. Our Member Stories series* highlights these extraordinary stories. Building a network of supportive partnerships contributes to your story and can make all the difference in feeling a sense of genuinely belonging. At First Entertainment, you belong here and Your Story Matters.

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Producer and writer working together on set

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Testimonials are provided as a means for members to share their experiences. Individual experiences and results may vary. Membership eligibility is required.