Laraib Atta is a Pakistani Visual Artist Taking Hollywood by Storm

Recently the Pakistani community found out that one of their own is making waves in Hollywood as an accomplished visual artist. And not only that but she also happens to be the daughter of Pakistani musical maestro Attaullah Khan.

She is Laraib Atta. And she has worked on visual effects on X-Men, Godzilla, Gravity, the Chronicles of Narnia, 10,000 BC, Prince of Persia and Sweeney Todd to name a few.

Laraib Atta worked on visual effects for X-Men, Godzilla, Gravity, the Chronicles of Narnia, 10,000 BC, Prince of Persia and Sweeney Todd to name a few.

Who knew that Aslan from Narnia was created by a team of animators that included a Pakistani too.

A Beginning – How a 19 Year Old Stepped Up to the Challenge

Laraib Atta was 19 when she started working in Hollywood as Pakistan’s youngest and arguably the first visual effect artist from our country to do so.

She proved herself by first working on advertisements for Disney, Rolling Stones and George Michael. High profile global events like the Olympics in China and the Nike Football promo were also worked on by Laraib, serving as a testimony to her world-class skills and talent as a creative visual artist.

A VFX Showreel with some projects Laraib has worked on

Currently she’s employed at the Imasblue and Glassworks Barcelona (Spain), after previously working at the BBC Television center in London, SKY and MPC, amongst others.

What is a Visual Artist?

A movie without a visual artist nowadays is simply unheard of, at least in Hollywood where most films (especially tentpole blockbusters) has a ton of animations, special effects and CGI in it.

Think the digitally recreated environments and natural flora and fauna in Avatar. Think the mind-blowing transformations of Autobots and Decepticons in Transformers.

Think Arnold’s Terminator design. These are things that are made possible by the best imaginations more than the software and hardware tools that goes into creating them. People like Laraib Atta and Mir Zafar Ali (Frozen, The Golden Compass, Life of Pi) have done Pakistan proud in this respect with their contributions to visual effects.

A New Crop of Pakistanis Who Are Projecting Soft Power

Laraib Atta’s contribution is nothing short of marvelous. And we’re not even talking about her visual artist work at the moment.

When people from the West think about Pakistan, generally speaking, they see a country that is perpetually in chaos and turmoil. And then they come into contact with people like Laraib, who challenge every preconceived notions that foreigners might have about our country.

Laraib’s work is fantastic no doubt and on top of that, she’s serving as an ambassador for a more vibrant, progressive and ready-for-the-future Pakistan. Her work and laurels go a long way in challenging people’s perceptions of Pakistan for the better.

There is trouble at home no doubt, which makes one lose hope. But then, out of blue, in spite of all the morass that we’ve become so accustomed to seeing and experiencing, it’s always a pleasant surprise when one of our own makes it to the world stage for all the right reasons.

Here’s to hoping Laraib Atta continues to work on multi-million dollar films and pave the way for more Pakistani girls to take up a career in VFX.

Samir is the Head of Entertainment at Lens by ProPakistani. You can reach out to him at samir.ya...

  • The dearth of role models we faced while growing up, seems to be going away. Talented and committed individuals are making their mark on the global stage. Very inspiring for the younger lot. Once a critical mass of high-achievers is established, perhaps the change will also flood into our collective social lives and better institutions and organizations will take root.

  • MashaAllah she has done great and impressive, but this part need correction “arguably the first visual effect artist from our country to do so”. Mr. writer ever heard of Amaan Akram (3d Lightning Guru) or Muqeem Khan (won an award for best digital hairs in Final Fantasy).

    Even further boss pori pori movies animate hui hain hollywood ki yahan :-) For example “The Son of Mask” was done by “Post Amazers” (local animation house) aur bhi buhat kaam hua hai sir yahan Pakistan main rehte hue hollywood ke liye :-)

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