WHEN the head of a BAFTA-winning visual effects company showed a piece of work to a senior colleague, he was so impressed that he assumed the person who produced it was going to be offered an internship.

He was taken aback when Ed Bruce, the head of the Dublin-based Street Scene VFX, told him: “He needs to finish school first.”

For the 3D house builder design had been created by a 14-year-old schoolboy from Denbighshire who has his mind set on following in Ed’s footsteps.

Ethan Botterill is a pupil at Denbigh High School, which Ed also attended before going on to study product design at university.

It was only later that Ed’s interest in visual effects grew and now Street Scene is one of the most successful companies in that field. It has won numerous BAFTAs for its film and TV work, and was nominated for an Oscar for The Irishman, the Martin Scorsese film in which Robert de Niro was “de-aged”.

SSVFX’s latest successes came in the recent Irish BAFTAs, having all three shortlisted nominations.

Ethan of St Asaph, first displayed his design talent while a pupil at Ysgol Esgob Morgan, also in St Asaph, where he was encouraged by headteacher Tim Redgrave.

In high school, art teacher Simon Sherrington has also allowed him to use IT equipment in his spare time.

“I am really interested in visual effects and post-production,” said Ethan.

On his own initiative he contacted Ed after learning that he, too, had been at Denbigh High, and was asked to submit examples of his work.

“I had to remind myself of his age,” said Ed. “I was a decade older when I began learning what he has already embraced. He is incredibly motivated with an already strong passion for 3D and visual effects. It is very much intoxicating.”

It was clear, he said, that Ethan “was on the right path to employment and more than welcome to gain work experience in my company”.

Ethan said he realised how lucky he was to receive advice and mentoring from an expert such as Ed.

“He is helping me to hone my skills, and it would be great to be able to go to Dublin for work experience,” he said.

In addition to his film work the teenager has several other interests including cricket – he plays for St Asaph – karate and playing drums.

Thanks to Ed’s mother, Laraine Bruce, who lives in Trefnant, who first told him about Ethan, he is now involved in another project.

Laraine is one of the organisers of Connexions, a community project in Trefnant in which local people meet each month for various activities and talk about their interests and past.

She has commissioned Ethan to produce a short documentary aimed at connecting generations with stories of life in the area.

He will carry out interviews, direct, edit and produce the documentary.

“That is no small task even for a seasoned pro and though many would see it as daunting Ethan has soaked up the advice I can give,” said Ed.

“I have no doubt he will gain incredible knowledge from this experience. Equally, I have no doubt it will only serve to further his passion and thirst.”