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Advisory Board Member: Charlie Bayliss

Charlie Bayliss joins the Escape advisory Board with 9 years’ experience in the business, accumulated at a number of world renowned post houses. Currently a VFX Animator at Framestore, Charlie studied the Maya Core course at Escape Studios in 2004 and early on worked on commercials for global brands such as Vodaphone, Sainsburys, Coca-Cola, and Puma.
More recently he has gone to lend his artistic hand to the iconic opening sequence of James Bond: Skyfall and the ‘Tale of Three Brothers Sequence’ in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.

Tell us about your most exciting projects, and why they stood out?

My favourite project by far has to be the Skyfall title sequence. It was an honour to work on a Bond project to start with, but I was already massively inspired by other Bond title sequences, notably the titles for Die Another Day headed up by the Director Andrew Daffy. For me, that was some really impressive work.

I also enjoyed working on the animation sequence in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - The Tale of Three Brothers sequence. I was one of the animators who worked on the cloak of invisibility. As you can imagine, simulating cloth in an animation is no easy task. It was a real challenge, but a welcome one.

How important is it for the industry to continue to dispatch knowledge and experience on to other budding VFX artists?

It’s very important of course and I'm glad I can play a part in giving something back. It gives young people something to aspire to, just like I’ve been inspired by people like Andrew Daffy and the work he did on the Bond titles.
Job breakdowns for instance can be very inspirational for beginners and professionals alike. I still look at online tutorials the odd time to refresh on techniques and get up to scratch at the beginning of a project - tutorials on how to approach fluid dynamics for example. I’m currently learning Houdini from online tutorials and colleagues. As a VFX artist the scope of our work is advanced through lots of different software. At Framestore we have an account for Digital Tutors so we can research new techniques as and when we need to.

What inspired you to want to get into the world of VFX?

When I was a kid of about 15 / 16 I was hooked on a TV show called Liquid Television They were using loads of different kind of animation, anything you could imagine. Some was amazing and some was really bad, but it was this kind of show that piqued my interest in animation as an art form. The futuristic cartoon Aeon Flux also had a huge part to play in it. They were using a really distinctive style of animation that I loved at the time. I remember in school for my GCSE art class there was a book on fantasy art, showing concept art and a range of different work. I loved that book so much I ended up stealing it from the library so I could research it from home. All of which has helped me get to here I am today. 

What made you choose to study at Escape?

I had a desk space at Westbourne Studios for a while and was trying to teach myself Maya. At the time, Escape Studios were in the same building. Knowing that they were teaching Maya, I introduced myself and asked to borrow a book. I stayed in touch with them and chatted to them about my progress with Maya. Eventually I bit the bullet, got some cash together and did a course – Maya Fundamentals at the time. In hindsight it was a good investment for my future and it paid back within a few years of landing some good jobs. Escape was great. I had access to great kit for my own projects and I was introduced to some great people. One of whom was fellow student James Sindle who I co-founded Supernatural Studios with along side Zissou. Escape founder, Dom Davenport, also introduced me to Dan O’Rourke, a producer and founder of Not to Scale where I did some work. Being introduced to The Mill was a great booster for my career and since then I’ve not looked back.