Animator at DNEG
“From Animation-wanabe to Animator at DNEG – I owe Escape big time.”
Animation is where it’s at
It’s official: Animated Characters have taken over British TV. With the likes of Alexander the Meerkat, who has made us all laugh, to the latest CG Andrex Puppy who has divided the nation, the animation market is flourishing. Good job that escapee Ben Wiggs has a secure position as Animator at one of London’s top post production houses; DNEG. Ben has worked on some huge titles: Cadbury's - Spots vs Stripes, Ademe - Garbage Monster, Want to See Something (short film), York - Polar Bear and Airwick –Freshmatic, to name but a few. Ben is in the perfect role at the perfect time but let’s take a look at his journey and how he got there.
Ben is someone who knows what he wants and from the time he first saw ‘Akira’ aged thirteen he was hooked on the idea of becoming an animator. “I was so smitten I began dabbling with a bit of stop-motion on an old cine camera, before teenage life kicked in and distracted me totally from it. ”But, it wasn’t long before his passion for animation was re-ignited by the legendary Ray Harryhausen who inspired Ben to follow his dream “I was totally fascinated by him and particularly loved ‘Clash of the Titans’. It undoubtedly had a direct effect on my willingness to try some stop-motion animation and I knew what I wanted to do with my life I just needed the skills to get me there”.
To Escape and Beyond
Ben didn’t study at University because he just wasn’t convinced he was a ‘University type of guy’. So, he set to work on the internet looking up courses, eventually finding Escape Studios. Before he knew it, he was coming in for an open day tour and signing up to study his dream subject. Ben told us that the main reason he chose to study with Escape was because he knew that Maya was the industry-standard software of choice and the courses taught at Escape were 12 week comprehensive Maya master-classes. “It was perfect for me as a young animator-wannabe trying to find a way in to this industry. It was more than I could ever have hoped it would be! The course literally took a bunch of novices and set us up ready to start a career in CG”.
Once Ben had completed his course he was ready to start looking for his first job in the industry. So, he did what all of our graduates do and met with our Recruitment Team: “Escape's recruitment service played a massive role in my career. After a stint at Weta in New Zealand, I came back and approached Escape as an ex-student hoping for some contacts. Within weeks they found me my first job in London at Steel Drum Studios, where I stayed for two years. Then later in my career, as a freelance animator, Escape got me gigs at the likes of Glassworks, Not to Scale and Th1ng – I know I couldn’t have done with without them.”