I felt a little bit like an old-school headmaster last week, taking our latest set of compositing students to MPC where they were to have their work critiqued for the second time. Lots of worried faces trudged behind me - nerves apparent and laughter a little thin on the ground. As usual, all of their concerns were completely unfounded and they all actually left the place beaming and proud of their achievements. But I do understand how showing your work to a bunch of seasoned professionals can be very daunting - despite the team at MPC doing their best to make the experience a relaxed one for our students.
I have just finished a great week teaching MARI to our new Compositing Professional class. I took them through UVing in Maya, and then taught them how to get to grips with MARI. As part of the curriculum, I also included for the first time the brand new NUKE to MARI bridge which makes the process of taking camera projections from Nuke to Mari and baking projections to UV space much quicker and more flexible.
When I see students go from first day newbies to fully-fledged VFX artists I can’t help but feel that they absolutely deserve it. After weeks of rigorous training learning how to create believable CG, the moment comes when they start looking for a job. And that’s exactly what happened to Pasquale Riefoli and Maria Busco who have both secured jobs at Double Negative!
As promised here's another escapee reel. This time from Ben Revens, one of our recent VFX graduates. This is a great reel with good examples of work from two of our most popular courses. The violin and tank shots were produced during our 12-week Visual Effects Production course. The more elaborate and advanced staircases shot was produced during our 6-weeks Visual Effects Professional extension which Ben took straight after his VFX Production course.
A few weeks back, CWJobs spoke to our Recruitment Manager, Garreth Gaydon about the best way of getting a job in the VFX industry when you're first starting out. The feature which you can read in full here discusses the high demand for jobs in the VFX industry and the kinds of first jobs that will enable you to get your foot in the door and make it as a VFX artist. It’s a tricky industry to enter because it is both highly creative yet technically very demanding which requires a serious amount of skill and creative ability.
We're very proud of the work we do here at Escape Studios but we probably don't show enough of our students' work. Over the coming months we're going to be featuring much more student work on our website but in the meantime I wanted to start showing some of the reels from our most recent graduates.
A few weeks back I took my class to the Natural History Museum so that we could generate some new footage which they could camera track with. It was lots of fun as they not only got to film live-action footage, they knew exactly what they would have to work with when getting back to the classroom. For me, keeping things fresh is important - and so filming new footage for the students to work with is a must. As you can see from the video, we're all pretty excited to be out of the classroom!
It’s such a great feeling when you attend a packed out event and the people pouring in turn out to be our former students. And that’s exactly what happened a couple nights ago. I attended a PFTrack event organised by our Technology Team, and it was a storming success. The room was packed with over 50 people – all craning their necks to get a better view of the speaker.
Lots of the attendees at the event were escapees who we didn’t just train but placed in their current jobs. It was great to catch up with Jacob Flint who studied our VFX Course last year and so refreshing to hear that he’s just as excited about working at The Mill today, as he was when we first placed him there. That’s a pretty rare thing these days.
Job satisfaction is massively important, and if you are not entirely happy with what you are doing, then I would encourage you to ‘shop around’ and find out what’s out there. Doing so doesn’t have to be that taxing either. If you follow us on twitter or use our RSS feed you’ll be first to hear about new jobs, daily. Because we work with nearly all of the major names in the industry, most of the jobs that are out there come through us.
So, if you’re stuck in a rut, or just fancy a change, we might just have the right thing for you.
The new course announcements are coming thick and fast at the moment, having recently launched our new Compositing Professional course I'm really pleased to announce the launch of our new 18-week Visual Effect Animation Professional course.
A few weeks back we told you about our classroom courses being coached by the Industry. One of our students, Alexander Kubinyi, told us about his experience at Double Negative and what it was like to have your reel critiqued by Alex ‘The baron’ Wuttke. This week, we catch up with another escapee who is studying our Compositing Professional Course and is being coached by The Mill. Here’s a snippet from Mary Lapena’s coaching diary.
Evgenia Golubeva recently finished our Character Animation course with us and has very quickly landed a commercials job at Partizan Lab in Soho on the strength of her excellent demo reel. She has also recently put together a short film titled "Hold Me Clothes", a stop-motion film written by her and animated in just one day at a recent film festival in Italy.
Evgenia Golubeva recently completed our animation course at Escape Studios and has put together one of the best student animation reels we have seen completed in just 6 weeks. Evgenia took full advantage of the Animation course and diligently completed all of the animation exercises, often working late into the evenings, and working relentlessly to improve her skills. Most of the shots on her reel have been taken from in-class exercises, but the way in which she has compiled the shots together into a single well-edited piece of work makes her reel far more entertaining to watch than a mere series of student shots cut together with music.
A while back we told you all about our new ‘Industry Coaching’ scheme which some of our classroom students are fortunate to be part of. For those of you who don’t know, this basically means that some of the major post houses act as mentors for our students throughout the 12 or 18 weeks of classroom study that they embark on when they study with us in London. This means that they get professional feedback and expert industry advice relevant to the field they are going to work in. It’s no surprise to hear that our students are absolutely delighted with it. All of them are they working extra hard to impress but more importantly, they are getting front-line expertise. We caught up with escapee Alexander Kubinyi who told us what the experience was like in his own words.