A short time ago, our current students were treated to a presentation from some chaps from Lexhag Visual Effects. Lexhag are a small post production house with in house grading capabilities and benefit from years of on-set experience to create stunning effects for mid-level tv shows, such as Whitechapel and The Fades. We were visted by Effects Supervisor Alexis Haggar, founder of Lexhag and fellow escapee (from way back when), and Senior Producer Dan Marbrook. They took the time to come exhibit some shows they'd worked on, so the Escape Students could see the quality of work a small studio can produce.
Or wanted to be able to say, ‘I did that’, when watching a film and seeing a huge, breath taking explosion? Then maybe you should start to think about pursuing a career in Visual Effects. At Escape Studios, we want to make those first steps into the industry as easy as possible whilst providing you with the tools to succeed. Our Visual Effects Production course will not only give you the skills to progress in the exciting world of Film Visual Effects, but will also show you how to make an impressive show reel (which results in many of our students securing jobs once they have finished.)
Last week I accompanied the current Compositing class on a trip to the MPC studio in London. It's all part of the industry mentoring scheme we're encouraging at Escape, as we work to prepare our students for the working world. With aspirations for one day working in the industry, we feel it's really important for all our students to get a taste for what is expected from them as early as possible in their training. Irene Bonilla was one student who joined us that day, and here's what she had to say about it...
At the beginning of the month we gave a little insight into the world of Escape and how our graduation ceremonies work. As mentioned, we assemble all the different graduating classes into our breakout space, where students and tutors watch what each student has worked on during the first, or last, six weeks of their course.
Don’t you all just love it when our resident VFX tutor Mark Spevick shares his knowledge with us? And don’t you just love watching, with bated breath, Indiana Jones conquering new feats as he crosses a rope bridge that appears to be on it’s last tethers above a dangerous gorge? And of course we know you'll just love to know that we've put the two together.
Working in the CG industry, I have always been fascinated with stop motion animation. Growing up watching films like Tim Burton's 'Nightmare Before Christmas', I have always wondered what goes on behind the scenes and how it all works. And, funnily enough, a couple of months ago, the flat where I live actually turned into an animation studio overnight.
There is a lot of nonsense out there on the internet, and often the line between fact and fiction is a blurred one. For the VFX industry however, the net provides a sturdy back catalogue of fact based webinars, tutorials and breakdowns, with many of the key players in the business regularly exhibiting online what they do. The internet is truly a tool that when utilised, can inspire and educate.
It’s always interesting to see how different studios rank, whether it’s in regards to gaming, films or television. On Wednesday, Develop Online released its top 100 best studios, which, let’s be honest is always good to have a nose at. This time, however, what made it more interesting for us is the fact that two escapees have gone on to work for the number one voted UK game’s developer, Traveller’s Tales!
Over the weekend we attended the London VES Career Fair & Tech Expo, and let’s just say it put Love Box to shame with the numbers who turned out for the event itself! Queues of aspiring VFX artists patiently lining up to speak to representatives from some of the world’s greatest post houses, including ILM, Framestore, Pixomondo, Method Studios, Cinesite, Prime Focus and Disney, really highlighted just how much competition there is to get your foot on the first rung of the ladder in the world of Visual Effects.
We are really pleased to have been invited to partner with The Foundry at the VES Career Fair and Technology Expo this weekend.
Doing a VFX course can lead your career in many directions. For many of our students it has been the launching pad for a career in post-production, for film, TV and commercials. Many students have also gone on to work in other areas such as games and architectural visualisation. We teach the fundamentals and practicalities of working in CG, paving the way for what you will eventually specialise in.
Welcome back everyone!! I hope you all had a cracking weekend. Right now we are going to pick up where we left off on Friday with FG Maps.
Scott Squires, of Industrial Light & Magic, has a blog called Effects Corner. Scott talks everything VFX, from artistry to wages. If you are looking to read the frank ins and outs of the VFX world then Scott’s blog is the place to go. Scott has 35 years’ experience in the industry and has work on film projects like Van Helsing, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Stars Wars: Episode I – Phantom Menace.
His articles are well written and packed full of industry top tips. He talks you through key skills like camera tracking and 3D match-moving as well as providing links to some of the latest visual effects news.
I recently went to see the Lucian Freud Portraits exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. Wow! Intense, raw paintings that reflected his relationship to his sitters. I actually quite liked his early portraits that were very flat in dimension and lacking perspective in a stylised way. He painted the eyes of the faces quite large and dominant in the frame. But in most cases looking away, or 'blankly' towards the painter. This created for me a disturbing yet intriguing relationship between the viewer of the painting, me, and the personality of the person he is trying to portray. When we look at portraits or a picture of a person, we tend to look at the eyes first to connect in some way. Not being able to do that created a whole new approach of portraiture that I do not see often. Their eyes were wide, but not allowing a connection. The faces were rarely smiling and this one is a great example.