Starting out in VFX can be difficult for junior artists, but the best place to start is your showreel. It needs to be compelling and to demonstrate all the technical skills that you possess.
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!
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.
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.
Something fun for a Friday. I'm sure most of you have seen this by now as it has been shared on lots of social networking sites. For those who haven't, here is a cool short film by the directing duo Daniels - called Dogboarding. It's a quirky, original idea and great fun to watch.
Another one of our Games Art Production course escapees has just landed a job. This time it is Ross Garfoot who just secured a job at Playground Games - well done Ross!
Another week, another headline about English universities charging students over the odds: “University fees: Half opting for top fees”.
When Victor Perez finished our 12-week Compositing for Production course last year, we knew that he was destined for great things. Since completing the course he has worked for an impressive range of companies - most of the post houses in Soho in fact - and is absolutely loving it. Victor was born to be a compositor -it's just in his blood. He's been hooked since his early days watching Star Wars. For Victor being able to use his artistic and technical skills to tell a story is one of the most important aspect of what he does -he's definitely in the right job then!
Over the past couple of weeks we've been busy working on our online learning system. "Really? I haven't noticed any difference", I hear you say... Well, it is true that most of the work carried out has been "under the bonnet", so you might not have noticed anything. The reason for sharing this with you today though, is that this work is enabling us to bring to you a number of new features and enhancements.
According to Nintendo’s president, low priced mobile phone games are one of the biggest risks for the games industry as they are giving the impression that all games should be cheap. Last night I had a fantastic gaming session with my son, not on a Wii, PS3 or xbox but on my iPhone and it cost me 59 pence. The success of the Wii is something that Sony also encouraged with eye toy, casual gaming that is fun and accessible for all kinds of people not just hardcore gamers. It strikes me as a little naive to think that the app generation is the biggest threat to the games industry. Though, the cost of a ds game is huge and takes a child ages to save up their pocket money
The iPhone has opened the Market to small developers, provided a fantastic opportunity for people to break into games and because it is so easy to use, has opened up the world of videogames to a whole cross section of society. My children and I get just as much fun from an iPhone game as well as a ds for a fraction of the price. Epic has produced an amazing looking game for only a few pounds and created a version of their awesome engine specifically to embrace this exciting platform. The biggest threat to the games industry is the CEOs not listening to gamers - they should be encouraging development every where creating internships and fostering talent.
The makers of angry birds have opened an academy, not bad for a little throw away game. Come on Nintendo Sony and Microsoft, get your act together! Speaking of internships one of our games students Chris Chorley is doing a six month internship at veemee. You also only have to look at the success of Portal to see that Valves approach to internships pays huge rewards.
I'm really pleased to announce a new addition to our full-time classroom courses - Compositing Professional. This course builds on the amazing success of our 12 week compositing for production course and adds an additional 6 weeks of advanced training. This extra time will give students the opportunity to develop skills to really set them apart from other juniors looking to enter the industry - covering subjects such as compositing for stereoscopic and the advanced techniques needed to work with high end 3D visual effects. Part of the course includes a dedicated project week where you'll be able to work on your showreel and make sure that it really stands out from the crowd.
Please getting in touch with training team or come along to one of our open days to find out more.
Escape Studios is hitting the road this year undertaking a program of talks, presentations and master classes throughout the UK universities and colleges.
We're never prouder than when our escapees get the recognition they deserve. This usually comes in the form of a first job with a top post house or commendation from the professional community for a perfectly executed shot, so when we found out that some of our escapees made it to the Autodesk 2010 Education showreel, we were beaming.
You can really impress future employers by taking advantage of our two expert tutorials this month. Taken from our Character Animation Foundation and ZBrush for 3D Artist courses, they are designed to give you pro-skills in very specialised areas.
Last Wednesday, Escape Studios had the honour of having Christian Manz, VFX Supervisor at Framestore come into our studios and talk to our students about life in the industry. Christian discussed the bits about the job that are great (Like getting to see your name up on the big screen after arduous months of working on a project) and the bits which aren’t quite so good (Like the long hours). It wasn’t just our students who enjoyed it, we loved it too. Christian’s thirteen year career has been an epic one and his latest contribution to the industry as VFX Supervisor on the latest HP7 is particularly impressive. We spoke to Christian about the highs and lows of his career so far, and what it feels like to have been part of one of the biggest films of our recent times.
As the end of 2010 approaches we're filling up fast for our next round of courses in January 2011. The last spot on our Compositing course has just gone, so the next seats available for that are now in April. We have also just filled our Character Animation course with Alex Williams so we now only have a few seats left on the two Visual Effects Production courses, taught by Mark Spevick and Dan Shutt.