Having started a VFX course here at Escape Studios, I’m keeping a diary to share with you how the course is going so far. And here's an update on week nine
With the help of some top class industry speakers, cinemas in a handful of the world’s most prolific post houses, a dedicated team of Escape staff and some fantastically helpful VFX Marshalls, it is no surprise the UK’s first ever VFX Festival, was a storming success.
There have been some exciting changes at Escape Studios recently, and with that we are very pleased to welcome our new Relationship Manager, Anita Gribble. In this role Anita will have two main responsibilities. One is to work closely with post houses up and down the country to continue building on the industry coaching scheme we currently have for our full-time students. As well as this she will be helping to maintain our relationship with recruiters at a variety of post houses to further benefit our students.
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...
Having previously worked in the games industry and studied Computer Games Art at degree level, Ewan Armstrong wanted to broaden his skill set to make the transition into film and TV media. Ewan made the decision to study at Escape because he saw an opportunity to fill the gaps in his knowledge on production rendering techniques, camera tracking and compositing, all while being in an environment closely linked to the VFX industry.
After a previous visit to Double Negative, James Dower and his class mates really got a taste for the high standard of work that DNeg set. And on this, their second visit, they were all keen to get some professional feedback for their own VFX Production projects.
The current VFX Professional class were assigned The Mill as part of the ‘Industry Coaching’ scheme, which is a new initiative for us here at Escape Studios. The main idea behind the scheme is that we invite established post-production houses in Soho to mentor our students as they prepare to enter the industry as VFX artists. The VFX Professional course is our more advanced course for students who have completed the VFX Production course or artists already in the industry who are looking to further their knowledge in the field. For these students, getting advice from professionals working in the industry is golden, helping them prepare better for what is to come. Emmy Castelain was among the group during this visit, and this is what she had to say about their time at The Mill…
Moving on from the presentation by Kevin Jenkins we turned our attention to Ben Morris who gave us the low-down on his role as a VFX Supervisor. As we watched the end sequence of War Horse, which is the part where we discover the fate of our hero’s horse, we all became a little misty eyed, but were quickly reassured by Ben that no horses were harmed during the making of this film. Needless to say, we were all very impressed with the great VFX work done by the guys at Framestore and how realistic the horse looked. Surely Mr Spielberg wouldn't have it any other way.
With all the excitement of new courses starting here at Escape in 2012, we’ve not yet had time to share the work that last year's students put together at the end of their courses.
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 ago, I wrote about how buoyant the VFX industry is and how Senior NUKE Compositors are in high demand. Well, the surge in demand for mid-level and senior artists is continuing. With some of the biggest releases for 2011 and 2012 (films like The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn and War Horse) being worked on in London's Soho, the post houses have never been busier.
The chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you’ve got more than a passing interest in the film industry. Alright, specifically the VFX part, but still, you’re keen to know as much as you can about the industry, and possibly how you can break into it (hopefully with our help…).
A common misconception amongst Junior Artists when preparing their first reel is that they have to come up with some overly elaborate and complex VFX shot to wow future employees. These usually feature exotic spaceships, massive explosions and weapons of mass destruction. It doesn't have to be like that. So, what makes a good CG shot? I had a chat with our Training Development Director and Maya Guru Lee Danskin to find out.
Everyone knows the importance of a well put together show reel, but it's surprising how many there are out there that fail to tick all of the right boxes. Very often a show reel will fail to showcase the breadth of skill of the candidate, or will let itself down with a few issues that are fairly simple to fix. Therefore, we've put together a list of points to help you perfect your show reel and to maximise the impact it has on prospective employers. After much discussion at Escape Studios, plus a fair bit of back and forth on Twitter, we have whittled down the list to these 8 tips: