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A few weeks back, August 14th, we said our farewells to another class of Compositing graduates, ready to embark on a professional career in VFX. An exciting day for all involved, we had the opportunity to check out their end of course projects. Presented to tutors as well as fellow students, each project got some constructive feedback from the pros on where improvements could be made, and where their talents excelled.
If you’ve not had access to the internet over the last week, (why else wouldn’t you be keeping up to date with the hottest VFX blog on the planet?) as well as some highly informative, highly entertaining, VFX related internet titbits, you’ve missed out on a few smashing success stories.
Hasraf Dullul is part of a generation of VFX artists first inspired by the film ‘Bladerunner’, since this early awakening, Hasraf, or Haz, as he is more fondly known by his contemporaries, has assembled a portfolio of some considerable weight; it includes a number of prestigious awards and world renowned projects. Batman: The Dark Knight, Planet Dinosaur and NOVA – Life beyond Earth, not to mention numerous VES (Visual Effects Society) awards nominations!
The most recent fruits of his labour have flourished in the form of his own VFX driven short film, ‘Fubar Redux’, which has been fondly described as ‘Animal Farm meets Platoon’ quite an intriguing round up right? Be sure to check it out here, we think it’s marvellous!
Our visual effects and compositing students have gone on to work on some pretty awesome projects over the years. These include the many studio blockbusters that light up cinema screens around the world. Seeing escapee names in the rolling credits at the end of such films never fails to give us that warm fuzzy feeling of pride – proud to see they have achieved the goal they had when we first met them on our courses. And this was very much the case when some of the Escape team went to an exclusive screening of Snow White and The Huntsman at Framestore a few months ago.
“Big things have small beginnings”, was an idea acknowledged in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, released earlier this year. And for us, this statement couldn’t be more true. Taking the art of visual effects as a prime example, the spectacular CG you see on screens today was born from the most basic of concepts, and the people who created those effects invested significant time and energy to become the talented artists they are today. Every creative talent has to start out somewhere, and with the right levels of care and determination, it can evolve into something magnificent.
Last Wednesday we sauntered down to our friends at Saddington Baynes, devoured some gourmet Pizza, washed it down with some ice cold beer and cleansed our pallets with some invigorating VFX related conversation, all in the name of our second graduate reunion…who says you can’t mix business with pleasure? And with a high calibre of industry employed attendees from the likes of Double Negative, Framestore, The Mill and MPC London, conversation was rife.
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.
Success stories about our escapees are always a pleasure to write up. What's even better though is the opportunity to write another, on the same person, just a year later! Mark Pascoe recently answered some questions for us, explaining his journey from studying Sports Science at University to working on the VFX for an Emmy nominated TV Show for the Discovery channel.
It’s fair to say that the world of VFX is a bit like a tardis, a tardis that escapee Allyn Lawson knows all about.
We’ve been catching up with lots of the escapees from over the years, and one story in particular has been hugely inspiring to us. Having studied a ten week Maya comprehensive course at Escape Studios back in 2003, Alenka Abraham has paved a very exciting career for herself. Taking on an R&D software project at Glassworks, Alenka met her future business partner, Adam Cubitt. Together they set up Existential Ltd., a company that develops both real-time and off-line computer visualisation and animation technology. Collaborating with leading post-production companies like MPC, and many others across the UK, they’ve been involved in pioneering projects and are making quite a name for themselves.
NATIVITY is a pioneering digital art project by Martha Fiennes, a moving-image interpretation of the Christ Nativity inspired by a canon of Renaissance paintings on the story. Martha’s idea for this project was brought to life through the process of SLOimage, which is the process of random and perpetual image self-generation. It slowly transforms through a wide range of alternative pictorial content in a way that is unpredictable to both the artist and the viewer. In a way, it is as though this technique has its own level of consciousness, allowing the artwork to generate meaning in new and very unexpected ways.