A few weeks ago we launched our Creative Futures report, which looked at people in the creative industry and how they were prepared to take pay cuts and self fund their own training if it meant getting ahead in their careers.
Changing career is never easy. It takes lots of thought, and above all courage and commitment. But that's exactly what escapee Richard Sowerby did. He sudied multimedia at Cheltenham University and forged a very successful career as a systems/graphics analyst. It took him 7 years to pluck the courage to follow his dream of working in the VFX industry and start looking for courses in compositing. And boy, did his determination pay off!
Some of our escapees are appearing in Arch 21 - an exhibition which is showcasing great student projects in architecture and VFX. Carlos Lora is one of the team responsible for organising Arch 21 (Pictured in the very centre) and was a student on our VFX for Production course which finished in April this year. Congratulations to you Carlos, it's quite an acheivement already!
If you're interested in Architecture and VFX, you should definitely go and have a look at the work being exhibited. With over 50 architecture students, graduates and VFX artists presenting their most recent work, it promises to showcase some amazing talent. The exhibition is at Blackhall Studios in Shoreditch from the 3rd to the 14th of August 2011 and is open from 10am to 8pm daily with the closing night being held on Saturday 13th of August.
We are proud to congratulate Helen Streeter on her new position as a runner at The Mill. Helen recently completed the character animation course at Escape Studios, and worked hard on putting together a showreel demonstrating her animation skills. The Mill is one of London's leading VFX houses and recently re-opened its film division following strong successes in commercials and music videos. The biggest hurdle in visual effects is always getting that first job and we couldn't be more pleased for Helen - congratulations.
It seems that July was the month of good news for two of our escapees who have secured their dream jobs in the industry. Congratulations to escapee Andrew McGregor who has just landed a 6 month Camera Tracking Job at Framestore from August this year. Andrew studied our VFX for Production Course with tutor Mark Spevick and started working in the industry soon after as a modeller at Polar Media. He is now absolutely delighted to be part of the Framestore Team and can't wait to get started.
Chris Mulcaster is a great example of someone who got to where he wanted to be through hard work and determination. Chris studied our VFX Production course and it gave him all of the skills he needed to secure a job in the VFX Industry. But he didn't just study the course, he poured his heart and soul into it. This is the sort of dedication which pushes you to achieve great things and which sets you apart in a very competitive industry.
Here's another escapee reel for your viewing pleasure.
Finland native, Miska Janhunen had been working for his family’s visual design firm as a Webmaster for some time, but he harboured a dream of working in VFX. For years he has been trying to find time and flexibility to study CG. “Because of my location and current situation in life, it felt more or less ‘mission impossible’. Then, in the autumn of 2010, I found Escape Studios’ Online Mentored VFX course and all the pieces fell into place.”
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!
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.
If you’ve ever dreamt of becoming an animator, Tracey’s story should help you realise that your dream might be easier to attain than you think.
It's always great to hear when escapees land jobs - especially if it's one that they've always dreamt of getting. Tom Harle, who studied our Games Art Production course has just secured a job at top games studio Rebellion. He's worked really hard on his portfolio and it's clear that it's really paid off.
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!
Want to know what it’s like to do one of our Mentored courses? Well we caught up with Escapee Ricardo Viana to find out how he got on – all the way from sunny Portugal.
I don’t think anyone was too surprised by last night’s BAFTAs. Personally, I was really pleased to see Inception win the Special Visual Effects award. With the hardware becoming more powerful, the software more sophisticated and the work ever more creative, as an industry the bar is set incredibly high, and it’s always great to see how people are constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. It’s even more impressive when you consider who else was nominated.
So it may not be an Oscar but we’re still pretty damn pleased that we’ve won SilverStripe’s website of the month! Without getting too techy, the reason that we took first place is because our website is a complex SilverStripe implementation that has lots of integrated services such as Single Sign-On, Sales Force, Magento e-commerce and YouTube feeds. The graphic design for the site was created by Distinguished & Co – who did a great job, making navigation a doddle. Big thanks to all of the guys who voted, what a great way to end the week.