Here is a really tasty behind the scenes look at how a talented group of German artisans and technicians, have explored and discovered the wide variety of professional creative services that they’ve come to offer.
Now that I have your attention, please click onto the video above because you are in for a real treat.
As Training Advisor here at Escape Studios, I speak with a lot of people looking to take the leap into VFX. Although everyone’s situation differs considerably, I do find that many have the same concerns. So after speaking with past student Ashley Miles about his experience on the VFX for Production course, I thought I should share some pearls of wisdom, to help clear up any concerns you have about embarking on this new career path.
The one-day VFX taster classes kick off a week on Monday. If this is something you want to participate in, make sure to book your place soon. For anyone considering taking the first step into a career in VFX, this is your chance to get a practical insight into what it’s like to study with us.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
2D or 3D - which camp are you in? This age old fight is battled out by two of our studio assistants and it seems, there is a rather heated argument for both. I'll leave it up to the guys to convince you either way. If however, we can't resolve it in this post, a mud wrestle might be the only answer.
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…
A recent venture undertaken here at Escape was to invite established post production houses in Soho to coach our students, to offer them direct feedback on their work here at our studio, and subsequently helping them prepare for what is expected once they enter the industry. On Thursday, 12th April 2012, the alumni class of Studio 5 attended the final coaching session with Framestore commercials, where they got to present their ‘end of course’ project to the VFX producers for feedback. Charles Downman was among the group presenting work that day, and here’s what he had to say about the experience...
Gamers, rejoice! Blizzard Entertainment has announced the Diablo III Open Beta Weekend, so all players with a valid Battle.net account can get open access. This means you will be able to sit back, login, team up with your mates, play each of the five heroic classes to level thirteen and kick some demonic ass.
The quality of work that our students create during their Visual Effects Production course is always awesome and there's no doubt it's getting better and better. When you consider that every student doesn't just attend their daytime lessons. They have to find, track, model, light, texture, render and composite a shot in just 6 weeks that shows the extent of their ability. One of our former students and now Studio Assistant Ashley Miles remembers how stressful it can get.
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.
Last Friday, 23rd March, the students at Escape Studios had a much deserved break from the studio in Soho. It was nice to finally catch a bit of sunlight as all of us have been cooped up indoors, out from this amazing weather. However, the blast of sunshine was short lived as we were to enter one of the largest VFX studios in Soho.
Check out the new official trailer for 'Prometheus' by Ridley Scott. The film will consist of the following all star cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green and Charlize Theron. Conceived as a prequel to Scott's 1979 science fiction horror film Alien, it is in fact a separate story and is not directly connected to the Aliens franchise.
Here is the trailer for the new 3D stop motion comedy thriller by Laika, the animation studio that brought us 'Coraline'. Norman 'I see dead people' Babcock is a local boy from a small New England Town who has the ability to see and speak with the dead. The movie will follow Norman as he takes on ghosts. zombies and worst of all, grown ups to save his town from a century old curse. Cannot wait to see this film! But what do you think of the trailer - we want to hear it!?
As an avid zombie fan, I spend my days either killing zombies on the game console or watching them get hacked to pieces on tele (not to mention seeing one in the reflection of the mirror, the morning after a night of partying). One TV series which I'm sure most of you have heard of, is 'The Walking Dead'. Apart from the ghastly zombies and the characters of the show - one of the most common things people talk about is the lovely VFX. The talented guys at Stargate Studios are responsible for the VFX for The Walking Dead and they have just released their Season 2 showreel.
Enjoy, VFX/Zombie fans!
I've seen a lot of stop motion animation videos lately made with Post-it notes, and all sorts of other media. Some have made me chuckle, and some have made me laugh, but when I stumbled across this sweet video for 'Love is making its way back home' I was absolutely gobsmacked.
A few friends of mine have posted the Nike 'FlyKnit' commercial link on Facebook and I can't help but share it with you all because it's so cool. Nike is showing off its latest technology for the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London. It was created at Digital Domain, and is directed by David Rosenbaum and VFX supervised by Aladino Debert.
The whole shoe weighs a mere 160g (5.6 ounces) for a size 9 and has been worn by the first, second and third place athletes in the men's marathon at the 2011 World Championships. Nike released the Flyknit HTM Racer in London on Saturday 25th of February, to much anticipation.
I think you'll agree that the commercial looks amazing and stylish. It just makes me want a pair of these bad boys! Well done to the guys at Digital Domain!
Winter has finally arrived at our doorstep and the Christmas holiday is just around the corner! Hurrah! That means it's time to hang up the party shoes, put on the UGG boots and embrace the world of winter hibernation.
This Friday, our Character Animation Tutor Alex Williams will be presenting a talk at the Aesthetica Short Film festival. Aesthetica Film Festival is hosted by Aesthetica Magazine a respected voice in contemporary art and culture. The talk being given by Alex is called: Creating and Designing Memorable Animated Characters and its aim is to help you achieve just that! There is certainly no better man for the job. Alex understands exactly what it takes to get to the heart of characters, giving them their very own personalities and making them totally believable. If you don’t believe us, you should check out his CV which includes: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, The Lion King and The Iron Giant, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawntreader.
There are some things at Escape Studios that we take very seriously. And pumpkin carving is one of them. The staff here have been furiously sculpting this weekend in an attempt to take top prize for ‘Best Pumpkin Carver’ and we really do have some very talented contenders. We were very impressed with all of the guys here for proving their skill and dedication however; our Software Manager Graeme Pitt might be disqualified for his attempt, blowing up an orange balloon with a scary face and then calling it a carved pumpkin. Now, we appreciate modern art as much as the next person but really, even we think this is a step too far. Judging is taking place this evening by students who have a very artistic eye – so let’s see who they crown king.
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!
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!