It’s hard to conceive, now, of the time when film production and visual effects were an American concern. Not much over a decade ago the majority of big blockbusters shot in and around LA, and effects houses in Malibu or the Presidio gave them their visual oomph. But things have swung so fast and so decidedly towards the UK that it now feels almost quaint to see a film made in the US. Next year’s biggest films – Avengers, Star Wars, Bond, Mission: Impossible – are all based here in Blighty, and more are queuing behind them.
You may have read that our main man Ash Miles was invited to the private cast and crew screening of Guardians of the Galaxy last weekend, and went along with a number of Escape graduates from MPC who worked on the project. His blog about it got us so excited that we had to get in touch with Adam Dewhirst, escapee and advisory board member who happened to be Framestore's Lead Modeller on the film, to ask a few questions, he was careful not to discuss any spoilers with us so read all about the project below in peace, and discover what it’s like to work on what is soon to be a truly iconic motion picture.
Last Thursday evening we hosted a recruitment event in honour of our Alumni from the last two years. The night was dedicated to celebrating their work in VFX so far, as well as a networking opportunity with recruiters from the leading VFX facilities in London. We were joined by Framestore, MPC, The Mill, Jellyfish Pictures, Milk VFX, Molinare, Rushes and ILM (Industrial Light and Magic).
This year’s CG Student Awards competition has just launched and they are now taking entries. As big supporters of this competition we’re delighted to see it back for another year, and it’s looking bigger and better than ever. Dedicated to students studying for careers in Next-Gen Games and VFX / Animation industries, this competition is a great opportunity for students and alumni to showcase their work to industry experts, offering a little helping hand up the VFX career ladder.
Honestly, I was so busy driving over mountains on a motorbike to chase planes crashing into deserts in GTA V that I was barely even paying attention to Valve's triple announcements last week. They're making a new PC or something? I didn't care, there were heists to be having! Then this week, as I tried to play online, I received the same message as the other 10 million trying to get on...
Last Friday we took a train south to Bournemouth for the 2013 BFX awards ceremony, which was a truly wonderful event. Awarding and celebrating emerging talent from eleven UK universities, the teams who took part in this competition impressed us mightily.
Upon one of our recent trips to the West End, 2D and 3D students visiting our friends over at Realise Studios and Glassworks London spotted this intriguing sign outside of Sci Fi Mecca 'Forbidden Planet'. Unbeknownst of what it meant, we naturally visited the suggested website, and of course Twitter, to find out the back story of exactly what had happened outside of Forbidden Planet on September 24th.
Often for a VFX artist there is a defining moment of clarity, whether it be during a TV program, an epic film, or just viewing a highly detailed drawing, most of the artists we encounter, when asked “what made you want to become a VFX artist?” Usually one of these occasions is cited as a reply.
This year we’re celebrating the 150th anniversary of the fabulous, London Underground.
Get ahead with tips from our webinar with The Mill’s Thomas Knight. For the vast majority of people, making the jump from training in your chosen field to actually working in it can be a daunting one to make, and this is no less true in the competitive world of VFX. Once you’ve got the skills, how do you stand out from the crowd and launch your career as a VFX artist?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - the role of an artist is a complex and often challenging one. Every artist, no matter what stage you’re at in your career, will struggle with diminishing motivation and inspiration. It’s incredibly easy to slip into this state as we work ourselves into the ground, letting the pot of ideas run empty. But you are not alone! I know this because last week I spent three days at Reasons to be Creative in Brighton and was surrounded by artists and developers from across the creative industries, all looking for a fix of something that would get their creative juices flowing…
Here at Escape Studios we’re no strangers to European VFX enthusiasts. We have people come through our doors from all over the globe, and that’s why we love events like this, events that further confirm that the art of VFX is an international language.
The Trojan Horse is a Unicorn Festival is a premier event for producers, animators game developers concept artists and 3D generalists, and is taking place in Troi Portugal from the 18th to the 21st of September.
It was whispered around the film community that we Alfonso Cuarón got started on Gravity, it was going to be something truly epic. Well the first reviews came in today from the Venice film festival where it was premiered, and guess what, it sounds just that! Here are a few snippets from reviewers/tweeters that have been kindly collated by thefilmstage.com. (check the site out here for the full reviews)
One of the highlights of studying at Escape Studios is of course its fantastic location in the heart of West London's Shepherd's Bush. Being just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from the tube, the train and all manner of buses means Students have easy access to Central London (including the VFX hub of Soho) as well as other famous London hotspots including Oxford Circus and Notting Hill.
Beware the Batman, the new show about the Dark Knight, is facing somewhat of an uphill struggle. DC have decided to dumb down their animation hour this year, meaning fans of the incredible Young Justice and Green Lantern shows that were cancelled to make room for it are already on the back foot. And it's not reminiscent of the classic Bats shows; Alfred is a young, ex-military knucklehead. Kevin Conroy isn't providing his voice skills. And it's entirely CG.
Calling all filmmakers! Are you an IdeasTap member? If so, then you’ve got until Friday 6th of September to enter this competition, run by the National Theatre, who are in search of creative minds to make a short film inspired by their new show; ‘The Light Princess’, (click here for more information on entrants source of inspiration)