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.”
As promised here's another escapee reel. This time from Ben Revens, one of our recent VFX graduates. This is a great reel with good examples of work from two of our most popular courses. The violin and tank shots were produced during our 12-week Visual Effects Production course. The more elaborate and advanced staircases shot was produced during our 6-weeks Visual Effects Professional extension which Ben took straight after his VFX Production course.
A few weeks back, CWJobs spoke to our Recruitment Manager, Garreth Gaydon about the best way of getting a job in the VFX industry when you're first starting out. The feature which you can read in full here discusses the high demand for jobs in the VFX industry and the kinds of first jobs that will enable you to get your foot in the door and make it as a VFX artist. It’s a tricky industry to enter because it is both highly creative yet technically very demanding which requires a serious amount of skill and creative ability.
We're very proud of the work we do here at Escape Studios but we probably don't show enough of our students' work. Over the coming months we're going to be featuring much more student work on our website but in the meantime I wanted to start showing some of the reels from our most recent graduates.
Some of you may have seen a series posts from students' 'coaching diaries' on our blog recently. For those of you who don't know, some of our students studying our classroom courses are being coached by the industry's biggest post houses; The Mill, Double Negative and Framestore. This week, compositing student Clement Roland shares his experience with us.
A few weeks back I took my class to the Natural History Museum so that we could generate some new footage which they could camera track with. It was lots of fun as they not only got to film live-action footage, they knew exactly what they would have to work with when getting back to the classroom. For me, keeping things fresh is important - and so filming new footage for the students to work with is a must. As you can see from the video, we're all pretty excited to be out of the classroom!
It’s such a great feeling when you attend a packed out event and the people pouring in turn out to be our former students. And that’s exactly what happened a couple nights ago. I attended a PFTrack event organised by our Technology Team, and it was a storming success. The room was packed with over 50 people – all craning their necks to get a better view of the speaker.
Lots of the attendees at the event were escapees who we didn’t just train but placed in their current jobs. It was great to catch up with Jacob Flint who studied our VFX Course last year and so refreshing to hear that he’s just as excited about working at The Mill today, as he was when we first placed him there. That’s a pretty rare thing these days.
Job satisfaction is massively important, and if you are not entirely happy with what you are doing, then I would encourage you to ‘shop around’ and find out what’s out there. Doing so doesn’t have to be that taxing either. If you follow us on twitter or use our RSS feed you’ll be first to hear about new jobs, daily. Because we work with nearly all of the major names in the industry, most of the jobs that are out there come through us.
So, if you’re stuck in a rut, or just fancy a change, we might just have the right thing for you.
The new course announcements are coming thick and fast at the moment, having recently launched our new Compositing Professional course I'm really pleased to announce the launch of our new 18-week Visual Effect Animation Professional course.
Most of you will remember that I ran a webinar last month called "Entry Level and Junior Roles for Compositors", which focused on what you can expect as a junior compositor in the industry.
A few weeks back we told you about our classroom courses being coached by the Industry. One of our students, Alexander Kubinyi, told us about his experience at Double Negative and what it was like to have your reel critiqued by Alex ‘The baron’ Wuttke. This week, we catch up with another escapee who is studying our Compositing Professional Course and is being coached by The Mill. Here’s a snippet from Mary Lapena’s coaching diary.
Current Escape Studios’ VFX Online Mentored student, Ricardo Viana is approaching the end of his course and looking forward to developing his showreel and meeting with our recruitment team. In addition to his coursework, he has a very busy schedule to maintain, but that has not stopped him from pursuing his dream.
Evgenia Golubeva recently finished our Character Animation course with us and has very quickly landed a commercials job at Partizan Lab in Soho on the strength of her excellent demo reel. She has also recently put together a short film titled "Hold Me Clothes", a stop-motion film written by her and animated in just one day at a recent film festival in Italy.
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.
A while back we told you all about our new ‘Industry Coaching’ scheme which some of our classroom students are fortunate to be part of. For those of you who don’t know, this basically means that some of the major post houses act as mentors for our students throughout the 12 or 18 weeks of classroom study that they embark on when they study with us in London. This means that they get professional feedback and expert industry advice relevant to the field they are going to work in. It’s no surprise to hear that our students are absolutely delighted with it. All of them are they working extra hard to impress but more importantly, they are getting front-line expertise. We caught up with escapee Alexander Kubinyi who told us what the experience was like in his own words.
We had an enquiry from one of our online students asking if she could view our online courseware on an iPad via the Skyfire app to view flash content... As we have not yet worked on mobile releases of our learning system (busy building fab courses), I thought I would take a look at it as I was kind of intrigued.
So I invest my £2.99 and loaded her up! I was amazed I could get in to our system and play the video content! Sadly my joy soon tempered when I could not make out the text in the 3DS Max interface. #disappointed!
The loading was also a little clunky to be honest, you would select a video to view and it would load a little window in the bottom left hand of the screen and find the video. Not elegant.
Not to be beaten I decided to look at some additional apps. Whilst I am sure there are others I came across iSwifter. It was also cheaper at £1.79 ;-)
So I was again a little disappointed, this time with the speed of scrolling in our system... However - once I played a video it was seamless, no drop outs excellent quality and I was really very happy with the results.
Whilst we do not 'officially support' the iPad or mobile devices, I now know at least I can grab iSwifter and load up a video with my iPad. If you do have an iPad and want to try this out iSwifter do allow you to take a peak so why not grab one of our free tutorials and give it a go?
Have a great weekend everyone.
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.
Another week, another headline about English universities charging students over the odds: “University fees: Half opting for top fees”.
I'm really pleased to bring you some news of an update to our current Compositing classroom courses. As most of you will know, what sets us apart from other training institutions is the fact that our courses are entirely industry focused. To ensure we continue to deliver on our promise, our development team regularly meet with industry professionals to refine our courses and align them with the very latest industry requirements. The changes we are making to our Compositing curriculum today will be applied to our 12-week Compositing for Production course as well as our 18-week Compositing Professional course.