Following on from last Friday, welcome back to the Studios Assistant workshop, where Brad Collier-Brown and I share a few of the most common queries and solutions from the Escape Studios classroom, so you guys at home can learn a little something from us too.
Welcome to the Studio Assistant workshop, with Ashley Miles and Brad Collier-Brown, and here's our debut issue. As studio assistants, our main job is to make sure both students and escapees are getting the most out of the Escape Studios experience, which involves answering a lot of weird and wonderful questions. We thought it'd be a good idea if we blogged a few of the most common queries and solutions every week, so you guys at home could learn a little something from us too.
Pixomondo’s first Oscar was won for their contribution to Martin Scorcese’s 3D cinematic triumph, Hugo. Visual & Digital Effects Supervisors Ben Grossmann and Alex Henning were there to pick up the award, but the entire Pixomondo worldwide family contributed to the success, including a couple of escapees here in London.
We believe it's crucial for students to not just have a thorough knowledge of work flow and software, but also understand the VFX industry and pipeline where they will work. So during their course we invite established post production houses to coach them, this means they get direct feedback on their work from respected VFX supervisors.
James Sindle first studied design at Kingston University, before training in CG here at Escape studios. Upon completion of his course James joined The Mill in 2007, he quickly then became a senior 3D operator leading multiple award winning commercials, before branching off last year with Lee Pavey, Dan Stanhope Marum and Giles Cheetham to form their own power house, the Electric Theatre Collective.
So many of our escapees succeed in getting jobs once they've finished a course with us, and it’s so good to hear that lots of them are very talented young women. As a result, we thought some congratulations were in order, starting with Evgenia Golubeva who accepted the role of Director at Animated Storyboards, a fantastic position and one which we want to wish her every success in!
As Escape’s Recruitment Manager, it’s my job to know exactly what employers are looking for when they’re hiring candidates. The thing to remember is that it’s different for every company – you have to tailor your showreel and CV to the position and company you’re applying for (Tips you can check out here). We place lots of escapees and freelancers at The Mill and last week, I caught up with Claire Anderson their Talent Manager, who explained exactly what it takes to cut it at their company. For those of you eager to secure a position, pay attention and check out the interview.
As some of you may know, we recently launched a new course called "Visual Effects Animation Professional". Well, our first group of students from the courses have been handing their projects in and I wanted to take the opportunity to showcase a fantastic piece of work by Hyeon Joon Kang. His work clearly shows how the VFX pipeline works and if we retrace his steps, we can take a closer look at each part of the process. Joon's project is a great illustration of what we teach in this new course and what you can achieve in just 18 weeks with us.
For anyone who hasn't seen it yet, here is a great video that shows life behind the scenes at Dneg. It is a really good way to get an idea of what it would be like to work for a world class Visual Effects house like Double Negative. They are one of the fastest growing Visual Effects houses in the UK and one of the top Visual Effects houses in the world.
It's been a while since we featured any escapee work on our blog so I wanted to show you a recent reel which has really impressed us.
When we caught up with Maxwell Smith about his new position as a Matchmove Artist at Framestore, he wanted to make it clear that he owed a lot of his success to his tutors Gideon Corby and Dan Shutt. They were ‘his greatest influence’ while he studied here at Escape Studios and according to him are ‘Masters of their craft’. Max proved to be a very talented artist and once he completed his VFX Production course, he actually came to work with us as a studio assistant.
It turns out that our escapees are never prouder than when they are wearing an ‘escapee’ T-Shirt, as you can see in this photo of Mentored VFX Course student Ricardo Vianna. Whenever I’m out and about in Soho, I’m always surprised by how many escapees stop to tell me that they continue to wear their T-Shirt, even after we have placed them in jobs. Some have mentioned that they’ve even taken them on holiday. All of our Classroom and Mentored Course students get a T-Shirt and they are becoming a bit of a phenomenon – well, put it this way, it’s very easy to spot our graduates when out and about in the industry. It turns out that one of our students has a picture of herself standing outside the pyramids with it on! (Picture coming soon…).
Here at Escape Studios we are constantly fine-tuning our courses to give our students the best possible balance of skills.