We’ve been brewing up a VFX storm over the last few weeks in the form of the VFX Festival 2013. Last year’s Festival was a huge success, tickets sold out in 72 hours and after a week of packed workshops and talks, this time we had no choice but to make things bigger and better!
I’m not sure if many of you have seen Kittywood Studios: Cat Videos Incorporated, but there’s definitely something in it! It seems the media world has gone cat mad. The advertising gurus of the 1900’s possibly missed a trick… ‘Cats sell…’ Why? Well I work with a group of people who avidly share cat videos with me (not that I’m complaining, I do enjoy them), but also my most recent cinema trip was made all the more enjoyable last weekend when I was introduced to MPC’s latest project – Be More Dog - by far one of the more entertaining commercials out there at the moment.
Tomorrow, August 1st, we're hosting a free webinar with Head of 3D and Escape tutor, Mark Spevick, who will be revealing some of the secrets at the heart of VFX. Introducing you to key techniques and exposing what this creative career is really like, Mark hopes to demystify the science behind the art.
Fan favourite film mag Empire recently released a list of cinema's greatest VFX shots as picked by industry experts and it certainly hit all the right notes. Classic scenes from Jurassic Park, Star Wars and The Abyss were all on there, but we were particularly proud to see number 1 being Davy Jones' face from POTC:DMC, which our very own Head of 2D and tutor Davi Stein worked on during her time at ILM! Congratulations Davi!
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.
Escape Graduate setting the trends in Brooklyn.
Delivering the most up-to-date curriculum to our students is always at the heart of Escape Studios’ training. To achieve this we rely heavily on our industry connections to keep us tuned into the latest trends, technologies and processes at use in the current VFX climate, helping us develop and deliver the most relevant training for those looking to forge a career in VFX. To help us with this, we’ve appointed an Advisory Board of top industry figures who share their thoughts on what’s happening in the industry, where it’s headed and what’s required from VFX artists at this time.
By now, we’re guessing, many of you VFX fans out there will have seen Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel. If you haven’t, we’re sure you have a valid excuse. And for those of you who have, you may have noticed the epic credits list for the VFX department in particular. As we respectfully stay at the end of the movie to watch the credits roll, we’re always proud to spot names we recognise among the list – the names of our graduates.
When it comes to VFX, Compositors are the masters of make-believe. They're the magicians who create the illusion of reality in every CG shot. They can look at a shot and tell you exactly what's wrong with it and the best way to correct it. In essence, they are true artists with an eye for beauty and their devotion to it means we get to watch something stunning every time.
Like all our Open Days here at Escape, the next is set to be even more epic than the last. On July 10th we’ll be joined by industry legend Steve Begg, who’s 27 years' of experience in the industry is quite intimidating. VFX Supervisor on titles such as Skyfall, Batman Begins, Casino Royale, The Golden Compass, Red Dwarf, Aliens... the list goes on… Steve has a great many anecdotes to share, as well as some golden nuggets of wisdom!
Ever found yourself watching something with really cool effects and were left wanting to know how on earth they made that? If the answer is yes, then you’re not alone. We meet people like you every day here at Escape, and it’s your curiosity in the mechanics of VFX that shows you have the right aptitude to take it in and understand the technology behind it. VFX artists are curious beings by nature, who love experimenting with new technologies and ideas. It’s why they have so much fun in their day jobs.
I do love a practical joke, and this one – played on unsuspecting people at a bus stop, is just downright awesome!
Last week we were joined by Junior Lighting TD and Escape graduate Alastair Cross for a webinar that shows another side to VFX. The Hollywood side of VFX is probably why most of us want to work in the CG industry, but CG artists are putting their skills and knowledge to good use in lots of different areas. If you missed this webinar, the great news is we recorded it and the recording is now available to watch on our YouTube channel.
On March 20th 2013, Prime Focus World N.V. gained equity investment from AID Partners (a private equity firm focused on expansion capital and buyout opportunities specifically in the media and entertainment sector). Investing USD 10 million, this venture has contributed significant value to Prime Focus Limited as a whole, valuing the company at a total of USD 250 million.
Escapee Alessio Bertotti answers some questions on VFX and tells us about his time at Pixomondo Hamburg.
Or maybe the Zoo will come to Escape Studios instead…