I was invited up to take a look around MediaCityUK UK last week. I didn't really know what to expect, I had heard quite a bit about the developments over the past few years but it had always been 'up North' and at the back of my mind.
Here I am, sat in the airport with some time to kill – so I start reading the papers and the front pages are all covered with reviews of last night’s premiere of Harry Potter (The Deathly Hallows Part 1) in London. That’s lucky, because I really like Harry Potter and I am quite looking forward to seeing the film.
VFX escapee, Jacob Flint has just bagged a job at The Mill which as you can imagine he's pretty pleased about. The truth is, we are too. Having studied with us for 12 weeks on our VFX Production course, Jacob learned all of the vital skills that he needed to get started in the industry right away. He was pretty nervous during his interview but ultimately his skills shone through.
When Nik Illingworth came to an Open Day last year, he was brimming with CG enthusiasm. He knew that he wanted a career in VFX but didn't really know how he was going to make it happen. After studying for 12 weeks with us, Nik was up and running. He finished his course, was offered his first job at Frametore and accepted it, then a short while later he decided to come back to us for 6 weeks of final professional training. He's now Effects Technical Director at MPC and still has the same love for the industry that he started off with. Nik's is one of many stories of CG enthusiasts who come to study with us and that's why we wanted to share his case study with you - getting a career in VFX off the ground really is easier than you think.
Few VFX artists can claim to have as prestigious a career as Paul Franklin. From junior VFX artist to co-founder of Double Negative, one of London's most prestigious post houses, Paul has been on quite a journey. He's worked on some of the most memorable and successful films of recent times, titles such as Batman Begins, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and The Dark Knight. His work has brought him nominations for an Oscar and two BAFTAs along the way.
Those of you who follow us on Twitter will know that we had our first ever realtime Twitter feedback session on Monday. I am told I should refer to them as Tweetups or Twitter parties, but if truth be told, it was a simple, honest, online showreel clinic! We asked our followers to send us links to their reels, and Lee Danskin, our Training Development Director, provided his usual professional feedback.
For those that may not have heard, the UK Film council is under threat of closure after having its funding cut. The UK Film Council has done many great things for the industry since its inception in 2000. We now have the highest cinema attendance in 7 years, UK film exports are also the highest in 7 years, and inward investment in the industry has doubled from 2008 to now.
Everyone who studies with us knows how much emphasis we place on our close ties with the industry. The members of our advisory board include some of the biggest names in CG, and they advise on everything from course content to placing escapees in work after they graduate. We are therefore very pleased to announce that Christian Roberton, MD of Film at MPC, has joined the team.
Thanks to everyone that responded to our graduate survey a few weeks ago. It uncovered some interesting thoughts on the industry and challenges you face getting into CG.
A couple of month's back we conducted a Satisfaction Survey which asked people what it's really like working in the CG industry. The top prize for three lucky people was having a CG Master Class with Maya master Lee Danskin. The guy's found it hugely helpful as Lee shared lots of top tips on how to make the most of Maya, dipelling some myths along the way!
As you probably saw, the Chancellor has awarded the games industry its much deserved tax break. Following Wednesday’s budget, game developers that create profitable games will be able to use the relief to pay less tax on profits, while unsuccessful games will be awarded a cash tax credit to reduce losses – which must be a nice surprise for all you developers out there.
How many of you play social games? I knew it was popular but I caught some figures on CNN’s website last week that really brought it home just how big it’s become. The FarmVille Facebook game is apparently being played by a staggering 27 million social gamers ever day, adding up to more monthly active users than the population of France.
Are you a woman trying to break into the film industry? If so, this training course could be just what you’re looking for.