Dear friends of Escape Studios... We have decided to take part in Movember this year.... OK, let me explain...
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.
As I’m sure some of you would have seen, last week figures were released showing that revenues from UK videogames hit £1.73 billion last year – a whopping 44% higher than what was generated from UK films during the same time. If you consider some of the huge cinema releases we saw last year, it’s no mean feat that it was only UK television that made more money than the video games industry. Impressive stuff, but is it really a surprise? I’ve said before that playing videogames is becoming a family past time – games consoles are now found in the family living room rather than banished to a “geeky” teenager’s bedroom. Gaming has a far reaching appeal, and I doubt that the growth of the gaming industry will cease any time soon. Interest in our games course, particularly since Sony veteran Simon Fenton came on board, has continued to grow. It’s great to see this exciting industry gaining rightful recognition – not just in terms of increased sales, but in the demand for creative talent which boosts the development of video gaming in the UK. Would you rather spend two hours playing Modern Warfare 2 or watching Blackhawk Down?
You might have read that we recently surveyed people working in the industry for their thoughts about their jobs and the world they work in. We’ve now taken this one step further by asking graduates about their expectations of a career in this field.