A recent venture undertaken here at Escape was to invite established post production houses in Soho to coach our students, to offer them direct feedback on their work here at our studio, and subsequently helping them prepare for what is expected once they enter the industry. On Thursday, 12th April 2012, the alumni class of Studio 5 attended the final coaching session with Framestore commercials, where they got to present their ‘end of course’ project to the VFX producers for feedback. Charles Downman was among the group presenting work that day, and here’s what he had to say about the experience...
After an incredibly busy couple of months dealing with students' end of courses projects, as well as completing the first shot for my own showreel, I've found the time to work on the next episode of iNuked: my personal project to explore the possibilities of using The Foundry's professional compositing software NUKE, on my MacBook Air.
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.
Character Animation can be a tricky business. The industry is full of talented, creative people who are passionate and dedicated about what they do and this means they often have lengthy careers at the same company they first started out at. So, getting your first break can be tough because when those job opportunities arise, standards are high and so are expectations. Your work really does have to stand out.
Creative Futures is a study we recently commissioned to uncover what people in the creative industries really think about training. One of the key factors emerging from the report was that many professionals currently in full time employment, were actively seeking new skills to further their career. In these cases online or evening study are the only option.
Starting out in VFX can be difficult for junior artists, but the best place to start is your showreel. It needs to be compelling and to demonstrate all the technical skills that you possess.
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.
Here's a link to a fantastic reel from our friends at Displace Studios, they worked with us earlier this year to create some eye popping 3D brand furniture for our new website and other collateral. They did an amazing job for us and I wish them every luck with this new venture.
Here's my final post showing some work from the courses which have just finished. These clips are from escapees who were on the Visual Effects Production course taught by Dan Shutt. Again these are 'work in progress' and need a little more polishing but you can see they are both great ideas that have been really well executed.
We've just had another round of courses finish and again we've seen some really great work!
A common misconception amongst Junior Artists when preparing their first reel is that they have to come up with some overly elaborate and complex VFX shot to wow future employees. These usually feature exotic spaceships, massive explosions and weapons of mass destruction. It doesn't have to be like that. So, what makes a good CG shot? I had a chat with our Training Development Director and Maya Guru Lee Danskin to find out.
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.
It’s always great to find out how escapees get on after their training and enter the world of work. Last week, we met up with ex-student Robert Holmes out at SIGGRAPH. Since his time at Escape, Rob’s gone on to work on some amazing projects at The Mill. He took time to tell us how he got his break and what’s needed to be successful in this industry.
Firstly, a big thanks to everyone who has entered our CG Graduate Design Competition Award so far. Entries have been coming thick and fast and as always the standard has been exceptional.
Thanks also for keeping in touch via all our social networks - it really is great to hear from you all and it just reaffirms our belief that the UK and the US have a wealth of talent and will undoubtedly produce many future stars in the CG world.