I don’t think anyone was too surprised by last night’s BAFTAs. Personally, I was really pleased to see Inception win the Special Visual Effects award. With the hardware becoming more powerful, the software more sophisticated and the work ever more creative, as an industry the bar is set incredibly high, and it’s always great to see how people are constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. It’s even more impressive when you consider who else was nominated.
On Tuesday I attended the launch of the Livingtone-Hope report which was undertaken to address the skills issues facing the UK's games and visual effects. Escape Studios staff have taken part in a number of the surveys which went into building the data for this report as well as speaking directly to Hasan Bakhshi and Juan Mateos-Garcia from NESTA, who did a large amount of the work of pulling the data for the draft report together. In essence the report lays out 20 recommendations across the talent pipeline from schools through FE and HE to the industry. All these parties as well as the government and other skills and training bodies such as Skillset are called on to do their bit. All of this whilst being realistic about the funding and resources available, the recommendations had to be about the focus of existing funds not calls for large sums of new money.
I just wanted to point you towards this article which discusses the amazing title sequence for Scott Pilgram. When I was a student wanting to get into the industry I found out about Shynola (a collective group of visual artists who have collaborated on a variety of projects) when a brilliant but very strange music video was produced by Unkle called "eye for an eye". When I came across this article of how Shynola worked with the Edgar Wright the director of Scott Pilgram, I decided to have a look.
So when an academy awarded influential film editor like Walter Murch makes very detrimental comments about 3D stereo some people should take a long hard look at it. What does 3D really add to the whole film experience except expense and a headache? You can find his comments here - all of which are very observant and true.
We're never prouder than when our escapees get the recognition they deserve. This usually comes in the form of a first job with a top post house or commendation from the professional community for a perfectly executed shot, so when we found out that some of our escapees made it to the Autodesk 2010 Education showreel, we were beaming.
It's that time of year when everybody makes a multitude of New Year's resolutions. I am of the opinion that they are not worth doing unless you are going to stick to them. Having said that, we have actually decided to start the year with a resolution. It’s a fairly simple one: we are resolute in our wish to give you more of the free tutorials that you want. There you are, I told you it would be an easy one.
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.
Last Wednesday, Escape Studios had the honour of having Christian Manz, VFX Supervisor at Framestore come into our studios and talk to our students about life in the industry. Christian discussed the bits about the job that are great (Like getting to see your name up on the big screen after arduous months of working on a project) and the bits which aren’t quite so good (Like the long hours). It wasn’t just our students who enjoyed it, we loved it too. Christian’s thirteen year career has been an epic one and his latest contribution to the industry as VFX Supervisor on the latest HP7 is particularly impressive. We spoke to Christian about the highs and lows of his career so far, and what it feels like to have been part of one of the biggest films of our recent times.
So an Iconic mascot after 4 decades has finally become a CG character. Having done this myself with the first CG Tony the Tiger I have to wonder whether this will work. The British public being such a fickle bunch! CG Tony was to be a furry character but was squashed at the last moment by Kellogg's in the States as going to far away from the 2D character of Tony (shame he was so cool furry).
Irvin Kershner, director of 'The Empire Strikes Back' died on Saturday in Los Angeles, aged 87. 'Kersh'', as he was affectionately known on the set of the 1980 sequel, deserves credit for directing easily the finest of all the Star Wars films, and for a diverse and varied career in which the inter-galactic blockbuster was something of an anomaly.
As the end of 2010 approaches we're filling up fast for our next round of courses in January 2011. The last spot on our Compositing course has just gone, so the next seats available for that are now in April. We have also just filled our Character Animation course with Alex Williams so we now only have a few seats left on the two Visual Effects Production courses, taught by Mark Spevick and Dan Shutt.
We’ve had some fantastic entries for CG Whiz 2010, but the deadline is fast approaching. Any entries submitted after midnight tonight (Pacific Time – 8 am GMT or 7 pm in Sydney, Australia) will not be counted, so you’ve only got a few more hours to get your reel in. You can do this via Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube or Facebook, but remember to email CGWhiz@escapestudios.com with your contact details too.
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.
Having started at the beginning of October, the first batch of students from our Online Mentored Visual Effects Course are well under way and the initial results of their work has been great.
Last week, we launched our first academic qualification, an MA in Visual Effects Production, which we’re running with the University of Bradford. You’ll probably be wondering what we’re up to, what with everything that’s been in the news about how much university tuition is going to cost in the UK. Having collaborated on this project with some leading industry pros, however, I reckon we’re on to a winner. Here’s why:
Our CG Whiz competition got us thinking about what our favourite CG films and scenes of all time are. One thing led to another, much "debating" took place around the office and then we thought it would be best to let our Twitter followers have the last say. After being inundated with many great suggestions from them, here are the top five.