I felt a little bit like an old-school headmaster last week, taking our latest set of compositing students to MPC where they were to have their work critiqued for the second time. Lots of worried faces trudged behind me - nerves apparent and laughter a little thin on the ground. As usual, all of their concerns were completely unfounded and they all actually left the place beaming and proud of their achievements. But I do understand how showing your work to a bunch of seasoned professionals can be very daunting - despite the team at MPC doing their best to make the experience a relaxed one for our students.
Post critique, I'm always amazed at how eager all of the students are. Even after a really busy day in the studio, they've still got enough energy to run laps around me. One of our students - Harrison Ly, who is third from the left in the photo of above - took the time to write down his personal experience of the day and what it meant to him.
Here is what Harrison had to say:
"Even after the first visit to the Moving Picture Company we learned so much. Firsthand critiques by two Heads of Departments, Christine Troianello and Doug Larmour left me open-mouthed at the quality they look for in their work. It has to be 'Pixel Perfect' and nothing less than that.
We were given a second rotoscoping assignment with new footage for another review later in our course, which is what we did with Miles on Thursday. With the attained tips and tricks we gathered from the first critique we should have put all the theory we'd learned to practice. I knew personally that I'd done a great deal more this time but, it didn't stop me feeling the nerves!
Entering their building was like stepping into a labyrinth with many entrances and we found ourselves in a dark place with a large projection screen - a totally different room from the one we were in during our previous visit. Later on, some familiar faces entered the room. They were Christine Troianello and Doug Larmour who'd seen our previous roto. They began loading all of our work onto the big screen and looked at them frame by frame, pixel by pixel, and gave each of us their critiques on our work. This time round we knew what to expect, but when they got to me I still felt a pang of anxiety!
But it was all good. Compared to the previous roto challenge they were very impressed with everyone’s work and saw the improvement. There were a few kinks here and there but they were easy fixes. They told us that everyone had visibly improved and that it was clear our eyes were learning to see the intricate edges of an object. And so we went to celebrate, Soho style, in the pub.
The visits and the reviews as an addition to this course are an invaluable experience. It has been a privilege having Christine and Doug taking time out of their busy schedules to give their advice. A huge thanks to to MPC and Ben Owen, Recruiter from MPC, for mentoring the compositing course; and Miles Pettit our Training Manager at Escape for organizing this opportunity.
Also a million thanks to everyone at Escape Studios and to our tutor Juan Salazar (middle of the photo, wearing the yellow T-shirt) for guiding us through the 12 weeks of compositing course. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed it."