The Devil's in the Detail
Are you a natural born compositor? Do you get a kick working out if something is photo-realistic or not? Spotting colours that don’t seem to match or feeling that something doesn’t ‘look quite right’ in a film or TV ad are all skills that good compositors possess. If you’ve ever dreamed of switching careers or becoming a VFX artist, studying Compositing in the evenings is the perfect way to pursue a career in the Visual Effects Industry. The course follows the same principles as our full-time Compositing for Production course and is designed to teach the full compositing pipeline, as used by professionals in visual effects studios.
In 20 weeks we teach you how to create professional standard composites that seamlessly merge live footage and computer generated imagery.
This Course is Perfect…
- If you're an aspiring 3D Artist who wants to study around work
- If you're a student or graduate who wants to prepare for the job market
- If you're a 2D or traditional artist looking to move into 3D or Visual Effects
- If you're a creative career changer
- If you want the skills to pursue a serious career in the industry
- Free online primer course before you start studying - so your foundation skills are up to speed
- Access to Escape’s unique online learning platform
- 12 months free access to the online course related to your classroom training
- Escapee after care and career support with our Relationship Manager
- Help and advice on your CV, showreel and job applications
- London, UK (EU citizens only)
- Two Evenings per week: 7pm - 10pm
- 20 Weeks
- Start Dates:
- June 24th 2013
- Early Bird Discount:
- Save £330 when you pay in full, 30 days before the course
- Payment Plan:
- Pay £726 deposit to reserve your place and then 4 instalments of £726 on weeks 4, 8, 12 & 16 of your course
I currently work at MPC, and it has been fantastic so far. I have been working as a prep artist, which has involved some quite challenging wire, set and crew removals.
COMPANY: I currently work at MPC, and it has been fantastic so far. I have been working as a prep artist, which has involved some quite challenging wire, set and crew removals. What is interesting is that I have been working cross show. (Working on prep shots on all current in production shows) which has in itself been very cool!
FAVOURITE MOVIE ONE LINER: From Raisers of the Lost Ark - "Asps... very dangerous, you go first!" A classic!
PROJECTS : Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie has to have been my favourite project to date, it was a real challenge but I got to do a lot of different prep and also some compositing work on it. The film turned out to be really good as well – which is always a good feeling!
WHY VFX? Like many people in the industry, my initial interest was to get involved in animation, I think this stems back to seeing Jurassic Park in the cinema as a 9 year old and being convinced that the Dinosaurs were real! I went on to study computer animation at Teesside University but post Uni I struggled to really get anywhere with it. Looking back now I realise I was pretty awful at it! (Ha!)
ABOUT? Before I started at Escape I had been doing some running at some stop motion animation companies in Cardiff. It was there I met a chap who was doing some compositing for the shows in after effects. I was watching him work and a light bulb went off above my head - but I had no idea where to begin in terms of pursuing this as a career.
Through a contact of my uncle I was able to secure an internship at ReelFX in Dallas, Texas. There was a small problem though, in order to get the required visa I needed to prove to the US Embassy that I had been in recent education. I then began to Google around and found out about the compositing evening class at escape. This was ideal for me as I did not live in London and the timing of the course was perfect for when ReelFX wanted me to fly over the US. Now I’ve come full circle and find myself in London at MPC, it’s been an interesting journey so far!
Paul's Top Tips
First and foremost you need to be 100% sure that you want to enter this industry. It is very competitive out there especially when you are starting out in the industry. It is also hard, tiring work, the hours can be long but the job satisfaction can’t be beaten. I have done work in film and commercials and I think that film is where I want to focus on. It is a much longer process requiring pixel perfection but I think a great VFX film reaches a much bigger audience.
I would of course advise people to consider a course at Escape, it ended up being far more valuable to me than a university degree. Just be prepared to work hard outside of the classroom perfecting your reel, once that is ready be patient, but also persistent in looking for work.
Starting out as a Research and Planning Executive at a creative branding consultancy, Finola had always longed to work in the film industry, having originally studied the subject at university.
COMPANY: The Mill
FAVOURITE YOUTUBE CLIP: Christian The Lion
FAVOURITE PROJECTS: Three little pigs - The Guardian
WHY VFX? Finola saw Escape Studios compositing course as an opportunity to build her knowledge of 2D and 3D techniques, and ultimately as her route into the VFX industry. She believed that given the nature of Compositing—the combination of all VFX elements into a final piece—Escape’s Compositing for Production would be "the best route to understand the VFX pipeline for a future career in production."
ABOUT: After leaving Escape, Finola gained experience as a runner and then a Games Production Assistant at The Mill, before taking up the role of Production Assistant at Pixomondo. Finola’s experience and knowledge of the industry has led her to understand that her strengths and interests lie more in the coordination and production side of VFX, rather than necessarily working as a VFX artist, and she has since returned to The Mill, where she has taken on the role of Production Assistant.
ADVICE: Finola’s words of wisdom to all of those aspiring Compositors out there are: “you only get out of it what you are prepared put in. The success stories you hear are from people who worked extremely hard, and you will be expected to work extremely hard in the industry—it’s not something to pick up on a whim, nor is it for the faint-hearted!”
Earlier this month we were brimming with pride as we waved farewell to our in-house ‘2D genius’ and all-round helluva guy, Simon Richardson, who has moved onto pastures new as a Junior NUKE Artist...
COMPANY: Junior NUKE Artist at The Mill
FAVOURITE MOVIE ONE LINER: “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” Gladiator
BEST PROJECT YOU’VE WORKED ON: It’s hard to pick just one; every project has its own merits and challenges. The Heineken ‘Bond’ music video was pretty cool—we got to work on lots of advanced stuff like bluescreen keying, and it was exciting to be part of the buzz surrounding the James Bond franchise.
WHY VFX? When I first watched ‘The Matrix’, I was intrigued by bullet-time, and ended up building my own bullet-time rig as part of my dissertation at University. This led to my interest in post-production, and took me to Escape.
ABOUT: Starting out as an engineering student, Simon was keen for any opportunity to dabble in filmmaking. It was whilst utilising his University’s bullet-time rig that his interest in pursuing a career in the film industry was first sparked, leading him to study one of Escape’s Compositing classes in 2011. Much to our pleasure, he just couldn’t leave, taking up post as one of our esteemed Studio Assistants for over a year.
Always on hand to help out in our Compositing classes, Simon was a true asset to Escape Studios, contributing content for our free online tutorials, and at one point even stepping in to cover one of our tutor’s evening classes. He also contributed a series of posts to the Escape blog, declaring his undying love for NUKE and sharing his wealth of knowledge on the program. Making the most of his 4-hour daily commute to the studio, Simon spent this time testing the portability of NUKE on his MacBook Air.
In terms of how his training at Escape has prepared him for his first VFX role, Simon says, “… it gave me the opportunity to really get to grips with the tools used in the industry, as well as the chance to develop my strengths as an artist, amongst a collective of like-minded individuals.”
ADVICE: Simon’s advice to anyone wanting to get into compositing is to “… try develop an understanding of how life is seen through the eyes of the camera, and to always study composition—even if it’s just going out for a walk and observing what is around you. But overall, the most important thing is a willingness to work hard.”
It brought a tear to the eye to see Simon leave, but everyone at Escape wishes him all the very best for the future—there’s no doubt he’ll make an invaluable addition to the team at The Mill. Huge congratulations to Simon as he steps ever closer towards the career he truly loves.
Escapee Carlos de la Sotilla speaks to us about his career highlights since studying with us in 2011.
The Formula to success…
When we caught up with Carlos de la Sotilla he celebrated how Escape offered him all the necessary tools to open the door to the VFX industry, but that a lot of hard work and passion was needed too. Emphasising hard work and determination, these were the words of wisdom Carlos would share with our fresh faced new students.
In the 2 years Carlos has been working in the film industry, he has really ‘put the oar in’, as they say, and has been enjoying the fruits of his labour – covering the genre spectrum on a number of different projects.
Having started off his artistic career storyboarding, in early 2011 he made the leap to come to Escape and commence his studies our 12 week compositing courses.
After graduating he soon landed a job through our well-oiled engine of a recruitment team – compositing for the same movie he had storyboarded for just some months previously!
“Having the opportunity to experience the pre-production and post-production process was a real joy, and I must say since finishing at Escape I haven't stopped working. Escape has definitely been a very good and valuable choice.”
Since then Carlos has worked for Soho based Double Negative, applying his skills to the latest action packed instalment of James Bond ‘Skyfall’ and recently has earned the opportunity to work as a VFX assistant on set for an independent movie called ‘Grand Piano’. Elijah Wood and John Cusack, are just a couple of the names involved. Not bad eh?
Speaking in reflection of the past 12 months Carlos explains,
“I would say it has been a year of my life where I have worked hardest, but having worked on so many movies in such a short time it has been the most interesting and exciting year at the same time”.
What a roaring success – great to hear that Carlos is doing so well. But we want to know, should you be up here? If you were a student here, drop us a line and let us know what you’re doing now!
After an overdue stint on our professional Compositing course at the beginning of 2011, it’s fair to say that ever since, Carlos has grabbed the bull by the horns and tamed it into his very own four legged chauffeur.
Roto Artist at Double Negative
Batman – Dark Knight Rises, Total recall, and now the new Bond film, what can I say, a dream come true!
A dream come true indeed! After an overdue stint on our professional Compositing course at the beginning of 2011, it’s fair to say that ever since, Carlos Conceição has grabbed the bull by the horns and furthermore, tamed it into his very own four legged chauffeur.
Now living in London and working in the heart of the VFX industry with Soho’s Double Negative, Portuguese born Carlos Conceição has worked with some of the largest names in the business on some truly ground breaking cinematic projects. For Carlos though, working in the VFX industry was not always so straight forward.
“Back in the days when I decided to enter the VFX industry, I searched the internet for options, inside and outside of Portugal; Escape Studios was the best option out there in terms of reviews and general opinion”
Although Carlos was aware of Escape Studios at this time, finances were a considerable factor in his career progression, being fresh out of University in Europe, a move to the UK was a huge decision…
“In the end I chose the Portuguese option and went into Architecture Visualization, and worked there until I decided that I wanted to progress in my career further…then came the Escape dream again… fortunately I got the chance to do the course, and it changed my life. It's not easy getting to the top of your career in Portugal and then starting all over again in the UK… back home, I was a senior ‘Arch Viz Artist’ and a Master Class Teacher, but there is nothing compared with the Film industry.
After completing a professional Compositing course at Escape Studios, Carlos found himself almost immediately knees deep within the industry..
The Foundry, Electric Theatre Collective and his current employers - Double negative, are all firms who have made use of Carlos’s extensive skillset over the last year. One of his favourite projects was during his time at the Electric Theatre Collective…
”I went to Electric Theatre Collective to work on a cool project with the Sesame Street characters. There were also some other escapees there from my course. Those days were amazing, the team environment was flawless and ETC is such a great place to work”
Today’s escapee is brought to you by the letter S, that’s S for SUCCESS… sorry we just couldn’t resist…
Since then it’s been peak after peak for Carlos, who has recently been working on the new Batman motion picture Dark Knight Rises, due for release later this month, and the new Bond film Skyfall, amongst other things.
We asked Carlos what advice he would give to any prospective escapees hoping to do the same, following their career dreams into the VFX industry.
My advice to the new students should be, learn from the best, Escape studios teachers are the best, but try to be creative somehow, try to get new footage, try and understand how to film, how to make photography, and why not do a bit of directing and producing? I did it with my military friends and it was so fun, the result got me my dream job!
The veracious combination of personal determination and extensive resources provided here at Escape can propel you to unimaginable places. For obvious reasons we can’t provide a link to the Dark Knight Rises (!) but you can see Carlos’s show reel here. Have a look and see what starting off in the business is all about.
Inspired by Joseph Kosinski (Director of TRON) and the power of Hollywood movies, Yousuke Matsuno decided he wanted a place in the world of Visual Effects...
Nuke Compositor, MPC
Studied: Compositing Evening Course
“I acquired the skills I needed for the job that I wanted”
Inspired by Joseph Kosinski (Director of TRON) and the power of Hollywood movies, Yousuke Matsuno decided he wanted a place in the world of Visual Effects. Dreams are one thing but making them happen is quite another, and like many of our graduates the path isn’t always straight forward. At Escape Studios, our philosophy is a simple one; come to us with creativity and passion and we’ll give you the practical skills you need to get a job, through training that works for you. And Yousuke did just that. He studied our Compositing Evening course and under the expert guidance of his tutor, transformed what started out as an ambition into a glittering CG Career.
So how did he make it happen?
Studying at Nihon University in Japan, Yousuke started out learning architecture. But throughout his course, he always felt unable to apply his creativity to the work being produced. After a bit of research, he looked at the types of jobs available in the CG Industry and found himself getting quite excited by the idea of working there. He switched to VFX and stayed put for quite some time, 9 years to be exact. “I had experience as a VFX artist in Japan, but I knew that compositing is where I wanted to end up. And that required a different set of skills altogether. After deciding that London was where I wanted to make it happen, a friend told me about Escape Studios. I read the course description and knew they covered everything I needed to get started as a compositor. Specifically, they teach NUKE, which is a de-facto standard piece of software in the industry”.
Studying in the Evenings
Yousuke needed to gain this knowledge and quickly. He didn’t want to have to go back to university and study for three years all over again, which is why he studied our part-time evening course. “It was perfect, work in the day-time, study in the evenings”. But it wasn’t just the study that Yousuke enjoyed whilst here at Escape. “It was such a great way to meet other like-minded people. Everyone was in a similar position to me, wanting to re-train but not being able to study during the day-time. It gave me a fantastic grounding in the industry too. My tutor was superb and actually introduced me to the guy’s at MPC which is where I’m working at the moment. You always feel like Escape has got your back and I wouldn’t be where I am without them”.
What About Me?
What are the next steps for getting your career off the ground? If like Yousuke you want to know more about the skills you need, or the types of jobs that exist in the CG Industry, then make sure you download our free UK Careers Guide. It is packed with all the information you need to start making informed career choices. There are lots of facts and figures about the industry but solutions too. This could be the first step to getting your career off the ground. All our escapees have a story and maybe yours starts here.
Join us at our London campus for an advisor-guided tour. You’ll get a broad understanding of the VFX industry, a potential career path within it, and the ESCAPE experience to get you there.
Here’s what to expect.
Learn about the specialized jobs in VFX and Compositing
Understand the ESCAPE course options & which suit you
Be a fly-on-the-wall at an Accelerated Classroom session
Review successful student reels
Get a deeper understanding of what studio-ready means
Learn about student perks and soak up the atmosphere
Head to the VFX bar for a drink and to ask any burning questions
For those of you living in distant lands, or thinking about studying VFX online or relocating to London, take our virtual tour. We cover the main points listed above and will guide you through the ESCAPE experience. You’ll just need to buy your own drink at the end!
Sounds great right? Just give us a call at 0207 3481920 or fill out the form to schedule your Academy Tour today.