• Emma Berkeley

Emma Berkeley

Junior Texture Artist –Cinesite

“I suppose my story proves that you can start a career in VFX whenever you want. I studied Geography at Uni but found Escape and started the career I’d always dreamt of”.

Catching the CG bug

Getting into trouble for printing out reams of paper on Pixar at school was the result of being hooked on Toy Story 2 aged 12. When most people her age were watching films, Emma was checking out behind the scenes documentaries on how Toy Story was made and busy telling people that it was what she was going to do when she grew up. “I couldn't believe people did that for a job - it was so creative and I just wanted to know more!”. Inspiration for becoming a CG artist didn’t stop there. Lord of the Rings had a big impact on Emma and proved to her that no matter how fantastical the idea, CG could make it possible. However, when Emma left school she stopped following the dream for a while, thinking that CG was a thing ‘they only did in Hollywood’. How wrong she was.

Escaping

“I never lost interest in CG – it was always something I was passionate about, even when I was studying my degree in Geography”. So, after checking out some of the latest work and talent on post house MPC’s website, Emma found a link to Escape Studios. Deciding to take the plunge and find out more about Escape Studios, Emma found herself on one of our Open Days. “What really struck me wasn’t just the quality of work the students produced but also the links Escape had with the industry”. Emma was also excited by the prospect of being taught by industry professionals, she felt reassured by the fact that they had such extensive knowledge of an industry that was totally new to her. It just goes to show that no matter what you study before hand or what career you embark on, it’s never too late to begin a career in VFX.

Emma had wanted to become a VFX artist for so long that she jumped straight in to study our 18-week VFX Professional course.  As she put it “I was so hungry to learn as much as possible”. The course was challenging for Emma, there’s no doubt about that – it’s intensive and really does require a lot of dedication. But was it worth it? “When I look back and see the quality of work I was able to produce in such a short period of time, I’m amazed. Emma had heard about the likes of Maya and ZBrush, but had no idea that she would be using them so intensively throughout the course. “Escape isn’t about the theory; it’s about hands-on practical tuition”.

Making that reel

It’s not just about finishing a course at Escape – your showreel is the key to getting a job in the industry.  If you don’t have one, and a good one at that, you won’t even be considered. “The recruitment team were great at showing me the nature of the industry and also preparing me for it. They helped me get my showreel up to scratch: explaining what companies are looking for, how best to illustrate my skills and what I could do to improve it”. Emma is sure that without the wisdom of the Recruitment Team her reel wouldn’t have been half as good. “If just over a year ago someone had said to me that I was going to be a VFX artist at Cinesite, I wouldn't have believed them. What I get to do for a job now is just wonderful!”