This time of year tends to be a busy time for VFX, particularly for Compositing departments, with film production schedules nearing the end of their pipeline, and VFX teams working towards looming delivery deadlines. During this busy time, it’s great to see our graduates benefitting from the industry’s demand for more experienced Compositors. This is certainly the case for Jacopo Landi who graduated from our Advanced Compositing for VFX course last March and is now working at Double Negative as a Digital Stereo Compositor.
Jacopo was already working as a Video Editor and Compositor before studying at Escape Studios. It was through a recommendation from a friend that he began to look into our 6 week Advanced Compositing course. Usually taught as an 18-week course, Jacopo bypassed the first 12 weeks to embark on the final 6 – introducing himself to a variety of new skills and techniques.
“I started out learning NUKE autonomously as a freelancer in Italy, while working on projects like ‘The Best Offer’ directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, and ‘The Repairman’ directed by Paolo Mitton. I was keen to strengthen my knowledge by learning new skills like stereoscopy in OCULA and 3D texture painting in MARI. I was also keen to move to London and join a film department in one of the big VFX studios.
With already a good grasp of how to work with NUKE, the 6-week course gave me what I needed. More advanced training over a very short space of time, while letting me better understand the latest VFX industry standards. The six weeks were also a great way to meet and get to know people in London who I would later go on the work within the industry – including collaborating as a freelance Compositor on ‘The Nostalgist’ directed by Giacomo Cimini .”
Now working at Double Negative, Jacopo is applying his new advanced compositing skills in the feature film department and loving every minute of it.
“My current role is Digital Stereo Compositor. The role involves a range of tasks from day to day, such as receiving and analysing assigned shots, dealing with the first stages of processing for a fast integration of all the materials (CG background render, FX render, roto layers) and the initial processes of traditional 2D work (keying green/blue screen, tracking and compositing) in preparation for layout approvals with the VFX Supervisor and the client. Following that, I’ll continue to process shots for the final ‘comp’, making sure all the VFX elements are integrated correctly within the live action plate, both in mono and stereo.
I love my work, but one of the best things is the people I get to work with. At the end of a busy week, there nothing better than having your last render approved, and leaving the studio with your colleagues and friends for a well earned drink.”
We’re delighted Jacopo is enjoying his new role, and that our advanced 6 week programme has helped him achieve his goal. How has the course helped him?
“The aftercare at Escape was really helpful. I was introduced to recruiting managers for London companies but more importantly I was supported in producing a strong showreel that I could use to apply for work.
Finally, Escape organised a very interesting initiative, the Escape Alumni Party, which let both students and recruitment managers network. The event offered a real chance to exhibit our work and to start building relationships with the most important companies in London and abroad.”
And for those of you who are already working in the industry and have aspirations of furthering your skillset, Jacopo had the following advice…
“If you want to enhance your skills around more advanced compositing techniques, but in a short period of time, this course is worth looking at. For me it was great to learn the integration of MARI in NUKE processing and stereo compositing.
After two weeks of finishing the course I started my first stereo job on "Hercules" (2014 - directed by Brett Ratner) and straight away I was able to apply the stereo training that I needed to be productive on the job.
If you decide to do the course, I would recommend that you optimise your time and complete one shot with accuracy, so you can demonstrate the advanced skills you’ve acquired.
And for those who haven't yet worked in VFX abroad or in large companies but love compositing and want to work in the world of VFX for film/commercials at an international level – you could really benefit from this course, especially due to the inspiring environment it offers, which helps get the best out of you.”
Jacopo Landi, Escape Studios Graduate and Digital Stereo Compositor at Double Negative