Alastair Cross, Framestore

What course did you study?

3D for VFX (12 week full time)

How did studying at Escape Studios help you into the world of VFX?

Without it I wouldn’t be in the industry. I was one of those “zero-to-hero” cases by which I mean I had no prior experience in CG before joining Escape, so yeah, it was a pretty integral part of my development!

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I'm working on Kingsman: The Golden Circle which is the sequel to Kingsman. 

Since I've been at Framestore I have worked on Pan, The Martian, The Legend of Tarzan, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

What was it like working on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?

It was great to work on a Harry Potter spin off film. The originals were a huge inspiration for me to get into this industry so I feel really lucky to have been involved in this one, especially since it was so well received. I worked on the sequence in the blind pig, where we see Gnarlak, the goblin gangster, as well as the goblin singer, her magic and the band. The Framestore breakdown has one of my shots, where we first see Gnarlak (below). 

What's your favourite movie and why?

I don’t have one definite favourite but in the last 10 years I’d say maybe Inception. I love films that make you think. Inception was a great combination of blockbuster effects and feel with a really thought provoking story.

If you had to sum up your time at Escape Studios in one word what would it be and why?

One word for my time at Escape Studios: Certainty (in the sense that I knew this is what I wanted to do).

What lessons have you learnt during your time studying and your time working in VFX?

The time between finishing the course and working was by far the hardest part. Essentially, you’re on your own, which is mentally very tough as you tend to question yourself constantly while you push to finish your showreel. In the working world, it’s also hard, but you have a team to work with, so no one is ever on their own, which takes that pressure off. Being able to integrate with a team is one of the most important things in this industry.

What is your advice for those considering entering the industry?

Be prepared for some stiff, (but healthy!) competition. One of the nice things about this industry is that everyone puts in 110%, which can be exhausting, but there's a real camaraderie about it, and it never seems as bad when you're all in it together. It has to be something you really want to do.

With Escape Studios you have a team to work with, so no one is ever on their own, which takes that pressure off. Being able to integrate with a team is one of the most important things in this industry.

Alastair Cross, Framestore