Daniel Bigaj

Why VFX?

“It all started with an ambition to work in film and create new, exciting experiences for audiences through a visual medium. I love that my work in VFX can help people experience the impossible. During my final semester, I tried a digital media subject because I’ve always had an interest in image manipulation, gaming and photography. This mainly involved creating short animations in Autodesk 3ds Max and it got me interested in visual effects (VFX). I went on to complete a Masters in Digital Media, where I was introduced to every step of the VFX pipeline and realised I wanted to specialise in Compositing. I enrolled on the Compositing for VFX online course at Escape Studios and haven’t looked back since.” Daniel is now working as a VFX Compositor in Vancouver, Canada, and has a growing number of feature films under his belt.

Why Escape?

“A friend of mine had studied with Escape in London and had a really strong showreel as a result. So I did some digging and it looked like Escape had the most comprehensive course I could find! The course has taught me absolutely everything I could know about compositing in Nuke. Before, all I knew was basic compositing techniques in After Effects. So it hasn’t just helped me in my career, the course has made my career. Without it I wouldn’t have a career. Every week I was provided with all the information I’d need to complete my course projects, something I was incredibly happy with. I never needed to Google how to do something for my projects. The course progressed at a perfect pace that I could keep up with while working full-time.”

What is your advice for those considering entering the industry?

“Breaking into the VFX industry is all about being proactive and I was still studying with Escape when I approached my first employer, Rising Sun Pictures (RSP). Once I had a decent showreel, I started applying for positions in Australia. I had good feedback from RSP, who said I needed just a tiny bit of industry experience for them to hire me. So they invited me to the beta testing of a roto/paint course they now run. My education with Escape put me ahead of the other students involved right from the start and I excelled well beyond expectations. A month or so later I was hired for a roto/paint position working on ‘The Wolverine’ and ‘The Great Gatsby’, while still finishing the course at Escape.”

A friend of mine had studied with Escape in London and had a really strong showreel as a result. So I did some digging and it looked like Escape had the most comprehensive course I could find! 

Daniel Bigaj