John Gresko

What course did you study?

3D for Visual Effects

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

To be an artist in the industry, you need a showreel. Escape showed me the standard required and taught me the skills I needed to make that possible.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m now a Matchmove Artist at Double Negative which is an awesome place to work. So far, I've worked on Interstellar, Exodus and the new Terminator movie which has been a dream come true and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Getting to see the evolution of the VFX as they happen is inspiring and watching the masters at work is really cool!

Being a member of the team that won an Oscar and BAFTA for the visual effects on Interstellar is something I am very proud of and I feel truly privileged to have been part of that project.

At the moment, I'm working on the new Spectre film.

What's your favourite movie and why?

‘Alien’ 1979. I never get tired of thinking about the concept of this film. The first hour is as good as it gets for me!

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

I learnt just how much quality work has to go into making never stop taking notes, always work efficiently. My time in industry has taught me to take even more notes!

What were you doing before starting your course at Escape Studios?

I worked in Architecture and concept design for 7 years before deciding to chase the dream and be a part of the VFX industry. I’ve always wanted to work in the VFX industry and studying at Escape Studios, Pearson College London helped me do just that.

How quickly after completing your course did you secure your first job?

After completing the 3D for VFX course at Escape, I worked there as a 3D Studio Assistant for 8 months while finishing my reel, then started working for Double Negative. It has now been 2 years and it's awesome! 

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

For me, the word that fits best would have to be ‘Rewarding’. Without my time at Escape, I would not have the job I have today.

What drew me to Escape was the benefit of having assistance when problems arise. Learning at home is fine but when you get stuck it can be frustrating and time consuming when finding solutions. At Escape, all the help you could ever need is right there in the classroom. What I enjoyed most was the atmosphere in the studios and being around talented and creative people. Seeing what students thought up and realised was inspiring!

What is your advice for those considering entering the industry?

Be ready to work very hard, as competition for jobs is fierce and the standard is high. When studying (wherever it may be) take as many notes as possible because there is simply so much to learn.

To be an artist in the industry, you need a showreel. Escape showed me the standard required and taught me the skills I needed to make that possible.

John Gresko, Double Negative