What course did you study?
I studied Maya for VFX and then moved onto Compositing for VFX. It was only after I had finished both that I decided I wanted to work in 3D. However I still believe that it was invaluable that I experienced both specialities as it gave me a greater understanding of how the work flows between the two departments.
How did studying at Escape Studios help you into the world of VFX?
I found that my studies at Escape Studios helped me into the world of VFX as it introduced me to people who had real experience in the industry and knew exactly what was needed in order for you to stand a chance to get your foot in the door. Having classmates who were just as determined as you and sharing the same love for films was a great help during training and afterwards when we were either looking for jobs or getting recommendations from people who had already been employed. Without Escape I would not have been able to learn the software as quickly or efficiently as I did, and I would simply not have made the connections that I was lucky enough to make.
What are you working on at the moment?
After leaving Escape my first job was as a Junior Modeller at Cinesite where I stayed for almost 3 years, before moving on to work at Prime Focus and Vine FX as a Generalist. in 2015 I then moved back to Cinesite where I am working today on a number of large feature films as Head of Assets. Most recently on one of these projects I have been given the opportunity to be CG Sequence Supervisor which has been very challenging but very rewarding.
Projects I have worked on:
John Carter, X-Men: First Class, World War Z, Atlantis for the BBC, The Man from Uncle, Gods of Egypt, The Revenant, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Captain America Civil War, Independence Day: Resurgence and Assassin's Creed.
What's your favourite movie and why?
My favourite movie is Back to the Future. It’s what got me interested in Visual Effects in the first place and made me realise that I could actually get a job working in film.
What lessons have you learnt during your time studying and your time working in VFX?
During my studying at Escape I found that you can never ask a stupid question, if you aren’t sure about something ask. There was so much that was new that we ended up working together to help each other, which I now know is a very important thing once you are working in the industry so it was great to start doing this early. In my time working in VFX I have found that communication between team members and other departments is essential. It’s not just a matter of handing your work off and not following up, it’s important to make sure that the next person in line has everything they need from you.
What were you doing before starting your course at Escape Studios?
Before I started my course at Escape Studios I was working as a Freelance Graphic Designer after finishing my MA. I came to realise that although I didn’t mind what I was doing I was never going to love it, so with film being a huge passion I decided to see if I could combine it with my design skills and after a lot of internet searching stumbled across Escape.
How quickly after completing your course did you secure your first job?
I started my studies at Escape Studios in 2007 on two of the courses available and then moved onto working in the Escape Pods as a matchmove artist on a couple of feature films. I left Escape in 2008 and started to work as a Freelance 3D artist, whilst at the same time putting together a showreel of my personal work with the new skills that I had learnt. Escape let me use their facilities to do this as well as giving me feedback on how my reel looked which was so helpful. I then started sending my showreel to various VFX companies in London, and used the connections that I had made and got an interview at Cinesite and started working there in 2009.
If you had to sum up your time at Escape Studios in one word, what would it be and why?
My one word to sum up my time at Escape would be ‘Unforgettable’. It taught me so much in such a short space of time and it made me want to keep learning and push myself further, and at the same time it was fun and sociable, especially after classes where classmates became friends.
What is your advice for those considering entering the industry?
My advice to those entering into the industry would be always be prepared to go that extra mile.