Women in the Creative Industries #BeBoldForChange
We're really proud of the achievements of the women we work with in the Creative Industries. Many of our female Escapees have worked on inspiring projects including Dr Strange, Beauty and the Beast and Inside Out, so what better time to celebrate their successes, than on International Women's Day 2017!
We asked our Head of Compositing Davi Stein, who has worked on The Matrix trilogy, and some of our female Escapee's to share their thoughts on women in the VFX, Animation and Games industries.
Industry Partner - The Mill
The Mill are actively involved in increasing diversty in the creative industries.
"We began talking about the importance of inclusion at The Mill early 2016 on the back of our collaboration with Next Gen Skills Academy and Animated Women UK - namely the Aspiring Women professional development programme. As we delved further we became acutely aware of our own shortfalls in representing ‘difference’ at our studio, in particular the lack of women and black and minority ethnic employees in senior creative and technical roles. We concluded that as a world-leading content creation studio, building an inclusive culture is a no-brainer if we are to retain our position both from a creative and commercial perspective. Our Diversity and Inclusion strategy was therefore born and is now fully embedded into the culture of The Mill. It means we host a number of events, panels and programmes so as to further drive awareness industry wide. The ‘Be Bold for Change’ panel is an extension of this and one that we are very excited about. Diversity + Inclusion = Creativity."
Simon Devereux, Group Head of L&D
Holly Pickering - Games Artist
Who inspires you?
I'm inspired by most things and actively chose to not limit myself to games. I'm inspired by game makers doing great and experimental things, film makers, musicians, interior designers and architects. I'm a big believer in taking inspiration and learning lessons from all types of creative fields. Having a wide knowledge outside of your own discipline gives you a bigger pool to pull from in your own work and help you solve problems in new and exciting ways that no one may have thought of.That said, if I had to pick an individual who has inspired me, I would have to say Jade Raymond. I know for a lot of women my age she was a huge influence. So many of us were amazed by her showing of Assassin's Creed at E3 in 2006. She really stuck out as someone to break the hyper male world that was E3 at the time. Which for so many of us was our only view into the games industry at the time. Something clicked inside me that maybe this could be something I could do as well; seeing her made me feel like I had permission to follow my passion for how games and turn it into my career. Since then I've attended a talk on Jade's work at BAFTA and she was truly inspiring. It is no wonder she has been leading studios for many years now and acted as a beacon for so many of us.
What are your thoughts on the future of Games?
Games are beginning to break out of genre tropes. Either by making new ones or creating things that are more experiential than about "winning" in the traditional sense. These open games up to people who don't label themselves as gamers. But also gives more depth of experience to those of us that have been playing games for a long time. Another advance has come with the introduction of home systems for virtual reality. VR has the capability to add to the experiential games on a whole new level. Being able to transport players into the game world can create a very immersive experience that has a greater impact on the players than single screen play we are used to. As we learn how to use the technology, and providing it becomes more affordable and more main-stream, we'll have the chance to make a huge impact with how games are made and consumed in the future. Hopefully leading to a deeper dialogue between game makers and players.
What are the biggest challenges of being a woman in the Games industry?
For me personally, it has been fighting the internal misogyny we all have. Whether that's underestimating my fellow women, I have done this myself and it's important to recognise when you do this and examine why you had those thoughts. So often, it is just our gut speaking to what society has led us to believe, rather than anything to do with that person's actual capabilities.
What was your break-through project?
The current project I am working on is the first project as an Art Director, taking on a lot more responsibility than my previous roles as an Artist. It's a very ambitious game and I'm personally really impressed with what we have been able to do so far. More information about the game can be found at bradwellelectronics.com, with more details coming soon!
Have you had any mentors along the way?
Leads and other artists I have worked with throughout my career so far, have all been people to learn from. The most impactful mentor I have had is Georg Backer who is the Game Director on our current project. He has let me have a lot of freedom within the project to contribute and has helped me when I've struggled with learning how to manage others. His support and belief in my ability has really pulled me through development, especially the really tough times.