Half way there - Preparing to apply to university!

Escape Studios

If you’re reading this it probably means you’ve just finished the first year of your A-Levels or BTEC’s and will be making an application to university very soon. It can be an exciting (and stressful) time of year so one of our first year VFX students, Shanae Bedford, has lots of useful tips and advice on how you can prepare.

Preparing for your last year in School or College...
My final year in college consisted of gathering as much advice as I could about what makes a great portfolio to ensure I stood out during the application process.

I had help from my tutors and did lots of my own research too. I put together the best pieces of work I'd created during my time in college and spent the summer covering and practicing any techniques I may have missed (such as software skills, portfolio layout). I also researched what universities appealed to me the most and what they were looking for, so I could prepare for my interviews and any applicant days I needed to attend.

Why I decided to choose Escape Studios...

  • The location: I wanted to stay in London as I knew that it was one of the best places to be for working in the industry (not just for VFX, but animation and games too).
  • The experience: After visiting places to study in London, I was delighted to find Escape Studios; a university with real and relevant industry partners and experience. I found it very important to find a university that was right for me personally and not what just looked good on a piece of paper.
  • The course: After attending the creative workshop and finding out more about the way I would be taught at Escape Studios, I realised it was very specialised and just what I wanted out of a course - you get to work in industry-style studios and try a little bit of VFX, animation and games.

What I’ve been up to over the summer holidays...
I have been working at Double Negative as a 3D Runner over the summer. It's been a very realistic experience helping understand what it is like to work in the industry and what will help me move up faster as an artist. I’ve had the opportunity to meet current artists and have a few informal catch ups with Paul Franklin in his spare time - which was amazing! I’ve been able to ask unlimited questions about what I can do from now until I graduate and what opportunities I’ll be able to take a hold of to get me into the industry when I finish university.

How to prepare a Creative Portfolio​...
For most universities you'll need to present a Creative Portfolio. I decided to create a VFX showreel including compositing in After Effects and modelling in Maya - but don't worry if you don't have that to show, as long as you can present your passion for what you have created (whether it’s photography, paintings or sketches/drawings) that’s what matters most.

The tutors are really keen to hear how your portfolio developed over the different projects; what you like best, what you would do differently, why you made certain edits or choices etc. Remember to put your best work first to engage your audience and try not to include any work that will distract them such as unfinished pieces or irrelevant work.


Got a question?
Email info@pearsoncollegelondon.ac.uk or call 0203 1314 137 to speak to an Applicant Advisor today.