Escape Studios hosts virtual event with renowned VFX executive Scott Ross

Escape Studios welcomed Hollywood VFX legend Scott Ross to its special 'Evening With' series on Thursday, where he spoke to students about his career in visual effects as part of the exclusive Q&A session.

Scott was at the helm of two of the most successful US VFX companies of the nineties and noughties, creating effects for some of the films that defined a movie-going generation like Titanic, Star Wars Episodes I-III, The Abyss and Total Recall.

Co-Chaired by Escape’s Deputy Dean Saint Walker and Aftercare Coordinator Michael Chow, Scott answered a range of questions about the films he has worked on, while also providing advice for those looking to break into the industry.

A range of topics were covered during the event:

  • Scott’s views on his close relationship with industry giants James Cameron and Stan Winston, and his appreciation for how film has evolved beyond traditional Hollywood, revealing his respect for directors such as Wong Kar-wai and Bong Joon-ho.
  • Scott’s key position in the late eighties and early nineties during the transition of film and VFX into the digital realm, and how during his stewardship both ILM and Digital Domain gave birth to some of the most startling imagery of the era. He describes himself as the Forrest Gump of VFX; always there in the background of major events
  • Whilst talking about the history and heritage of VFX, Scott encouraged Escape students to help define VFX’s future as it continues to evolve
  • Advising students to have a plan and strategy about where they want to go in the future, finding mentors who they respect and be humble and helpful in their early careers
  • Scott revealed the one film he wished he’d worked on was Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso

Saint Walker said: "Scott is often controversial yet always insightful. His thoughts about the future of VFX were what I found most interesting - especially his comments on the failure of VR to take off in the mass market, and a possible reframing of what we think creativity will look like in a China dominated future. I think it’s important that all students look up from their computers occasionally to be presented with these sorts of ideas, and Scott is one of the few VFX business visionaries with that kind of scope."

Scott's career spans three decades leading George Lucas' ILM, founding digital production company Digital Domain with James Cameron and Stan Winston and even birthing the compositing software Nuke. Ross worked on a number of Academy Award winning films during his successful career.

Escape Studios organises a number of exclusive events for students who are following undergraduate, postgraduate and short courses in Visual Effects (VFX), Game Art, Animation and Motion Graphics. However during this period of social distancing, Escape Studios is able to host an extended range of virtual sessions for its students, featuring international executives from around the world, who are able to present from their homes. Find out more about Escape Studios here.