The graduate looks back at her course at Escape Studios
What have you been studying at Escape Studios?
After six years working in illustration for animation, I wanted to switch to visual effects. But I realised it required a lot of skill that I just didn’t have and that I needed to learn. So I took the compositing MA at Escape Studios, and I handed in my last project a month ago. I’m at the stage now where the college is helping me with my showreel and getting my applications ready. Even though the course has officially ended, they’re being really helpful and proactive with their help.
Why did you pick Escape Studios?
My fancy New York art school was fun but it wasn’t practical at all. After I graduated, I was just so clueless on the jobs for the first year. So I wanted to make sure that whatever school I went to actually taught me all the practical skills I needed to get a job.
What software have you studied?
Most compositing is done nowadays in a software called Nuke. It’s a very complex, not very user-friendly software that takes time to understand. It’s incredibly versatile, but you have to learn how to use it.
What were the other students like?
I was in a pretty small classroom. One of the other students had studied media at undergraduate level and another came from a fairly computer science-ish background. I found that at Escape, around a third of the students come from design backgrounds and two-thirds come from computer science backgrounds.
Did you work in a group or alone?
At first, we’re on our own, because it’s such a handful to understand the intricacies of how this software works. And then halfway through they have us work on a group project. That was probably the most fun. Learning to work with other people on a project, and combining each other’s skills to make a shot look better than we could have on our own. The way they gave us projects was pretty well managed. At the end of it we really had a little bit of everything to show in our showreel.
At the start of your career, did you ever think you’d be working in this field?
Definitely not, but in hindsight, it does make sense that I would evolve into visual effects from the more illustrative aspects of animation. It offers a whole new world of possibilities: visual effects are incredibly interesting.