What course did you study and when?
I studied on the Art of Computer Animation BA course during its first undergraduate intake from 2016-2019.
What’s your favourite animated character and why?
My favourite animated character is a slight contradiction to what I studied, as it’s a stop-motion character rather than CG. I fell in love with the craftsmanship behind the titular character Kubo, from Laika’s 2016 film Kubo and the Two Strings.
Where do you currently work? / What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working at a startup company based in Somerset House, called Factory 42. The company has a few specialities, including TV production and virtual reality, but I am working as a part of their team on a series of immersive mixed reality experiences which are due to launch in 2020, in partnership with the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Almeida Theatre, amongst others.
What have you been up to since you left Escape Studios?
I started at Factory 42 less than a month after finishing the course, and a whole four months before graduating, so I’ve spent most of my time working on our projects. I’ve been learning a lot, meeting new people and getting a solid foothold in the industry.
What work are you most proud of working on and what is your most notable achievement?
I am most proud of my work on one of my final year films called ‘Home Sweet Home’, for which I was the Assistant Director, Writer and Lead Animator. The production has gone on to be selected for an ever growing number of British and international film festivals, and has been shown around the world. We’ve won awards at a few festivals too, but the biggest achievement of all was to be shown at the BFI London Film Festival alongside new shorts from Dreamworks, Walt Disney Studios and Studio Ponoc. We even did a Q&A to a packed cinema audience!
What is it like to work as a Junior Rigger at FACTORY 42?
It’s been a fantastic experience so far. The team is relatively small right now, so while my title is of a rigger, in actuality I probably do more animation, layout and planning. This has allowed me to get a well rounded view of the whole project and to collaborate closely with all departments, from script to programming, game design, and technology. There’s a great collaborative culture, every member of the team has a genuine influence on the work.
What do you find most exciting about working in the creative industry?
The excitement of making something new, with concepts and ideas that have never been seen before in whatever form it is that we’re creating. And then the final satisfaction comes when we see the response from an audience, with our fingers crossed that they’ll enjoy it!
If you had to sum up your time at Escape Studios in one word what would it be and why?
Rewarding - Hard work, dedication and creativity were always rewarded with success, whether that was in terms of positive feedback, good grades or even great access to jobs at the end of the course. Escape Studios is a place that puts students in the perfect position to succeed.
How did studying at Escape Studios help you into the world of Animation? / prepare you for this role?
The most important thing was networking - exposure to the people who have the jobs to give! I met recruiters, artists, producers, just about every person I needed to meet to gain connections. Additionally, since all our projects were structured to have a simulated studio environment, when I started work in an actual studio it wasn’t such a shock!
What lessons have you learned during your time studying and your time working in Animation?
One lesson is that the fundamentals are key. If you can practice and practice the key principles of animation, you can make anything look good. References can take this to the next level, and if you can act it out yourself you’ll understand the motion even better. And ask for feedback, whether it’s from your tutor, lead, or just a friend, ask often and take notes!
What is your advice for those considering entering the industry?
Know as much as you can of everything, even if you have a very focused specialism. Knowing about other roles and departments will give you an advantage in interviews and in the workplace, and if you can’t find an animation role straight away, you might have some luck with a similar department such as rigging or animation production. But most of all, and it may sound cliché but it’s true, if you work hard for what you want, you'll get it, so don’t give up!