When the Lockdown was announced in March, we were able to quickly transition to completely Virtual Learning, in less than 24 hours, as we had contingency plans in place. Here's some examples of how we have been operating during these difficult circumstances.
How does this work?
Students on our creative courses will certainly be used to working on computer screens, as most of their work is produced on softwares, such as Autodesk Maya, Nuke and Houdini. Students can access video tutorials on Vimeo, they have regular feedback sessions with their tutors and can also receive feedback via email and through various platforms, with detailed frame-by-frame audio feedback too.
"Escape Studios run a weekly Town Hall' where we can submit feedback which they will take into account"- Alex Tang, 1st Year Game Art Student at Escape Studios
So what’s different then?
Escape Studios students use a variety of platforms where they can discuss ideas and share information about their progress with members of their team. Although they might not be able to hold meetings in person, they continued to meet virtually and were still able to present work to tutors and industry.
Due to the current situation, professionals in the industry are also required to work from home and continue working on projects, as they continue to meet their deadlines. Our students have demonstrated a great ability to adapt to this situation, in the same way that many professionals in the industry are expected to.
Escape Studios students have still been able to attend virtual sessions with industry experts. One of our most popular industry events are the “Evening with…” events, where we invite industry professionals to come to our campus, to talk about their profession and advise students on how to get top jobs within the industry. These events have continued during Lockdown as students can attend virtual “Evening with…”events, which has seen guests from LinkedIn, Marvel, Creative Assembly and Digital Domain, to name a few.
What do our students think of this?
Whilst this is certainly a challenge for our students, they have been able to adapt and have still been engaged and continue to learn. Many students have felt encouraged as they have learnt of how the situation has developed opportunities within the Industry. Students have felt supported throughout and understand that this is a difficult situation, but have persevered with their learning.
"Most of this is like a typical College day, just in the comfort of your own home!"- Hannah Clarke, 3rd Year Game Art Student at Escape Studios
VFX Festival Virtual Series
The most anticipated festival, which usually takes place at an external venue, gives students the opportunity to attend talks, network with various professionals and explore various creative career opportunities. The VFX Festival has re-emerged as a free Virtual Series of Online Webinars, which will continue to run until the VFX Festival 2021.
Festivals, Awards and Praises from Industry Partners
Our Escape Showcase event provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their projects and showreels to Industry professionals and has traditionally led to various job opportunities. The Escape Showcase 2020 took place, virtually, and students presented their work to an audience consisting of students, academics and industry professionals from the creative industries. There was so much positive feedback and many students had virtual interviews with Industry professionals who have even offered them jobs. There are also several projects that have been nominated for awards, been featured in festivals and have won prizes already.
No matter whether students learn on campus or at home, there is no doubt that the standard of work produced continues to excel, which is reflected in the number of nominations, awards and prizes students have received.
"We have a strong community at the College and students, tutors and staff have together responded incredibly well in adapting to the current situation."
- Dr Roxanne Stockwell, Principal of Pearson College London