Alumni 3 min read

Interview with VFX 'Escapee', Michael Vodden

Emma Devlin

Emma Devlin posted on

Take a look at a recent interview with Michael, who studied BA (Hons) The Art of Visual Effects at Escape Studios!

What subjects did you study at school?

I chose Business Studies, French, Fine Art, and Media Studies to be my GCSEs.

How do you use your knowledge of Art & Design in your degree?

Fine Art taught me a lot about colour and composition, which is always important, particularly in compositing. Working well with others, networking, marketing, and project management are key to Visual Effects. Media Studies taught me about the reasons behind artistic and technical choices in film and television.

Why did you choose this course?

Escape Studios offered a unique opportunity. They promised the opportunity to gradually become part of the creative industries and make a truly informed decision on what path I wanted to take, and they delivered on that promise. They are also extremely well-connected to the industry. All the tutors have a wealth of experience, we get regular industry guests, and the courses are tailored to follow industry advice.

What do you enjoy about your course?

I love getting to work with so many brilliant artists. It’s so much fun to bring shots to life with your friends and get the shared satisfaction of finalising a film you’ve worked so hard on for months or even the smaller victories like learning a new technique or fixing a technical issue. It’s genuinely fun and compelling work.

What do you find challenging?

Time management! Self-discipline is a very valuable skill. Anyone can learn how to use the software, but it takes time and practice to make your work look good. There is no shortcut or cheat-sheet. Every job is different, and you only get better through experience.

Why did you choose university over an apprenticeship or school-leaver programme?

One of the benefits of Escape Studios’ course is the gradual specialisation. You spend the first year doing all three disciplines they offer: Visual Effects, Animation, and Game Art. You then choose one to specialise in in your second year and then you get to experience the variety of roles in your chosen discipline. University allowed me to experiment and explore my creativity. It allowed me to find what I was passionate to pursue.

What do you hope to do after university?

I’m hoping to get a junior role in roto/prep or compositing at a facility in London.

Do you see yourself having multiple roles/jobs in your career?

Part of the beauty of Visual Effects as both a course and industry is that there are so many options. I could end up following roto/prep into senior roles, moving into production, freelancing, training, or switching disciplines entirely over my career.

What’s your advice for someone wanting to study the same course?

Love what you do. You don’t have to be sure about what creative industry you want to pursue at this point. If you genuinely love making great art, it will show, and it will be seen. You can check out my website for an idea of what I’ve been creating: https://voddenvfx.com/.

To find out more about career opportunities in the Visual Effects, Animation and Game Art industries, check out Escape Studios' free Careers Guide. Download now!

Interview with VFX 'Escapee', Michael Vodden
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