Frequently Asked Questions

By ACCESS:VFX | 1st December 2017
Do I need to go to University?

Going to University to study a VFX related degree is one of the most common route into the industry, but it is by no means the only one. Many companies offer Internship placements and Apprenticeships and entry-level Runner positions.

Although qualifications are great, many companies tend to look for individuals who have invested interest in post-production or have experience in the industry (even if it is self taught).

If you are considering taking a film production course in higher education, click here for commonly accepted courses.

What types of skills are needed?

From visually creative talents required for a 3D Artist, to organisational skills needed for a Producer there's a role for everyone.

Do you offer work experience?

As an industry it can be tricky for us to offer work experience. However, we are working with the NextGen Skills Academy to develop a programme called NextGen Insights. Currently the programme is only run at one or two studios and open only to those studying at a NextGen college but we hope to widen this out in the future.

Are there any particular softwares that you recommend I learn?

If you don't have any experience at all of 3D or 2D software than we recommend starting out with Blender (for 3D) and Photoshop (for 2D). Blender is free and Photoshop comes at a small monthly cost for students. If you are already familiar with those softwares then we would recommend moving on to our two industry standard software - Maya (for 3D) and Nuke (for 2D). Both of these software have free learning licences that you can download.

Do you offer apprenticeships?

Yes we do! We currently have two VFX apprenticeships - Junior 2D Artist and Assistant Technical Director. If you are interested in apprenticeships then you can find out more information and express your interest on the NextGen website.

Where can I find out more information about careers in VFX?

There are a number of sites that provide further information. Here are some for you to start with:

http://creativeskillset.org/creative_industries/vfx

https://creativeskillset.org/latest/videos/4221_choosing_a_creative_course_pick_the_tick

https://www.nextgenskillsacademy.com/courses-apprenticeships

https://www.intofilm.org/news-and-views/articles/explore-a-career-in-visual-effects

https://www.pearsoncollegelondon.ac.uk/escape-studios/careers.html

Do you offer internships?

Most of the studios run an internship programme but it takes a different form at each studio so you are best to contact them directly for more information. Studios that currently offer internship opportunities include:

  • DNEG

  • Blue Zoo

  • Framestore

  • MPC

  • Cinesite

  • The Mill

Do I have to start as a Runner?

Runner programmes are run differently at every studio and some studios don't even have runners. Therefore there is absolutely no requirement to start your career in industry as a runner. Most studios have the opportunity for new entrants to join in any number of roles including runner, receptionist, PA, roto or tracking and of course junior specialist or generalist positions. The key is to find a foot in the door and to be open to whatever form that opportunity takes!

My child is on the autistic spectrum, is dyslexic, dyspraxic or has other learning difficulties. Will this be a barrier for them?

Not at all! As an industry we are very open to individuals with disabilities and will always look to make suitable adjustments wherever possible to enable anyone with passion, talent and enthusiasm to join our teams.

What are the career and salary prospects for my child?

We all take the career development of our staff seriously and there are lots of opportunities for talented individuals to grow within the industry. Depending on the role or department that the person is in that growth could take a variety of different forms including artistic oversight, project management, team leadership or client management to name a few. Starting salaries range anywhere from the National Minimum Wage to a fairly typical graduate salary (dependent on role) and should an individual progress in to a leadership position then they could expect to be earning a six figure salary so earning potential and growth is significant.