One of the main challenges when working in animation, VFX and games studios has always been staying on top of the constantly changing software tools. But nowadays, young talent increasingly gets hands-on with digital content creation for fun, often driven by their personal interests such as gaming, movies and TV series. This opens a great opportunity for the digital-savvy generation to start learning essential career skills at an early age. And the time has never been better, as we’re now in a golden age of TV and film-making. With the streaming services booming, the industry seeks talented and skilled artists at all levels. But, why is it still not that easy to find them? Speaking to the industry players, we realised some myth-busters that can be a huge obstacle.
I’m not good enough to work in animation/VFX/games
We often see amateur artists aren’t aware that their digital skills and creative interests can one day turn into full-time jobs. ACCESS:VFX has been travelling across the UK to open discussion about careers they might have not previously considered. There’s still a great need to spread this message across young talent and their carers to open their doors to animation, VFX and games. And not knowing a particular software is not the end of the world! As Tom Box from Blue Zoo animation studio emphasises:
“We care more about the underlying skills, such as drawing, sculpting, photography or coding. Knowing what buttons to push is the easy bit.”
All the creative opportunities are in London
It’s clear that London is full of great opportunities for young talents to flourish. But being drawn to the capital, aspiring artists often don’t notice the perks of working elsewhere, creating a significant gap in the regional talent pool. This may be because most graduate jobs are advertised with larger companies in big cities that heavily invest in helping graduates transition from college to industry. But there are also opportunities for grads to make their own games, or indeed games assets, for sale. And regional studios are also on the hunt for such talent! Also, with our Foundry-sponsored e-mentoring platform we can remove all the barriers to being a mentor and re-position an industry mentoring initiative that doesn’t require a physical presence, is completely free to use and currently effectively connects talent with mentors across the UK, USA and Montreal. This will hopefully open the aspiring artists’ eyes for (and doors to) careers in many different regions outside the capital.
Mentoring is a long and burdensome process
E-mentoring is a low-cost way of helping a huge amount of people. Industry professionals are often put off thinking it could only add to an already long list of their daily tasks. But according to Tom:
“If the mentor is reasonably new to the company themselves, it can be quite useful as they can reflect on their on-boarding and growth. If the mentor is more experienced, they can use the experience to develop interpersonal skills and demonstrate that they can perhaps move up a level in the organisation.”
Emma Kolasinska from Moonraker VFX also highlights numerous benefits to mentees:
“Mentors are able to give their mentees an insight to what it is like to work in a studio and also what areas of their personal development they need to concentrate on to enable them to find a way into what is a very competitive market.”
Have you considered starting a career in animation, VFX or games? I hope you’re now convinced it’s the best time to take the first step – no excuses. And if you are the industry professional and have been wondering how to use your expertise to help others – joining ACCESS:VFX e-mentoring scheme will take little to no effort!