Following the success of our first ‘Industry Connect’ event held at The Mill on Thursday 19th March in partnership with UK-based inclusion initiative We Are Stripes, we followed up with our second event on Tuesday 25th September, during National Inclusion Week 2018.
As well as continuing our collaboration with We Are Stripes, we also co-hosted the event with Sulaiman Khan, Founder & Chief Purpose Officer of ThisAbility, a network designed to champion disabled creatives.
Whereas our first event subscribed to the ‘see it be it’ approach, ensuring that speed-networking stations represented talent from BAME (black and minority ethnic) backgrounds, at our second event held at Framestore we wanted to focus more on providing skills and insight into various visual effects and animation disciplines by offering 90-minute workshop experiences.
We ran five 90-minute workshops that ran simultaneously including:
- Animation 101 with Blue Zoo Animation
- Character Design & Development with The Mill
- Producing for VFX with Escape Studios
- Creating a Photorealistic 3D Creature with Freefolk
- 3D Convergence of Film and Games with The Third Floor
Following the workshops we continued networking conversations with BAME role models in attendance working in various positions across the disciplines covered in the 90-minute sessions.
Feedback from the Industry Connect was positive as we created a relaxed atmosphere where people could have meaningful conversations either through the intimate hands-on workshops or via networking conversations. We were also able to connect attendees to our e-mentoring programme and a number of people have since secured employment as a direct result of attending the event.
The Industry Connect also took place during National Inclusion Week 2018, a week before ACCESS: VFX toured the UK and Northern Ireland throughout October as part of ACCESS: VFX Month. This event set the tone for the tour and embodied the action-based commitment of any initiative put in place by ACCESS: VFX.