Studio visits get DMU students animated

A valuable insight into the animation and visual effects industry has inspired and boosted the confidence of students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

Animation students visited a leading animation studio - Blue Zoo Productions - and two VFX post-production houses – Rushes and Framestore – during Enhancement Week, which is dedicated to students’ academic, personal and professional development.

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The first, second and final year students were split into two groups, with those specialising in animation visiting Blue Zoo Productions and those interested in VFX visiting Rushes. Both groups visited Framestore at the end of the day.

Students enjoyed studio tours and spoke to animators and other experts about their progression into the industry and their day-to-day responsibilities.

They also learned about the team set-up and work environment in studios, as well as how their work pipeline is managed.

For final year student Lizzie Mole, who specialises in 2D and 3D animation, the experience was a chance to find out what the industry is looking for in graduates.

The 21-year-old said: “I left with a lot more confidence about contacting studios in future and feeling hopeful about finding a job once I graduate.

“In fact, following our visit I plucked up the courage to contact RJDM studios in Northampton, which has led to a one-week work experience placement.”

VFX specialist and final year student, Denzil Menezes, found it interesting hearing about the recruitment process from the perspectives of both a big and a smaller studio.

Denzil said: “Visiting Rushes opened my eyes to different possibilities. Being a smaller boutique studio specialising in adverts, it made me realise that there are plenty of job opportunities out there which don’t just revolve around blockbuster films.” 

For second year student, Agnė Alaburdaitė, the experience has inspired and motivated her to work even harder to improve her skills. 

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Agnė said: “It was an exciting opportunity to find out how university graduates like us managed to create their own company and develop Blue Zoo Productions into a well-known studio.

“As well as that, it was fascinating to observe animators working on their projects and to learn about specific aspects of animation, like storyboarding techniques and fur animation.”

DMU’s Animation course leader, Janet Choo, said: “All three studios were exceptionally accommodating and offered an eye-opening experience for our students.

“At Blue Zoo Productions, the co-founder and director, Tom Box, actually hosted the tour, delivered the presentation and made time to answer questions, which is a very rare opportunity.

“Our students came back motivated and inspired. I even have a second year student who wants to start on her final year project immediately, as she is so excited by the prospects of working in the industry.”

Posted on Friday 29th April 2016

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