NI Screen Interview and Preparation

August 2016

The NI Screen UU Placement scheme interview was my first job application and interview that I went through for placement year. It was probably one of the most nerve wracking experiences for placement year. After my mishaps in the mock interview I was determined to be more prepared. I was more thorough with my question and answer preparations and practiced reciting more out loud. My nerves get the better of me in these situations. Recording myself was the most helpful way for preparing that I found.

I did quite poorly on the question “What do you know about the animation industry here in Northern Ireland?” so I should look more into this for future interviews.

Gnomon Creating a Sci-Fi Alleyway

Creating a Sci-fi Alleyway. Detailed Environment Techniques with Devon Fay  – great inspirational tutorial on the gnomon workshop.

What a beautiful piece of art Fay’s “Sci-fi Alleyway” is. I love this feeling of rain-slick, beaten up alleyways filled with old tech and Japanese references. The image has really stuck with me and I can’t help but think of it when I look down narrow alleys in Belfast. Even during the weekend, I saw a poster in The Ramen Bar in Dublin and immediately thought, sci-fi alleyway!

This is the VR (or AR?) dream.

 

Summary of my notes from the tutorial:

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Thinking About My Career Options

Placement year hasn’t been going as I had thought it would. I had thought that I would start the summer with spending some time editing my showreel and then sending this out to studios that I had researched. Instead I found myself reacting to the suggestions of jobs. For instance, Iglu Media suggested that they might have work revolving around compositing and After Effects. I set about to learning these skills in After Effects and got to work with them for a short time. Then John Henry Hammer Productions contacted a few of us for work on their short film and I jumped into learning Arnold, Nuke and Substance Painter for that. I’m very happy that there’s work to do and at the same time wonder if I should be less reactive and more precise in my plans for the future. The great thing about JHHP’s short film is that I can choose which part of the pipeline that I want to focus on at least. Alec suggested to try everything this year. I’m always struggling to be really good at at least one area but I see advantages to spreading my time to other areas also. I’m still waiting to hear a yes/no from NI Screen’s UU Placement Scheme so that might lead me somewhere else again.

This was a draft of points that I was using to think about career options a month or two ago but I may as well post it:

I could apply for freelance projects online. This way has the risk of working for clients that won’t pay or stop communicating abruptly. On the other hand, it allows me to read through particular project briefs before applying. I really like the idea of drawing concept art for a project that I enjoy the theme/story setting of.

I could follow the option that Iglu Media has presented me with work centered around After Effects. This would involve learning more about compositing, rotoscoping, special effects creation such as explosions and particles, motion graphics and dynamics.

I could try and look more into roles that would lead to set/production design. My 3D and drawing skills could be used for set pre-vis or I could create fully digital sets.

I could look for jobs centered around concept art here in Belfast. CoffeeBox Games seems like an option.

I could try to work somewhere like Blacknorth which would require all my skills as a 3D generalist.

I could look for more internships in big studios with a focus in a particular department such as lighting at MPC.

I could take a month to try developing my matte painting abilities and apply to studios for this in particular. I could do this also for storyboarding and animation.

I could set up my own company and focus on my own project such as a short film, comic book, pilot for a tv series, VR project, game etc. I would have to find a company, doing something similar, to mentor me. Make a Neal Stephenson dream.

I could put all of my efforts into finding work revolving around metal music videos and try spending time making a showreel for this.

Will it be too late for Erasmus grants at the start of next year? There’s still something inviting about the thought of working in studios in Sweden, Finland or somewhere else on mainland Europe. Pity there aren’t similar grants for Japan.