Sunday, 3 August 2014

Animation Apprentice Graduate Benn Garnish Explains How to Succeed in VFX

Animation Apprentice graduate Benn Garnish worked on the latest installment of The Fast and The Furious, working at Double Negative, one of London’s leading VFX houses. We asked him to talk about what it was like to work as an animator on a major Hollywood film, and what advice he can offer our students to help them forge a successful career in the visual effects industry.

AA: Tell us about The Fast and the Furious - how did you get the job?

Benn: The job at DNeg was offered to me after a friend of mine put my reel forward to the Animation Supervisor – and I then got an interview. Networking helps!

AA: Amen to that. How did studying at Animation Apprentice help you to find work?

Benn: Studying at Animation Apprentice really helped me focus more on the story telling side of my animation, helping me to sell an idea better to the audience.  Which kind of counts for a lot!

AA: What is the best part of studying at Animation Apprentice?

Benn: Getting feedback from Alex with all his experience has definitely pushed my animation in a much better direction. Thinking not only about the motions and body mechanics of a character but getting into the head of the character to make them feel alive has really pushed my animation to a whole new level.

Animation is like learning an instrument - you have to practice

AA: What advice would you give to anyone trying to break into the animation industry?

Benn: I would tell anyone who is trying to break into the industry to just practice and practice and practice! Once you know the theory, then it is a case of applying those theories to your animation. And, like any art form, it just takes time to perfect. It has been about six years of animation for me, and I feel I am only just starting to get it!

For more information on building a career in the animation and visual effects business, read our post on how to find a job in the animation industry, and check out our post about what not to do at a job interview. Also see our post on starting your own small animation business, learn how to create an invoice, and see how we are helping our students find work through our film co-operative Nano Films.  Download the free Escape Studios Careers in VFX Handbook. Take a look at how can help you find a job, and read our piece about how to survive as a freelance animator. Also, find out what Cinesite look for in a student's demo reel, and read our post on setting up your own animation business.

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