Thursday, 18 June 2020

Introducing "Moon Rockz"

Jonathan Humphries is an animation student at Escape Studios who is due to be awarded his MA in Animation this summer.

Recently Jonathan volunteered to help out with "Moon Rockz", a short film made at Escape Studios, written and directed by Molly Babington.

"Moon Rockz" was a collaboration between students at Escape Studios and also at Animation Apprentice, involving both Jonathan Humphries and also Matt Neputin, also studying for his MA in Animation.

The film is a short story about the moon landings - as told from the Moon's point of view. It's a charming and funny film, to which our students contributed some excellent animation.

"Moon Rockz" is currently being entered into film festivals, and we wish it every success.

Moon Rockz 
Moon Rockz was based on an original idea by Molly Babington, who also did the storyboard animatic. Below you can see the final film.

Industry Feedback
Santiago Colomo from DNEG
"Moon Rockz" also benefitted from studio feedback from DNEG animation supervisor Santi Colomo and Dara McGarry, Artist Manager at Double Negative.  Santiago and Dara joined us online via Google Meet and Syncsketch to offer feedback.

We asked Jonathan to talk a little about what it was like to work on the film.

Jonathan Humphries on "Moon Rockz"
"I'd always wanted the chance to work with a team on a short film and learned a remarkable amount in the short two weeks I was with them. Just experiencing dailies and learning file management systems to work with teams was truly an honor. 

Many education options for learning 3D Animation primarily involve independent projects, which are certainly valuable and necessary, but opportunities for group work, in my opinion, offer a more realistic insight into working in actual industry. 

Jonathan Humphries

Whether searching for Film based animation jobs or Video Game based jobs, it is a team environment. Even though it was brief, working with Escape Studios students on the project "Moon Rockz" helped me engage in that team environment. 

I learned how a team can organize assets, rigs, and scenes, and how to keep the rest of the team updated and informed on my progress on a shot. It was helpful to see students working within specialties. 

I, for example, have rather limited knowledge on rigging, but having someone on the team who created the rigs was valuable for collaboration and questions. I got to see models, textures, and rigs, pass through multiple hands before getting solidified. 

More valuable yet, were the dailies. I've never been in a structured animation dailies environment and absolutely loved every minute. It was great getting notes and critiques on my own work, of course, but was also valuable listening to critiques for other students' progress, especially with the treat of getting critique from DNEG. 

Having a Director and Producer to oversee and ensure things are matching a specific vision was something I hadn't experienced. So to get some of that now will only help later in industry projects. Simulating what is actually done in industry gives a learning opportunity that is rather rare, and in the rumors and talk I hear from those pursuing careers in California, USA, companies really love to see it. 

I'm sure understanding the process of working with a team and collaborating makes anyone a stronger candidate for a position. This entire industry is team based, so why shouldn't the education be?

It was a fun opportunity with a touch of healthy stress, and I'm grateful I was lucky enough to be involved."

IMDB Listing
You can find "Moon Rockz" at the IMDB here.

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