I recently had the opportunity to do an interview for Image Engine‘s website, talking about my role in the company as an Environment TD, and giving some advice to students who are trying to step into the visual effects industry. Here is an excerpt of the interview.
Environment TD and creator of Wiki-FX Bruno Lévêque describes how working in the industry is different from being in school, shares advice on how students can set themselves apart, and how he strikes a balance between work and play in our beautiful city.
You’ve recently graduated. How is working in the industry different from being in school?
Working on a VFX project is completely different from what I have been used to at school. There is no magic recipe to follow in order to deliver a VFX shot. You will have to continue to learn every day and find new solutions to produce better images, faster. I would say a good 70% of our job is actually problem-solving. You will also have to learn how to work for a client or supervisor and be aware that your work may have to go through hundreds of iterations before it gets approved.
What advice do you have for students to set themselves apart?
Be curious, be prepared, think outside of the box. Watch, listen, attend conferences, read everything you can. Such website or paper like Cinefex or Art of VFX are a gold mine for every VFX student who wants to step into the industry! If the resources/info doesn’t exist, find them!
It’s the main reason I created WikiFX a few years ago, and it has been an invaluable tool since then! In addition to all the knowledge it brings me, it also offered me lots of opportunities to travel around the world and meet some of the best artists on the planet. That’s how I got my opportunity to work at Image Engine. I first met the Image Engine team at the VIEW Conference in Torino, Italy 3 years ago, where I was invited as a media partner while I was still studying at my VFX School ISART Digital. At the time it was my very first VFX job interview, and it was in English!
Take advantage of your school years as much as possible! Enjoy this time to push your limits and show what you are capable of. I think that doing a student short film is a perfect preparation for the VFX industry, as you will have to go through real production issues and lots of problem-solving. It may also give you a good recognition in the industry, thanks to festival nominations for instance: I’ve been lucky enough to be nominated for a VES Award for my student short film “Murphy” two years ago, and it helped me to boost my career!
Also, know your software. Nowadays the software we use tends to be more and more user-friendly and doesn’t require as many technical skills as it used to. That’s why you need to be able to jump between different packages very quickly depending on the production needs. Even if you choose to be a specialist, having some general knowledge in other areas will make your life easier when working in a team.
Finally, talk to people inside the industry! The majority of artists out there are very passionate about their work and would be more than happy to share their experience with you! But do your research first and don’t talk to them only when you need a job!
Oh! And be nice! Everybody in the industry would agree on that: people will always prefer to work with a friendly artist who maybe doesn’t have all the skills yet but is motivated than with someone who has killer skills but is difficult to work with.
Read the full interview on Image Engine’s website : image-engine.com/crew/bruno-leveque/
Check out our other featured artists : image-engine.com/crew/