This year we have organised a series of talks and workshops from professionals and alumni working in the visual effects industry. The sessions will provide our students with a greater knowledge and understanding of the industry and what it takes to forge a successful career.
Maxwell Smith – Environments Technical Director at Framestore
Friend of Confetti, Maxwell Smith, gave BSc (Hons) Visual Effects Production Technology students a glimpse into what it’s like to work for one of the largest and most reputable animation and visual effects companies in the world. The talk was a great success, and students were excited to be given tips by an industry expert.
Framestore is renowned for its work. Home to over 2,000 talented artists and producers, it creates engaging content across film, advertising and content.
Maxwell, Framestore’s Environments Technical Director for the VFX department, has worked on a long list of high profile projects – from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Mowgli, to Mary Poppins Returns and Guardians of the Galaxy.
During the two-hour session Maxwell shared with the student group his experiences of working on these blockbuster titles, going into detail on how projects within his environment department are managed – from start to finish.
Maxwell explained how diverse and challenging each project can be.
“You’re constantly being challenged. Take the second film of the Fantastic Beasts series and Mowgli as an example; one is set in Paris in the 1920’s, and the other is set in a jungle that requires lots of assets with varying details.”
Each project is different and requires a lot of research from everybody involved; we’re aiming to create environments that look real-life, and research is key to that. When working on the Mowgli film, I learnt so much about jungle botany – this was paramount.”
Jacky Gurr, lecturer on the course commented:
“We host a series of guest lecture talks during our Industry Practice module, which always prove invaluable for our students.
“Maxwell had some really good advice on how to make it in the VFX industry, and I know the students will take on board his comments.”
A recent BFI-commissioned report valued the VFX industry in the UK alone in excess of £1 billion, and this is expected to grow over the next couple of years. It’s safe to say – there’s never been a better time to choose a career in VFX.