Visual effects events during Confetti’s Media Masterclass – our students’ reviews

Thursday May 28, 2020

At the start of May, Confetti held an online Media Masterclass event, where some of our Industry Week 2020 guests from the VFX industry offered tips, workshops and Q&As for students.

Following a really successful week of online events, our students set about reviewing the talks they’d watched. Here are what they had to say about a handful of the events – there were ten in total!

James Lewis-Vines

James is a Concept Artist at Criterion Games – Electronic Arts, he has most recently worked on Battlefield V, Star Wars Battlefront 2 and unannounced upcoming AAA titles. James also works on a freelance basis, contributing to games for studios including Pixel Toys and BossKey Studios.

Student Ted reviewed James’ event:

“James Lewis-Vines caught my eye the most – he specialises in creating concept art for video games. His most recent developments have been Battlefield V and Star Wars Battlefront 2. After seeing his presentation during the masterclass, I was very inspired by the realism and creativity that has been put into his artwork.

Not only does he work with matte painting on Photoshop and Z-Brush, he uses VR immersive software to create characters and 3D reference points to draw over later in 2D art software. The examples and his explanations on how he works through each project was very interesting. I hope to create concept art as a freelancer and James is definitely a great person to look up to as a role model for this type of career.

Pat Imrie

Senior VFX Artist Pat discussed his career path, the importance of a positive mindset as the students work towards their goals, and mental health and well-being within the industry. He also played students his showreel and spoke openly about his favourite jobs/experiences in the industry.


Here’s student Katie’s review:

“Discussing his career path, I was able to understand how mental health and well-being has a big impact when working in the industry. It is important to maintain good sleep and not staying up late working on projects as that can have a negative impact on mental health which will then impact the production and quality of your work.

After this, he shared his show reel with us which was fantastic and spoke about his favourite jobs in the industry on a whole. It was a great experience and it gave me a lot better of a look into the reality of long hours and working overtime.”

Paul Wilkes

Paul – Head of Advertising Talent Acquisition at MPC – spoke about some of MPC’s Visual Effects and creative work for brands, agencies in film and TV, plus what different job roles in the industry are.

Here’s what student Andrea though of the event:

“Paul talked to us about other areas of the industry, aside from film, such as advertising. By showing us the recent work of the advertising department, Paul explained that many adverts use intriguing and developing technologies and that the quicker turnaround for these shorter products meant that artists got more variety within the work. I found it particularly interesting that the quicker turnaround meant that artists developed more skills as they were having to problem solve as they only had a few months to complete projects. He also explained the structure of companies such as MPC and how they worked with outside concept artists, designers, producers and directors.

As part of the talk, he also showed us the sort of area that the artist’s work and hold meetings in which was really interesting as many of us had never seen the inside of a VFX company. I was intrigued to find out that the areas weren’t as large as I had originally imagined. I have always considered advertising to be a really interesting area of the industry and Paul’s talk reinforced my interest in this area and I believe it would be one of the most interesting career paths that someone who had studied VFX could take.”


Adam Dewhirst

Adam, who is Head of Creatures at UNIT Film and TV, spoke about creature modelling, following up the event with a Q&A for students.

Student Jake enjoyed Adam’s live modelling presentation:

“Adam’s talk was great – he did a kind of live workshop, modelling creatures and animals whilst giving us some advice on how we can improve our work flow or just make modelling more approachable. Even though as of now, my class is in first year and hasn’t really touched 3D modelling, it was a good insight into what to expect and gave us a heads up at how we can make modelling more efficient and manageable in the long run.”

Ariele Podreider Lenzi (“Ari”)

CG Creature Supervisor at Double Negative, Ari, spoke to students about his work on VFX, feature films, commercials and games, as well as his experiences of living in the UK, Canada and Italy for different jobs.

Student Oliver spoke about the talk:

“Ari’s talk was very insightful as we got a look into the industry, with him talking about his work on venom and Hobbs & Shaw, his work on venom included supervising the creation of the symbiote mainly in the fight scenes, he went through his process of how he created it and how many variations he had to go through to get the final version. as someone who’s very interested in modeling this talk was very interesting to me and gave me a broad look at the workflow and what exactly has to go into the project for it to come out at ‘movie’ level.”

It’s clear that this event was a great success with students, and with all learning currently online, we hope to see more streamed events like this in future. A big thank you to all the guest speakers who got involved and inspired students throughout this event!

Want to learn from industry experts?

APPLY NOW to study a college-level course or degree-level course and join us in September 2020.