Earlier this month students from our BA (Hons) Animation programme travelled to Stuttgart, Germany to experience showcasing their work at the FMX and International Trickfilm Festival.
Student Toyin Kimber-McCall reports back on the experience, including inspirational talks and workshops by some of the biggest names in animated film
On the first day we traveled overnight, so we were able to catch an early flight from Birmingham. This meant we could go to the building in which FMX was being held and set up our stand ready for the following day when FMX would open its doors to the general public. After setting up and scoping out the other stands and stalls next to us we headed to our hotel in search of sleep.
Day two consisted of us getting up early and getting to grips with the day's schedule as there were so many things to see. The main event for our course that day was the talk ‘The Hobbit & 20 Years of Weta’ which was presented by Joe Letteri from Weta Digital.
"It was great to see and hear about why each company had such different workflows & direction – but also how the companies were founded by people like ourselves who had a vision they wanted to achieve."
For all of us this was the perfect opportunity to gain insight into the industry as well as getting to see how parts of the movies were created by blending live action with SFX & VFX. The vast majority of us spent a while queuing due to Weta’s popularity and we were all in awe of how meticulous they had been.
The recruitment desks were a great place for us to show our work/showreels to various companies – a lot of which had offices in locations across the globe.
It was such an insightful experience to get tips and hints into where our work was showing off our skills and where it may have been letting us down.
I think for all of us we know how vital it is, as creative practitioners, to start networking due to the fact that when we finish our course these are the people who we will be applying to for work as interns or even full time employees.
"The talk gave an insight into the production process, as we got to see the size of the model sets relative to humans, the camera set ups and the physical character models."
Talking to a few of the recruiters definitely inspired multiple ideas for many of us. I think for some of us who were only used to a teaching environment it could seem slightly overwhelming at first, but we all agreed how beneficial it was gaining insight from industry professionals.
We also went to see ‘The Challenge of Shooting Shaun the Sheep the Movie’ which was presented by Tom Barnes from Aardman, seeing as a fair few Aardman movies were part of our childhood growing up I think we all leapt at the opportunity to hear about it.
The talk gave an insight into the production process, as we got to see the size of the model sets relative to humans, the camera set ups and the physical character models.
FMX and International Trickfilm Festival had such a wide selection of talks and events on, ranging from 2D & 3D workshops to talks on Directing, Producing, VFX and game design including talks from Ubisoft, Activision & Epic Games.
It was great to see and hear about why each company had such different workflows & direction – but also how the companies were founded by people like ourselves who had a vision they wanted to achieve.
For the third year students who went it has helped prepare us for the future interview we may face and for the second years I noticed a change in their desire to increase their productivity ready for the festival next year!
It really was an eye opening experience that we as students needed, the wealth of knowledge contained in the festival was amazing. All of us had a brilliant time and are looking forward to next year!