Not the best at explaining myself so I’ll try hard to make it clear and snappy. Reading other posts I figured this was the best place to come for advice!
A year ago I graduated with a 1st Class degree in Game Art (Animation and Modelling). Half way through, I realised I wanted to do VFX/film rather than games. I talked to family and friends admitting the course wasn’t for me but they recommended sticking with it as its a waste to drop out so late into the course. A year and a half later I graduated (with a 1st) with a portfolio of environmental game art (I had wanted to do characters). A year passed before landing my first job in games. It’s been roughly a year of being in the Games industry and has made me realise it’s not for me, leaving me with regret of not chasing my passion three years ago in Film VFX.
I’ve realised I should have chased my dream instead of ‘sticking with it’. Over the past several months I have been trying extremely hard to get into the VFX industry but it’s been an almost impossible task. I’ve been applying for Modeller/3D generalist roles but have been getting no where (even runner roles too!). As I work 9am-5pm 5 days a week I hardly have time to learn new things and develop new work to land me a job in VFX. The lack of time just makes progress PAINFULLY slow. I feel I’ve hit a wall and stuck in a rut… So, I thought what about:
Having no/little time to learn new things in my spare time and no idea where to start anyway, I looked towards Bournemouth’s NCCA and its Masters in Digital Effects. I visited the Open Day and was really impressed by student work as well as the impressive number of students get employed after the course! The course lecturer I talked to was a incredibly nice and knew his stuff.
Luckily enough I have been offered a place on the course! There are a few things holding me back, mostly the fear of the unknown. With all the negativity happening in VFX (Oscar protest and so on) I’m nervous taking a year out if I’m going to be entering an unsteady job marketplace. I mean, I know there’s a lot of job competition like Games though I don’t want shoot myself in the foot! I’m well prepared to work and fight for my dream job though… I managed to get the 1st Class I wanted! I’m not as clued up on the VFX industry as much as Games… I’ve no idea what starting salaries are like, the lifestyle of a VFX artist, job security and so on.
The best way to describe how I’m feeling is I don’t want to ‘jump out of the frying pan and into the fire’. The Games Industry isn’t the right direction I want to go in and see no future for me there, though I don’t want to transition to VFX and realise its long hours, low pay and short term contracts. I’m so sorry if I am sounding so naive, it’s just this is the trouble.
My true passion lies in film and VFX. To work with such talented people in such an amazingly creative industry would be a dream come. In the future, I would love to work for Double Negative, MPC, Framestore and hopefully Weta, ILM and so on (lost count how many times I applied to some of them!). I’d like to end up in a role with creatures and characters though I know that’s a very high level place to be! Just working in film would be amazing for now.
So I’m asking for advice on whether taking this MA in Digital Effects is the right thing to do? To risk more student debt, leaving a career, entering a very saturated job market to achieve my dream? Or am I barking up the wrong tree? If there are any NCCA students on the course here, you’re encouragement would be much appreciated!
Many thanks in advance, I really appreciate anyone trying to help me and I hope that I have explained this as clearly as I can… If you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to ask!