Dreaming of a career in digital production? Here’s how to get there

DigitalProduction
Into STEM + creativity? A career in digital production could be for you. Image: Shutterstock

Dreaming of working in digital production? The UTS Animal Logic Academy offers more than your standard education experience. 

The animation and VFX (visual effects) industry is booming and newer technologies such as virtual reality are only increasing the demand.

Daniel Flood studied both visual arts and computer science.

Enter UTS Animal Logic Academy. Established in 2017 by the University of Technology Sydney and Animal Logic (one of the world’s leading creative digital studios, producing visual effects and animation for films including Peter Rabbit, The LEGO Batman Movie and Happy Feet), the custom-built studio and teaching facility offers a 12-month Masters of Animation and Visualisation course.

Academy technical lead, Daniel Flood, says the course’s industry-led, project-based learning is unique. “We focus on what can’t be taught online,” says Daniel, who has worked on films such as The Great Gatsby, Ghostbusters and Happy Feet Two. “We place students in professional scenarios,” he says. “A big focus is learning by doing, where skills are developed in the service of a real project, working nine to five, Monday to Friday.”

Work experience, sorted

Daniel says the Academy helps solve the “experience required” problem faced by graduates. The UTS Animal Logic Academy has a graduate employment rate of over 90%.

One of the first graduates was Jessica D’Ali, who had wanted to be involved in the animation world since she was a kid.

Jessica D’Ali did her Masters of Animation and Visualisation at the UTS Animal Logic Academy, and now she’s Technical Director.

“I had the opportunity to design, build, lead and participate in multiple animation and computer graphics projects – something I had always dreamt of,” says Jessica, now a technical director at Animal Logic. “Two days after graduating, I started my first VFX job. The role was similar to what I’d been doing at the Academy, so I settled in really quickly.”

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Foot in the door

Hannah (Chien-Wen) Chu, another 2017 graduate, knows full well how a lack of industry experience can hamper your chances of getting a job in the industry. She started her career as a front-end web developer, all the while dreaming of a digital production career, before the Academy caught her eye.

UTS Animal Logic Academy graduate Hannah Chu is now killing it as a Pipeline Technical Director at Flying Bark Productions.

Hannah says getting your foot in the door can be difficult but the skills she learnt, tools she used and studio connections she made through the Academy were invaluable.

“Anything that can provide you with real production experience helps,” says Hannah, now a pipeline technical director at Flying Bark Productions, which has produced animation for Blinky Bill The Movie and Nickelodeon’s Rise of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

– Jake Dean

This article was brought to you in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney. It originally appears in Careers with STEM: Code 2019.

STEM Contributor

Author: STEM Contributor

This article was written by a STEM Contributor for Careers with STEM. To learn more, please visit our contact page.

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