Talk: How students can become part of the VFX industry

It’s a rising employer, with a rapidly rising profile.

Now, the team from Rising Sun Pictures has given a group of Blackfriars students a glimpse into the job opportunities available in the local visual effects industry.

In this case, local in no way means small.

Rising Sun’s body of work is impressive – from the new Elvis biopic, to Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Thor: Ragnarok, Charlotte’s Web, Ford Vs Ferrari, Spiderman: Far From Home and Peter Rabbit.

During a talk to Bob Becker’s Year 9 Drama class and Stephanie Rainbow’s Year 11 English students last week, Anna Hodge and Tom Baxter, from Rising Sun Pictures, shared how the boys could become part of Adelaide’s burgeoning VFX industry.

“There are so many job opportunities coming up; you guys are in a great position to get work,” said Mr Baxter, who works at Rising Sun as a Layout Artist.

“I think a lot of people, especially me when I was growing up, just thought movies got made in Hollywood, and that’s it. But now it’s anywhere and everywhere. It’s definitely a great, future-proof industry to get in to.

“When you get to be creative, and challenged, and get to see … your work on your screen and then, a few months later, millions of people are watching that work, it’s very rewarding.

Anna Hodge and Tom Baxter, from Rising Sun Pictures, during their visit to Blackfriars.

“Obviously, if you get your name in the credits, it’s something you take a lot of pride in; your name is forever associated with that project, or that film.”

Ms Hodge, Rising Sun’s Manager of Training and Education, said people with all sorts of interests – from art, to IT, to maths and physics – had the ability to work in the film industry.

So successful is Rising Sun Pictures, it has partnered with the University of South Australia to deliver three courses – a Bachelor of Film and Television (Visual Effects Specialisation) and graduate certificates in Compositing and Tracking and Dynamic Effects and Lighting.

“The best thing about studying at Rising Sun is that, in your third year, you do get hands-on interaction and learning,” Mr Baxter told the Blackfriars students.

“You have other artists teaching you. We teach you exactly how it’s done in production, so that when you finish your degree and you get your first job in visual effects, there are no rude shocks.”

Mr Becker said the VFX industry offered the students fantastic career options, highlighting the example of Blackfriars old scholar John Toth (BPS’09), who worked at Rising Sun as a Compositor before moving to Oscar and Bafta-awarding winning creative studio Framestore in Canada.

“Hopefully, there will be a superstar among you, who will go on to great things in this industry,” Mr Becker told the students.


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