RSP Training and Education Manager Kirsty Parkin talks with Sam Tull, alumnus of RSP's 10-week, in-house graduate certificate VFX course.
When did you take the in-house course at RSP?
Last year (2013) in February and March.
Why did you decide to take it?
I’d been working in TVCs and finding it hard to make the jump to film. I came from Sydney to Adelaide to take the course.
Did you learn a process that was very different from the one you were used to?
Yes! It took some time getting used to the pipeline and the iterative process of deliveries. There was intensive learning, but it was basically one-to-one, so you learn quickly. You get direct, personal feedback from people who do this every day at a really high level.
Was the course what you expected it to be? Did it deliver what you wanted?
The work I did in the course was exactly what was expected from me when I started my new job at Luma Pictures. There was no fluff in the RSP course. I was 100% prepared. The course at RSP taught me what a junior was supposed to do, and I did it. I knew what to expect from the review process and, most importantly, how to work in a production environment and how to interact with my supervisor. I knew what questions to ask. You don’t learn that at a college or uni.
What skills, specifically, did you learn?
We learned tracking and match-move using 3DEqualiser. RSP has shots from some of the big shows they’ve done and students get to use them. Deliveries and feedback are all managed in Shotgun exactly as it would be in the full studio. We also comped in Nuke, on increasingly difficult shots, to production timelines. It was intense. It’s all day, every day. Plus there were regular talks in the theatre from people from different departments of the company. We learned about their different roles and what they do in a day.
Did the course help you get the job at Luma?
Absolutely, without a doubt. People treat you differently when they see RSP on your resume! It made a real difference. I learned a lot during the course about how to go about getting a job, and hot to put my reel and CV together. RSP's Recruiter Marcus told us exactly what he looks for when he’s hiring people, what he wants to hear and see. He looks over your stuff and tells you what to fix or change.
How many students were in the course with you?
Eight. Because it was a small group, we all got to know one another. You work on group projects where you shoot a couple of scenes and then add whatever effects you want to the shots. So you have those for your reel. It was great! Down the track, you may very well end up working with people you’ve met in the course. One of my classmates is working with me now at Luma!
Would you recommend this course to other people wanting to get into VFX for film?
Definitely. Some people might not know if VFX is the right path for them. By the end of the course you’ll know absolutely if it’s the career for you. It was awesome! I would absolutely recommend it.
RSP’s 10-week Graduate Certificate and Industry Certificate in education will run four times over the course of 2015 – in January, April, July and October. Each course is open for enrolment now through Flinders University in South Australia. For more information please visit our course website: flinders.rsp.com.au