Written by Lara Barusso
BA (Hons) Computer Animation Art and Design
There are many reasons that the computer animation degree here at Bournemouth University are so popular. However today I wanted to talk to you about one thing in particular that surprised me when I joined my course, the amazing BFX festival. It was such an amazing experience and gave me a great insight into the world of animation and VFX.
As an NCCA student you will get free tickets to attend the week long festival which happens every year at the beginning of October. Classes are cancelled during that week to ensure you don’t miss out.
The BFX festival is the biggest visual effects, game and animation festival in the UK. For the first 3-4 days of the festival you have the opportunity to listen to speakers from industry talking about their careers and films they have been involved with, as well as sharing their personal experiences of how they manage to land their dream job. People from all over the world come to talk to us and this year we were lucky enough to listen to animators from Pixar and Disney. Who also put on a concept art exhibition alongside their talks, which I really enjoyed!
Those talks were so inspiring to me, I felt I learnt so much listening to their experiences, and it gives you a very good insight into the world of work. I also felt it was a great way to broaden your horizons and learn more about the industry, as there are so many roles within an VFX/animation world. It might help you discover your area of specialty or something you want to focus on during your studies.
On the Friday we had the ‘recruitment day’, where internal recruitment teams come to present about their companies and discuss available jobs. It is also a great opportunity to talk to people in the industry about your showreel and how they feel it could be improved, I was amazed by what a great chance it was to network and potentially find a job or a placement!
The last 2 days of the festival are dedicated to Masterclasses, BFX invite top industry people to deliver a half day or all day class open to everyone. Those lessons are great, there is lots to learn and this knowledge can be used after in your assignments, this is a great opportunity to elevate the quality of your assignment work and also gain new industry standard skills.
Together with the festival there is also a student competition running throughout the summer, where winners are announced on the Friday night. It involves a 7 week animation project to do in a group of 5 which happens in the summer holidays. You will have a pitch from 4 different charities and then you will start working on a project from the pre-production till the end of the project. During the project you are followed by a mentor from industry that will guide and help you throughout the competition. You will have free accommodation to live with your team and some money to help you out with living expensive. Is a great experience to put on your CV but also a fantastic opportunity to develop your teamwork skills and gain valuable knowledge of different areas of animation and visual effects. The competition is now open for 2020, so if you are currently studying animation at a Higher Education Institute or recently graduated then get involved.
Overall, I was so happy to be a part of the festival and so grateful to be given the opportunity – thank you BFX, NCCA and BU!