Role: Character Modeller at Milford
I went to gscept 2014-2017, and have worked at a few different places after that. Currently I am a Character Modeller at Milford animation studio in Stockholm.
My original plan, when I was young, was to work with effects in Hollywood one day. So, I had that as my goal for quite some time, but during my education at gscept - and especially the grad show - I found out that there's quite exciting things happening like that here in Sweden. So I decided to stay here and move to Stockholm.
Before I applied to gscept I thought that you can probably learn most things on your own, and I had already come quite a long way on that front, I thought. What made me apply anyway was mainly the grad shows, and that the student works of previous years were of a very high quality. So, I applied.
It was one of the best choices I ever made. The grad shows open so many doors, and makes it so much easier to get into the industry than if you were to try to do it on your own - especially if you might be a little withdrawn, like myself! Even if you might already know a bit about VFX, there is so much that the education shows you that you never even thought of before.
I got an internship through a grad show at ILP (Important Looking Pirates) as a character modeller, and when the internship was coming to an end I got contacted by Swiss, not far from there, and I started working there as a junior on-set supervisor. My final gscept project had been in part about demonstrating a broad ability for working in VFX, but also about handling on-set situations, gathering information and managing data. So my tasks at Swiss were mainly generalist-oriented, but when it was time for a film shoot, I went a little bit of everywhere to work on-set. After a year at Swiss, I ended up at ILP again, this time as a lighting artist. However, modeling characters was what I was passionate about, so when the opportunity to work as a character modeler at Milford opened up, I went straight there.
Milford, where I work today, mainly makes stylized/animated films, similar to Pixar/Dreamworks stuff, aimed at advertising and shorter formats. This means that as a character modeller, there is a lot of variety and a high pace of work, and that you can be quite creative with both the artistic and technical parts. What I like is that we are a relatively small team, where you can easily bounce ideas off one another and solve challenges directly, without having to go through long hierarchies. Usually it makes the result better and the work process so much more interesting.
The tips I have for students or prospective students who want to work in VFX/games, is to read a little before you start studying. What positions and companies are out there, and what does it mean to work with them? Download and try out the softwares used in the industry - many of them are available for trial periods. Keep an eye on what is "hot", learn about the history of the field, and try to do some stuff on your own. Try to pick some area you'd like to focus on relatively early. During the course of the education, it can of course change, but if you find what you want to work with early, you have something you can dedicate extra time to outside school work. Another tip is to be aware that the bar is high, as is the competition, so you will have to work hard. But at the same time it will be so much fun that the 3 years will fly by at rocket speed, so take your time and see you out there soon!