Case study

Data operator/VFX artist — Benjamin Lewis

Ben used networking and the speculative application approach to land himself a role in the visual effects industry

How did you get your job?

I emailed the company to see if they had any jobs going. I was lucky enough to be invited to an interview and managed to get the job. I work for Creative Outpost, a post-production studio in London.

What's a typical working day like?

It's mentally draining having to concentrate and pay lots of attention to detail, but overall it's amazing and worth every second.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really like seeing my work on TV or in film - finally seeing the finished product. I also like the people I work with. I'm part of such a great team and we get along so well, even though we are very different individually.

What are the challenges?

Some of the most difficult things to deal with are the long hours, which are necessary at times. The work also requires lots of attention to detail, so it can become very tiring towards the end of the week.

How relevant is your degree to your job?

I studied computer generated imagery (CGI) at Solent University and graduated in 2018. The course gave me the foundations to learn more and advance my skills, but most importantly it matured me massively and gave me a huge boost of self-confidence. I also acquired organisation skills, which I took to reach out to every single company I could find to see if I could break into the industry.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

Every day, I get more and more shots to work on. I also get to work on more difficult projects as time goes on. I would like to work as a senior compositor (or higher) in the film or TV industry one day.

What advice can you give to others wanting to get into this job?

  • Network, network, network - who you know can be more powerful than what you know.
  • Teach yourself - improve your craft by completing solo projects. Try something new and challenging, and enjoy it. If you don't want to do your own projects then you don't have the attitude necessary to make it into the industry.
  • Don't give up. If you're feeling demotivated and you're unsuccessful getting into the industry straight away, use it as a positive - you have more time to better yourself for when you do get a role you want.

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