Monday, 28 September 2015

Marc Godfrey Animator at Blue Zoo

Blue Zoo - World Class Animation
Marc Godfrey is a very talented animator and a graduate of our short courses at Escape Studios.

We are proud that his dedication and commitment to the craft of animation has been recognised by the industry in the form of a job Blue Zoo, now the UK's largest independent TV animation studio.

Marc Godfrey poses with Walt at the
Magic of Disney Animation tour
To see Marc's excellent demo reel, watch the video below. A demo reel is an animator's calling card, their digital shopfront and the key to finding work.

If your demo reel isn't perfect, and completely free of mistakes, studios will not take you seriously.

This is why Escape Studios focus so strongly on making sure that all our students at Escape have a demo reel that can impress a future employer.

Marc Godfrey Animation Showreel 2015 from Marc Godfrey on Vimeo.

So who exactly are Blue Zoo? They are one of the UK's leading independent producers of TV content, responsible for many TV series including Blue Cow and Those Scurvy Rascals. They also played a leading role in securing the recent tax credits from HMRC which have been a huge boost to UK animation in the past year or two.

Marc Godfrey's first job in the animation industry was with a new Glasgow-based company "Once Were Farmers", making short scenes for a BBC Bitesize GCSE series.  Marc was willing to relocate  in order to kick-start his career - often a vital first step in breaking into the business.

Once Were Farmers

To get the job, he sent out his CV and showreel to different studios across the UK.  Over time he  "built up a nice rapport with this one studio in Glasgow, but they didn't have work for a while". Not dismayed, Marc stayed in touch and "at the end of 2014 they contacted me out of the blue, as they had a big project come in, and they remembered me. So they asked me to come and work with them".

Cinema 4D

The studio did 3D character animation, but not in Maya (the software we teach at Escape). They work primarily in Cinema4D, which Marc had little or no experience in, so he had to learn the new software in order to get the job. So, he spent "a couple of weeks watching tutorials and learning how to use it properly, so I was ready to go".

He also had to learn how to work on tight schedules, producing up to twelve seconds of animation a day.

Marc had this advice to offer other students hoping to break into the animation industry:

"Don't give up. It took well over a year to land a job. When I was contacting studios, it was the same story of either there not being any work, or them having work but needing experienced animators to hit the ground running. Keep working on your own projects and shots for your reel, and most importantly keep sending it out to studios that you want to work for. Eventually someone will call you back, and you'll find opportunities start popping up. No one will pluck you out of thin air and give you a job, you have to work at getting in contact with studios, so they know who you are and where to find you."

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