Chat with our Grads!
Our Graduates are super busy working in industry, and we couldn't be prouder seeing all their hard work pay off. A full gallery of what they're up to can be found here, but this is a little look at some of the projects and studios they've been involved with recently!
Because they're all busy at work, this meant none of them had time to pop into our studio for a chat this time round. But, hopefully someday soon we can manage to grab a zoom call with a few of them. Never fear though, cause we set up a little Q&A with them so we can share their thoughts on our course, and let them update everyone on what they're doing now they've left us!
"How would you describe your time on the course? What's the student community like and the overall experience?"
Hollie Ferguson-Pratt (Graduated 2020) - I thoroughly enjoyed my time at uni. I made amazing friends and the lecturers made it feel like a home away from home. I was one of the students living at The Cube student accommodation at the time of the fire, and the way the university came together and helped support all of the students was remarkable.
Skye Iverson (Graduated 2020) - When I began on the course I had little to no knowledge of SFX . I was accepted into the course and things were taught from the ground up and everyone was given the base techniques that we would need for the rest of our time at university. In my first year it was also made apparent that the course had an amazing community feel to it. Everyone was helpful and willing to impart their knowledge, students and lecturers alike! I came out of the course with everything I needed to go forth into industry and more. I left which industry contacts, a vast array of skills and a community I knew would always be there
Kate Vas (Graduated 2020) - Choosing SFX was one of the best decisions I've made. The course itself is amazing and taught me loads of skills and gave me the chance to develop on them over the three years but the sense of comrade that develops not just with the other students in your year but also with the lecturers and other years is amazing. I feel I have made friends for life not just in the SFX side of the course but also across other disciplines in Film FX. Everyone is willing to help you and wanting you to do your best, supporting you in your lows and celebrating with you in your highs, and the lecturers will help you in any way they can in getting you to achieve everything you can.
Emily McGrory (Graduated 2021) - I loved being on the course. I felt very supported during COVID and think the community we have in the studio is amazing!
"What kind of skills did you take an interest in when you were studying?"
Hollie- I really found my love for sculpting during my time at uni. Skye - I tried to take on board any skills that were offered to me but part way through my second year I found that I loved modelmaking and prop making and so involved myself in anything to do with mouldmaking, 3D printing and other hard surface skills.
Kat - When I started I wanted to be a prop maker but through the different modules I also developed a love for mould making and costume design.
Emily- Mould making, silicone running, foam running, material knowledge, painting
"What made you chose our course?"
Hollie- The SFX course looked incredible but it was only on an open day where it really felt like the place I was supposed to be. Skye- I didn’t even know sfx was something you could do at uni and so when I found the course on UCAS I was immediately intrigued and then I visited on an open day and when I got to go and see the facilities and the studio I was immediately sure this was where I wanted to go.
Kat - I've wanted to be involved in SFX since I was about 16 and this course allowed me to start that journey. This course stood out to me not only because the facilities are fab but also the mindset of the lecturers is amazing, they are just a knock on the door away and will do their best to help you with what you need to succeed. Emily - I visited one of the prosthetic events where the course had a stand, it really stood out and I felt instantly welcomed. Feels like full circle moment from going to the prosthetics event, seeing SFX at Bolton uni, then graduating and working at Millennium, it’s been crazy!
"Tell us about the facilities. Did you get to access everything you needed, and what were the studios like?"
Hollie- The 24/7 library came in very handy as in my first two years of uni I didn’t own a laptop, there’s also a room designated for students who need to use specialty software such as premier pro and photoshop. Being able to come into the studio and work on projects during free time was really helpful and the lectures being only a few feet away was really beneficial
Skye- The studio is a fantastic space for doing just about everything, it was friendly and there was always someone on hand to give you some feedback or advise. The workshops were all kitted out with a great array of machinery and throughout my years at the uni they only built on this more and more. I was especially interested in the 3D printing lab that grew a lot during my time there. Kat - The facilities available are amazing from a dedicated fibreglassing area to a 3D print room to workshops to large communal studio spaces as well as smaller classrooms. The communal studio spaces not only gave more chances for peer support horizontally across the year but vertically across all three; you could get advise from years above and support years below, enhancing your knowledge and understanding while also helping others to achieve their goals too.
Emily - Yes! The facilities are amazing, having talked to people from other uni courses we are really privileged to have what is provided.
"How did you find graduating and starting your career? Did we set you up well for starting work?"
Hollie - During the course we are taught how to create CVs, cover letters, portfolios and video show reels at an industry standard. We were also given the opportunity to have portfolio surgery with industry professionals to gain advice on what different companies like to see from us. Skye- I got my current job through knowing a student in the year above me and so the course was an integral part of that. They gave us many industry links to companies and practitioners who we could work for further down the line. Also even though we may have specialised in a certain area of sfx we all had a base understanding of most things and so this put us in good standing to go and become trainees just about anywhere. Kat - Due to the pandemic graduating was certainly different but I have the skills I need to get into industry. The lecturers not only supported with the practical side of things but also the employability side, giving advise when creating cover letters, CVs and portfolios as well as giving opportunities to meet industry professionals and showcase our work.
Emily - I found graduating difficult during COVID but I think our lectures did everything they could to prepare us. I felt very anxious but after getting offers from a few workshops I felt much more secure and confident. I felt like the work I’d done had paid off.
"Finally, what are you up to at the minute? Are you working in industry, and if so, who are you working for/what are you working on?"
Hollie- I’ve been working at RS Prop Masters for almost a year now, making replica Star Wars props, my role also incorporates lots of mould making which I really enjoy.
Skye - I am currently working for a medical simulation company called Inovus Medical. We create simulators for different surgeries that will teach trainee doctors how to perform them. I work creating silicone versions of organs that can have specific procedures carried out on them.
Kat-I'm not currently working in industry but I'm hoping to start making stuff to sell on the side of my current work.
Emily - I’m working at Millennium FX! I can’t say much but it’s so busy just now, and I’m loving it.
Catching up with our grads over the last few weeks has been awesome, it's been great to hear everything they're up too in the industry and hear their thoughts about their time on our course. If you haven't checked it out yet, go watch our Grad Q&A we've just posted on youtube! It's a much longer video than our last few, but so worth it to hear what the all have to say.