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Covid 19 and the FX Industry

Updated: May 7, 2021

By now, we've all heard Tom Cruise's infamous on-set rant about Covid restrictions, right?!

Well... it's bought up many questions about how the pandemic is affecting the Film and TV Industry and it's something graduates and students have been talking about since last march when this all began! If our 2020 graduate success isn't enough to convince you that the Special Effects industry is still thriving (did we mention we have 80% of the year now working in industry?!), then this post might be for you.

With new restrictions coming into place on way we can work, our Industry has had to think pretty darn fast, and come up with solutions.

Now more than ever, people need forms of entertainment (where would we have all been without Netflix and Disney+ for the last 10 months?), and the professionals in the industry have done a stellar job at keeping on schedule for their productions and working with the restrictions to find creative solutions. This is all great news for our graduates and students alike, because it means that the jobs they're training for, the dream jobs working on cool projects, making amazing things... are all still in reach!

During our last Industry Week, we spoke with Neill Gorton, Founder of Millennium FX, about the way that Covid-19 has impacted their work flow.

One thing he spoke about was the notable lean towards digital sculpting, concepting and prototyping to allow everyone to access the work from home or from various workshops. With big meetings and briefings taking place remotely now, having digital models of the work has proved vital to allowing projects to continue and allow members of the team to see a tangible object. These can then be sent over to someone to print,...mailed out to the next person to build and assemble, making the whole process easier to achieve with social distancing. The workflow remains very much the same, but with the added benefit of not having to rely on everyone being in one place to get the work done.

All this is not to say that practical work is taking a back seat though!

We keep in touch with industry professionals regularly who have all said that traditional special effects jobs are still going ahead, but with a few changes to the way the jobs are ran to ensure they are safe for everyone.

Kate Benton's talk during our industry week focused on how life on set has been adjusted, speaking of regular testing for the crew, separate seating and prep areas for different teams, along with added time to clean and disinfect tools and workspaces. The industry is continually finding ways to work with the new guidance and ensure everyone on set is safe and healthy, which is the number one priority.

It's been a difficult year for everyone, both in the Film & TV industry and outside of it, and hopefully, this post can be some reassurance for our new, existing and past students that their dream jobs are still recruiting and still there for them :)


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