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We GLOVE this Major Project!! (Get it?!)

Our 2021 class have only just left us, and we're already seeing some of them start their careers in the SFX industry! It's always super exciting for us to share their success with everyone, and todays post will definitely inspire the next graduates (and applicants too).

Third year Emily McGrory focused her Major Project on the creation of a silicone glove, based on Yubaba from Spirited Away. Starting with a collapsible core of her own hand, Emily worked on the old age sculpt, and moved onto mould making and casting. Like our last third year post, Emily managed to employ a range of techniques from the 3 years of our course to help her with this project, as well as using some new and more complex processes to make this final piece possible. From the big jobs such as mould making and casting silicone, to the finishing touches of rings (which she sculpted digitally and 3D printed!), nails and costume, every single part of this project was considered, researched and executed beautifully, and looking at the final piece, YOU CAN TELL!

We're proud to say that Emily was snapped up quickly by Millennium FX after finishing with us (and before her graduation too!) and she's now working down in Aylesbury on some super secret projects with their team. Here's what she had to say about starting her career! "Before leaving the Special Effects for Film and TV Course, I tried to prepare as much as possible. I started emailing industry professionals, building my CV and portfolio and used my FMP to contact industry people - anything to open some doors. Even feedback on my projects helped, I spoke to Dan Martin of 13 FingerFX, Neill Gorton, Rob Freitas who all gave invaluable advice which I could take into industry with me.

However leaving uni is always a shock, whether you’re going into a job or not.

The time between going from living at uni to moving down to Aylesbury was only a couple weeks and it went so quickly. As a control freak, I felt like time was uncontrollably running away from me. But the fast paced, unpredictable nature of this job is actually a good thing - it forces you to adapt and builds your confidence. As much as it’s difficult, diving in head first and taking the opportunities that arise will make you better at what you do. I was very privileged to go into industry during a very busy spell, so grab the opportunity before it’s too late!

My degree has helped immensely with going into industry. I was so worried that people would expect so much of me and be disappointed when I couldn’t deliver. But people understand that you are new and expect you to ask questions - it’s okay to not always know the answers.

The core skills I learnt at university like fibreglassing, mould making, foam running, are all things I’ve been practicing at work. My first day I was skinning and cleaning a a huge pregnant belly rig - not something I’d done before but I could use the skills I’d learnt at uni to figure it out and ask questions as needed. The next day I was scrubbing fibreglass moulds and foam running. Things move so quickly you almost have no choice but to go with the flow.

Those last few weeks at uni were so important to me. I would go in after FMP was complete just to ask questions about self employment, tax, what kit I should have etc. Sometimes that “self-employed adult stuff” is the hardest to wrap your head around, so try and educate yourself before you leave!

A lot of the time I would go into the studio because I simply loved and missed being there. Over the lockdowns, my year would always say in our group chat how much we missed the studio and prayed we could get back in soon. After COVID cut down our studio time so much, coming in after FMP felt like we were reclaiming the studio, using it to socialise and play silly games - it was a good way to end a very hard year.

Unfortunately I can’t tell you much about what we are working on at the moment, it’s all top secret! But we are very very busy indeed. I’m currently in the mould shop, fibreglassing, cleaning, running foam. I love it so much and was surprised at how quickly I became comfortable. It reminds me of the sense of community we feel in the T2-Studio because everyone is so warm and inviting - always happy to help and give you the best advice. Once I started talking to people a lot of my anxiety was relieved; you end up hearing amazing stories of cult classic films and TV shows! Our wonderful graduate Trudy also works at Millennium - she’s incredibly understanding and made me feel so at home. The diversity at Millennium is also something I love about working there - everyone is quite happy to get stuck in and help each other out with different jobs.”

Watching our graduates go off into industry is such a amazing moment for our staff team. It's awesome to see hard working students get recognised, and find success in their chosen part of our industry. And we really couldn't more thrilled to hear Emily's getting on so well in Aylesbury! Stay tuned to hear more of what our Graduates are getting up to and check out our Graduate Success page that's always updating with new exciting projects they're working on!

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