Alejandro Enriquez - 2016
What education did you have before you took the Visual Effects for Film and Television course?
Before my studies at Seneca, I got a bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts with mention in 3D, back home in Ecuador. This gave me a general knowledge of the pipeline for visual effects. I found this period of my life very important for my career, I had the chance to try all the areas of the VFX pipeline and define what I like the most and what I’m best at.
After finishing my studies, I started a small studio with some friends and had the chance to work in the advertisement industry for TV. This became like a second school where I found that there is still a lot to learn and try, and because my passion was bias to the film industry, I decided to specialize in Compositing and the VFT program at Seneca was what I needed.
Tell us a bit about your experience at the college.
Seneca was an amazing experience in many ways, I had the chance to get to know a lot of new people and make good friends and connections. One of the best things about the program is that the teachers work in the industry, and this is key to get the current knowledge and techniques used in feature films and TV.
The program is intense from the start, there is a lot of content that must be digested as soon as possible because new more knowledge is coming around the corner. I had to work hard and fast to deliver the assignments and projects. But even if there was a lot to do, it was fun and I really enjoyed each class and project. It was indeed a creative and challenging environment.
There are many advantages of the VFT program, the labs have good machines, and work 24/7 for the students and If you are moving from outside of Toronto, the are many places around where you can live.
How do you use the education you got at Seneca in your job today?
The VFT program prepared me for the challenges of my professional career, I learned new techniques and understood how the industry works. The projects challenged me to put in practice all my old and new knowledge.
Also, Seneca opened the door to many companies that during the program, came to do recruitment sessions, we had the chance to see what they are working on and understand what they are looking for in a potential employee. They also gave us tips and tricks for how to be ready for an interview and how to prepare our demo reels.
My education in Seneca was key to find a job, thanks to the teachers and the push of the program I had the chance to join Pixomondo as compositor, even before graduation.
What advice would you give potential students who are thinking of taking the course?
First, work hard and with all your heart, it is very important to love what you do.
I would suggest to pick a path as soon as possible, the program is only 8 months, I wish it was longer. But there is too much to learn.
Know the limits of your technical knowledge and the time you have to deliver a project so you don’t make too simple or to big that you can’t handle it, this mistake is very common.
Don’t skip classes like python, they may seem boring but in your professional career is very useful.
Try to understand and have practice in all the areas you can. Even if you are compositor the day may come when you need to do something else as lighting or modeling. Being a little generalist is a useful skill.
And finally, make every project worthy of your demo reel, focus on making a really good one since the beginning. Good Luck!
(Written in 2016)