Travis Pond -2017/2018
What education did you have before you took the Visual Effects for Film and Television course?
I’ve always known that visual effects was the industry that I wanted to be a part of, but before I found myself at Seneca I studied 3D Game Animation at a private college back home in New Brunswick. My experience there was great, but it was a discipline that was greatly different from what I wanted. Because of this, I spent most of my time there taking advantage of the resources I had there and teaching myself basic VFX and compositing, working with the instructors, and finding creative ways to use my game animation skills to better myself towards my goal.
Tell us a bit about your experience at the college.
From the very first day I knew that this was going to be different from anything I had experienced before. On day one, we dove right in and began to learn. I was worried it might be jarring to just be thrown into it like that, but that wasn’t the case at all. The instructors had a genuine passion and knowledge that really came through in their lessons, and they’re constantly encouraging and building you up, making it easy to grow and progress through the program. Now don’t get me wrong, it was definitely challenging at times, but knowing that help is just a message or question away gave me the confidence to try and go bigger and bigger than I thought I could.
The instructors are more than just supportive, they are immensely talented and knowledgable. Never was there a question asked that they could not answer and they all always stayed on top of what is new in the industry and software and taught us a valuable mix of traditional methods and new tools, so that you could be prepared no matter what the industry throws at you.
How do you use the education you got at Seneca in your job today?
I am extremely grateful to have gotten to learn from the instructors that I did. All of them are actively working in the industry and brought that insight into their teachings. I can remember going through schooling before thinking “When will I ever use this?” But with Seneca, that was never a question and if it was, the answer is EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Everything that has been ask of me as a professional in industry has utilized in one form or another exactly the techniques and tools that we were taught. I was fortunate enough to start my career at one of the same studios as one of my instructors, so the knowledge that they brought was beyond valuable because they were teaching me exactly what it is that they do everyday.
What advice would you give potential students who are thinking of taking the course?
You have to learn that you can’t take criticism personally, and as much as you might not want to, you have to learn to seek it out from as many people as you can. Sometimes it’s hard to hear, but if you truly listen to what you’re being told and apply it, then you’re going to be better because of it.
There are endless possibilities for the future, but it’s up to you to decide which one becomes reality. This is truly is a place when you can take your dreams and aspirations and see them come to life. If you decide that this is what you want then don’t be afraid to ask questions, to push yourself to do what maybe you thought you couldn’t do. You have to know that to get what you want you have to work for it. Put in the work, take full advantage of the resources available to you, and listen to the advice and criticisms that you’re given. If you can do all of that then I can guarantee you will be successful.
This is your passion, and that is why you’re considering this program. You have to have the courage to follow that passion. Don’t be afraid and never stop growing and improving.
(Written in 2018)