[A guest edtorial]
Author: Rachael Jones (Communications and Content Executive, Pearson College London, UK)
Interviewee: Alex Williams (Head of Animation at Escape Studios, UK)
Escape Studios, based in London, UK, has over 16 years of experience in training new artists and preparing them for a career in the creative industries, working in Animation, VFX, Games and Motion Graphics. Escape Studios’ Head of Animation, Alex Williams, has worked on numerous films including The Lion King, The Iron Giant, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, The Road to El Dorado and Robots. We caught up with Alex to give us insight into why students choose to study at Escape Studios.
What kind of students study at Escape Studios?
Alex Williams: We attract students from all across the UK and Europe, so it’s hard to generalize. However, the vast majority of our students are looking for an education that focuses on practical skills, and simulates as closely as possible a live, industry working environment. Many of our students come from London and the South, in part because our central London location makes us easy to reach.
What educational opportunities does Escape Studios offer?
Alex Williams: Our courses are designed in close collaboration with the industry to be as practical and relevant as possible, focused on current and future industry needs. We have an advisory board drawn from the industry that meets regularly, to make sure we are focusing on skills shortages that the industry is currently experiencing – and expects to experience in the future. Traditional skills matter, but there are always skills shortages where the latest software is concerned, and we aim to make these a priority.
What careers do Escape Studios graduates go into once they leave?
Alex Williams: Escape Studios has a long track record of placing graduates – or “Escapees”, as we call them – in the industry. There are thousands of Escapees working globally, in all sorts of roles, from VFX to Animation and Games. Most of our students start as entry-level artists, but many have gone on to senior roles in the industry, and many of them return to Escape Studios to share their knowledge and expertise.
What strengths do Escape Studios have and why should students study with them?
Alex Williams: Our main strength is our persistent focus on industry relevance and current and future technology. All of our tutors come from the industry, ensuring that we teach the right materials and consult constantly with our advisory board and beyond to ensure we maintain the highest standards. Thanks to our central London location, we also have access to a huge range of talent, through visiting tutors (often freelance artists), and working professionals who teach our short courses and evening classes.