Advanced search

Career in SFX

(10 Posts)
annandale Sun 16-Oct-16 07:53:42

Just wondered if there is anyone on MN with insights on how to work towards a career in special effects.

DS has said this is what he would like to do. I'm overriding my normal reaction of 'this is really competitive and difficult to get into' because that attitude limited me so much all my life. He's 12 so he has time to try a few options!

In fact from looking at a few websites, it seems like he is strong in some of the right areas. He likes and is good at maths, art, science and ICT and is generally academically strong. He's a real team player and gets on with most people, though he's self-conscious like most 12 year olds.

I have a bit of an odd question which is that we've never bought one of the big games consoles like a PS or an Xbox, maybe we should?? TIA

annandale Sun 16-Oct-16 10:08:35


M00MINMAMMA Sun 16-Oct-16 14:56:18

Hi OP I worked in telly/film for a while and had friends who do special effects/3D animation etc. It's actually no more competitive than anything else that's interesting and worthwhile so I would say your ds should go for it. Too many people shy away from media/film because they think it's too competitive but if you're good you will get work. I would say key subjects are IT, art and DT. Like everything Maths and English are important too. Most importantly I'd find out about clubs and online courses your ds can do for fun in animation etc. It's important to persevere and also start saving up! A lot of the best courses in this kind of thing are in the US/Canada (although there are plenty of options in the UK too smile especially in video games).

My dh's friend took years working his way up - worked on the animation for Up (nominated for an Oscar!) and then just made it big - he directed Spotlight. He's 50 years old now so it was a long road.

Re buying him a console - I'd say it's up to you - if it's just so that he's exposed to the different types of animation etc then honestly everything is on Youtube, so I don't think it's essential smile When he's a bit older, get him to write to some of the UK based video games houses and see if he can get some work experience, it'll help him decide if it's what he really wants and show the universities that he's serious.


annandale Sun 16-Oct-16 15:01:14

Moominmamma thank you so much, that's incredibly helpful and exactly the kind of info I needed flowers

Gardencentregroupie Sun 16-Oct-16 15:05:17

I have an old friend who is part of a very successful VFX team (VFX - computer generated stuff, SFX - physical things, models, animatronics etc I believe); they were very academic and did computer engineering at Oxford as an entry point. They were also laser focused on it as a career, did behind the scenes drama stuff as extra curriculars to get a handle on production things.

Sadik Sun 16-Oct-16 19:02:53

Apparantly there's a course in Cardiff with a very good post-degree employment rate - don't know much more in the way of details (older sister of one of dd's friends was trying to get onto it), but maybe worth checking out. (It might be this one.) I think it's very competitive though! - not so much super high academics as very strong design skills & evidence of previous work experience / interest.

ToneDeafHamster Sun 16-Oct-16 19:10:14

Are you referring to VFX which is computer based or SFX which is physical effects?

Physical effects would require a sound base in engineering. It is very competitive, I speak as someone who has been in this particular field for over 20 years.

M00MINMAMMA Sun 16-Oct-16 19:54:09

ps annandale my ds is only 9 but at present very keen on animation - not quite the same but like you I shied away from things because I assumed they weren't the kind of things 'people like me' (from a failing comp, ethnic, shy) did. I only developed the confidence to even apply for things I really wanted to do when I was older after other people kept asking me why I didn't. So much is about confidence and if your ds is bright, he loves what he wants to do and he has a supportive family who believe in him then he stands as good a chance as anyone. smile

annandale Sun 16-Oct-16 22:09:49

Thank you all flowers ToneDeaf I'm not quite sure, I think he means VFX but until I'd started looking at this I hadn't appreciated the difference. He's been at rehearsal for the local panto since I'd posted the thread so don't know.

hutchblue Mon 17-Oct-16 10:51:47

Wow what an interesting thread. My DD is 8 and really loves computers, art, maths and science so this has been great to find out about. So nice to find a line of work that combines these loves of hers and store it up for the future.
Thanks everyone smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now