Make things you’re passionate about!

Our second speaker of the semester was Gerard Dunleavy a graduate of the Animation Masters course here in at Ulster University. He is currently working at MPC in London but considers himself to be a free lance generalist in the animation industry.

Hearing from a past pupil who was on a similar path as us students currently are, it was super interesting to see how he managed to get his foot in the door. Winning international CG Student of the year 2012 with his showreel was a big help I’m sure!

Giving us a insight into the super companies in London, he’s experience on different aspects of projects ranging from films to advertisements. He was very encouraging and pushed us to believe in making what we are passionate about and focus on the smaller things and do them really well to stand out.

  • The major differences between film and advertisements is the speed! Advertisements are very fast paced, quick and punchy with shorter deadlines in comparison to film where you have more time to focus on each shot to make it picture perfect and the directors vision is realised. “I do like commercials, I like speed”  also in advertisements you have the chance to have more creative input, to try some cool and different things and learn new skills where in film things can be more restricting.
  • Secret showreels – “If something gets cut on the film, you can’t use it in your showreel, you can’t put it online but you can still have it on your laptop or something” Gerard explained to us you can always ask the company can you use the footage that was cut in a showreel, but only to show employers in interviews/ in person.
  • He also emphasised the importance of word of mouth and how recruiters talk just like Niall did.
  • “Don’t be epic!!” – Make something you’re passionate about! Keep it simple for now, do something really well and it will surely stand out. You need to stand out thats how you get in the door.
  • Be prepared for crazy hours, it’s normal in the beginning.