It’s with great honour that we announce that Anita Gribble has joined Nerdeo as one of our industry advisors. Her wealth of experience in the visual effects industry and her continuous support of Nerdeo made her the perfect candidate. We’ve interviewed Anita for a BTS session so you can get to know our team better.
1. Could you explain a little about your career journey in the VFX / film industry and what your current involvement is today?
I made the leap from theatre into VFX when I moved to London from Canada. After painting sets, prop building and lighting design, I wanted to learn how to make my own animated film. I started by joining a crew on a stop motion animated short. I helped to create the sets and props while I was at Artem Visual Effects.
I then started working as a runner and machine room op for a few companies including Smoke and Mirrors and Rushes. The only way to learn the software in those days was to stay late after work so that you could get your hands on the kit. It was too expensive to have access to these programs otherwise. I followed that up by working for an editing company and learned Avid editing software while working on indy projects and supporting the machine room and production team.
A lucky break came when I went to work for Peerless Camera Company, then owned by Terry Gilliam, who was one of my favourite directors. They threw me in at the deep end, and I was able to try out most Adobe products, as well as XSI and Maya. I did some matt painting and roto on several features including Vertical Limit and Tomb Raider. I fell in love with compositing but Nuke hadn’t been invented yet.
After that, I joined Unorthodox Styles Creative Agency and was on the team that produced the End to End projects for Adidas. We brought together 6 leading international graffiti artists, and filmed them painting non stop for 3 days and 3 nights, transferring all of their creations on to footwear and apparel.
I then moved back into animation production at Realise Studios. They were breaking new ground in Houdini, and creating some beautiful work. After that I made the move to Double G Studios. They were designers using mostly C4D and After Effects, but we collaborated on a project with Blue Zoo, in order to make some idents for Discovery’s Animal Planet. The results were award winning, as was the short film Lost, that we made for the S+M 24 hour film short competition.
I have always thrown myself into indy projects as I love to create, and to work with other like minded people. Other winning shorts I assisted with include: The Nostalgist, Valse, & Life External.
Since I’ve joined Escape Studios, I have been lucky enough to continue working closely with industry. Ensuring that our students have access to inspiring guest speakers, mentors and recruiters, at various events that we host throughout the year across the VFX, Animation and Games departments.
2. What do you love and dislike about working in this industry?
I love image making and problem solving, and working on ideas that couldn’t have been realised without creative ingenuity. Working with intelligent and open minded people is also a perk. The only dislike would be the nature of the industry. It’s cyclical and can be feast or famine, not ideal if you have responsibilities to anyone else other than yourself. Being a freelance worker has its pros and cons.
3. What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I’ve worked with some amazingly talented people and I am lucky enough to call them friends. Being able to attend international conferences, and get to know about the people and projects that fascinate me is a total geek fest.
4. What’s on the horizon for Escape Studios?
To continue to do what we promised over 15 years ago. To offer industry-led training to bridge the gap between education and employment. Not just across our short courses, but also across our UG and MA programs as well.
5. Why have you decided to support Nerdeo and how does it link to your involvement in the industry?
Nerdeo is all about connecting people and developing talent, in the same way that Escape is. It’s founder, Caroline, was an escapee, and we are so proud of the achievements she’s made in the world of VFX, and of her continued support of Escape Studios as a guest speaker at our VFX Festival, and as a course mentor.