BOURNEMOUTH, UK — Arts University Bournemouth and Outpost VFX have partnered to create a vocational opportunity for undergraduate students in the visual effects and film sector. Five third-year BA (Hons) Visual Effects Design and Production students from Arts University Bournemouth have joined Outpost VFX in Bournemouth on a paid, extended placement while still meeting the requirements of the course, having initially worked for the company on a temporary basis over the summer.
The arrangement is a new approach to employer engagement, enabling students to work in a real, professional production environment under the mentorship of industry professionals, while still being supported and assessed by the course team. The students are paid to work at Outpost four days a week, learning specialist, practical skills as Outpost VFX employees, and attend Arts University Bournemouth one day a week for lectures and theoretical work. Course leader, Paul Hilton, regularly visits the students at Outpost VFX, and they are managed and mentored by the company.
The five students – Ollie Turner, Henry Medhurst, Zak Abdel-Illah, Justin Francis-McLeish and Lewis Hodd – are currently completing the final year of the course, while also participating in this arrangement with the local VFX production company. The BA (Hons) Visual Effects Design and Production course focuses on preparing students for employment, working closely with industry specialists to provide students with the necessary skills for employability. Course leader, Paul Hilton, says, “This course places strong emphasis on currency of knowledge and the employability of our students. Our industry staff ensure that our students are trained to the highest standard in the fundamentals of VFX – from the first year of the course. The aim is to make entry level positions accessible to them by the end of the first year."
After visiting AUB as a guest lecturer for the course, Outpost VFX managing director, Danny Duke, recognized the talent the students had to offer. He created the opportunity for the students to gain hands-on industry experience, initially providing a summer placement for five students. The arrangement provides tangible benfits for both parties.
"Outpost is in Bournemouth partly because of AUB. The talent is on our doorstep,” says Duke. "The students are earning and learning, on an accelerated path – they will graduate with experience ahead of other graduates."