The Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and visual effects company Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) recently announced a partnership that will see new world class training for Australians in the rapidly expanding screen speciality of visual effects.
AFTRS’ new Graduate Diploma in Visual Effects, commencing in February 2023, will bring together the vision, skills and expertise of ILM, and the educational expertise and creative excellence of AFTRS.
The Graduate Diploma in Visual Effects is a hands-on course designed to up-skill emerging practitioners, digital artists and budding technical directors to become job-ready visual effects artists in the Australian screen sector.
The course will prototype an innovative model of integrated training that combines the best of on-the-job training with formal education: blending real-world learning driven by leading industry experts, with the critical thinking and adaptive creative skill sets vital to thrive in today’s digital world.
The Graduate Diploma in Visual Effects program is to be delivered full-time over two semesters and is structured around an immersive series of practical classes and workshops. Led by senior professionals in the industry from ILM and AFTRS’ subject matter experts, students will progress through a cycle of learning, collaboration, experimentation, feedback and mentoring to hone their technical, creative and story skills.
AFTRS CEO, Dr Nell Greenwood, said, “This is a really exciting partnership for AFTRS and the Australian industry. The combined skills of the ILM and AFTRS teams set a new benchmark for world-leading, industry partnered education.
“The need for skilled visual effects artists is increasing rapidly and this unique course will have a real impact on the capacity and growth of the Australian VFX sector.”
Executive in Charge of ILM’s Singapore and Sydney studios, Luke Hetherington, is equally excited about the new collaboration, “A program between ILM and AFTRS felt like a very natural partnership from the start of our discussions. We’re bringing 45+ years of traditional film craft teaching together with specialised, high-end technical knowledge from ILM and will use real world production examples, techniques and working environment. I believe this will help accelerate the development of highly skilled and diverse talent, which the Australian screen industry has an abundance of opportunities and needs for,” said Hetherington.
Dr Greenwood added, “This year AFTRS launched a new five-year corporate strategy, Creating the Future, with a redrawn mission to offer its world-leading, industry partnered training and education across Australia. This new partnership with ILM is central to the School delivering on its ambition to offer future-facing, sustainable, world-leading training and its remit to support the growth and skills-level of the Australian industry.”
Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke, said, “From the early space battles of Star Wars to the shapeshifting T-1000 in Terminator 2. From the rampaging T-Rex in Jurassic Park to the Quidditch matches of the Harry Potter films. ILM has brought excellence in VFX to the big screen for more than four decades now.
I know they’ll bring that same magic to this partnership with AFTRS – ensuring we develop the next generation of VFX talent right here in Australia.What a fantastic opportunity this is for the Australian film industry. I know that it will be a success and I can’t wait to see that play out on the big screen.”