4th March 2021
We recently had the pleasure of catching up with NSCG alumnus and Oscar winning Visual Effects Artist Pete Bebb to chat about his experiences and skills gained within the film industry.
Q. Tell us all about the courses you studied when you were younger.
A. I started off studying Art and Design at Newcastle College, which really helped to broaden my wider knowledge of the subject area. I then went on to study Industrial Design at the University of Wolverhampton. Finally, I chose to study for a Masters in Computing and Design at Staffordshire University.
Q. What skills did you find most useful?
A. At university, I was introduced to computing. Modelling on a PC with modelling and basic animation was a revelation at the time and something that really fascinated me.
Q. After university, what was your first job?
A. I gained lots of useful skills at university, but I was unsure how to apply this out in the real world. So, I packed up and headed to London, banging on doors to get any position within this industry. I got my first job as a runner, which gave me the foundations to build a successful career, lots of not very glamorous tasks, but this is part and parcel of this industry, like many. You have to start your way up and make an impression.
Q. How did you progress in your career and what helped skills you to do so?
A. I started working for Double Negative (who I still work for today), doing lots of basic duties. I would clean out the stationery cupboard, work on the reception desk and lots of other things like this. Rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in is so important. Tenacity, passion and enthusiasm are the best skills you can work on. Passion will shine through in this industry and you can learn the rest. For example, I would stay behind at night to learn the software and machinery which was “downtime”. This helped me to gain more knowledge of film and equipment. I did this for a year, and to be honest, it was the best year of my life for knowledge building. I learnt a lot. At the time I was staff number 25 on the payroll and now we have over 8,000 staff working for the company.
I now work as a Visual Effects Supervisor and we have bases in Vancouver, Montreal and London.
Q. What is the most enjoyable aspect of your role?
A. I enjoy working directly with Director and Film Makers from the initial film concept, to the finished piece. I enjoy helping them to realise their vision.
Q. Finally, what would your advice be to students looking to pursue a career in the film industry?
A. Do what you enjoy! You will be working for a long time so using your passion for a subject area will really help you to succeed. Take every opportunity that comes your way, and of course be happy!