Students make impression on games and animation industry

A host of successful Teesside University graduates who have gone on to work for some of the leading games and animation studios have passed on their insight and expertise to the current crop of students at an ambitious annual event in the country’s capital.

ExpoTees London gives final year students the opportunity to network and showcase their work to a range of influential employers.

This year’s event was held at multi-award-winning animation and visual effects studio DNEG, who have received Academy Awards for their work on titles including Inception, Interstellar, Ex Machina and, most recently, Blade Runner 2049.

Among the companies who attended ExpoTees London were Industrial Light and Magic, which has recently worked on Jurassic World 2, Sony Playstation Europe and Moving Picture Company. Other attendees included representatives from Framestore, The Mill and Splash Damage Games.

The majority of companies at the event have Teesside University graduates working for them and they attended in a bid to recruit the next generation of talent.

Josh Docherty graduated from Teesside in 2015 and now works as a 3D Model Artist for Industrial Light and Magic.

He said: “If you are driven enough and pushing yourself to do your own work then that is fantastic and it is always useful to get feedback from people already in the industry.

“These kinds of events are really important for students. It is good to give back when you can and hopefully help some of these guys get into the industry.”

Fellow Teesside University graduate Ciaran Daly is a Senior Artist at Sony and says that his degree provided him with the opportunity to work with a lot of like-minded people.

“You get to learn together and you get to learn from each other,” he added.

“ExpoTees London is a fantastic opportunity for students as they are able to come along and meet people who are already working in the industry.”

Around 30 final year students from Teesside University’s School of Computing, Media & the Arts attended ExpoTees London. They were from a range of different programmes, including Concept Art, Animation and Visual Effects and Games Design.

As well as showcasing their portfolios and networking with potential employers, the students were also given the opportunity to tour a range of influential studios in the capital.

Justin Greetham, Senior Lecturer in Visualisation & Graphical Applications at Teesside University, said: “ExpoTees London is a unique event that not only allows students to introduce themselves to the key decision-makers that make up the animation, visual effects, games and architectural visualisation industries based in London, but also provides an opportunity for students to witness, first-hand, the processes and procedures required to make a feature film, television commercial, new media, transmedia or games title.

“Teesside University graduates have gone on to work at some of the leading companies and studios and it is great that they are always so enthusiastic about engaging with current students and helping them to break into the industry.”

ExpoTees is a long-running annual event at Teesside University which allows final year students to showcase their work to employers and industry experts. The London event was launched to give companies who aren’t able to travel to Teesside the opportunity to engage with the students, and also provide students with an alternative experience when demonstrating their portfolios.

2019 will see the launch of separate ExpoTees London Games studio tour. If you are working in the London Games industry and would like to get involved contact j.s.greetham@tees.ac.uk.

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