15 November 2016

Rising Sun Pictures UniSA graduates

A cool job working on a global blockbuster movie or television series – this isn’t a dream it is a reality for fourteen University of South Australia graduates who are now working with Adelaide’s own world-renowned visual effects company Rising Sun Pictures.

This hard-working group of local junior visual effects artists, who have graduated from UniSA programs including media arts, computing, visual effects, and communication, are now working on feature films, television shows and transmedia clients from all around the world.

UniSA has been working closely with Rising Sun Pictures since the beginning of the year when the Graduate Certificate in Visual Effects, a truly unique tertiary learning experience, was launched.

Rising Sun Pictures Recruitment Manager, Marcus Wells, says the working relationship has continued to grow into two separate Graduate Certificates in Compositing and Tracking, and Dynamic Effects and Lighting.

“It's really quite thrilling one year on to have close to 10 per cent of our staff from the UniSA Alumni,” RSP Recruitment Manager Marcus Wells says.

 “Our training initiatives were initially established in order to provide better quality candidates to choose from,” Marcus says.

“RSP's formal training relationship with UniSA, allows students to train with RSP staff and practice within simulated show pipelines.

“Our educators provide feedback to the company's recruitment team and assessment notes are maintained for each student and once the opportunity for a graduate emerges, we can produce a "hot candidates" list for our department heads, who in turn, move through to formal interviews.

“We're now able to hire more graduates than ever before.”

UniSA Computing Multimedia and Digital Effects graduate, Jonno McKendrick, is one of the newest RSP employees.

“My desire to work in visual effects was something that developed over the course of my studies,” Jonno says.

”After developing skill sets in programming and digital effects separately, I found that visual effects was a great way to combine the two fields.

“Being able to work with the skills I enjoy, in addition to being able to develop shows that bring happiness to others who watch them is a huge drive for me to continue working in VFX.

“I am a fresh starter at RSP in comparison to the other UniSA students that have worked in house for a while but in my short time my experience has been wonderful, with everyone being very open, welcoming and eager to work together.

“The most exciting part of my time at RSP so far has been meeting all the different individuals that work together in order to make the shows that we watch.

“Everyone has their own journeys to get to where they are now working on the films they are excited about. Seeing all these different people from all over the world together, united by a passion for their work is amazing!”

Marcus Wells says RSP is a proud South Australian company striving to keep great talent employed locally.

“We're always thrilled to see great talent remain in this part of the world. RSP is offering work to UniSA students, thus increasing their career prospects directly from this tight relationship,” Marcus says.

“There are therefore increased opportunities to get paid for doing what you have studied and your passion.

“Locally sourced employees impact the state by further supporting local business. More money stays in SA, which benefits a wide number of goods and services providers.

“We've always aimed to provide work to local crew, as a priority. It makes business sense and puts more opportunity in the hands of talented South Australians.”

UniSA Program Coordinator of the Graduate Certificate in Visual Effects, Josh McCarthy says learning from the best in the business and using industry-standard tools and techniques, means Graduate Certificate students, or those on 10-week undergraduate placements as part of the Bachelor of Media Arts program, are producing industry-standard visual effects sequences.

“Students get the opportunity to work on both real sequences from major Hollywood films, as well as producing their own, original visual effects shots,” Josh says.

“UniSA's partnership with RSP is an unprecedented learning experience for students because the ability to study full-time in-house at an internationally renowned visual effects studio is an incredible opportunity for our students, and an opportunity that is unique in the region.

“UniSA graduates who work at RSP are learning skills that are applicable globally.

“They can establish a long and highly successful career locally, but will also develop the required skills and knowledge to work anywhere in the world.

But as RSP’s Marcus Wells says “our ‘graduate employees’ won’t hold that title for long because some day they will become mid, then senior level visual effects artists and technicians”.

“We're sure they will remember their first industry break and provide similar opportunities for the next generation,” Marcus says.

RSP is currently working on three films, including ‘Logan’ which is part of the X-Men franchise.

On 1 December, UniSA will host an industry night featuring speakers from award-winning visual effects companies including, Rising Sun Pictures, Luma Pictures, Framestore and Weta Digital.

Future Students will have the opportunity to network with key industry figures, find out what it takes to break into the visual effects industry, and discover new opportunities to learn visual effects at the University of South Australia and Rising Sun Pictures.

Media contact: Katrina McLachlan mobile: 0414972537 email: katrina.mclachlan@unisa.edu.au

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