In Student Interview

TT : “I understand you’ve been hired at Scanline Visual Effects.Can you tell me a little about  your new job ?”

CN : “My new job …the official title is Animator and they’ve hired me to work on Captain America the Winter Soldier doing special effects match moving shots.”

TT : “Perfect …Now Scanline is not a big company but they do pretty High-end stuff. Do you find that at all daunting?”

CN : “A little bit. Its equal parts scary and exciting. Just to have this kind of opportunity as the first job on my resume is AMAZING.”

TT : “Now… you’re an American, so working in Canada, that’s certainly a hurdle for somebody from another country.  I know you had some fears about that and yet it all kind of worked out. Tell me a bit about that.”

CN : “Yeah, several people told me that it was possible to get a job up here, and it has happened before, especially with Think Tank students. I realized pretty early on that the only way to have “that” as a possibility was to work as hard as I possibly could and hope that something might pop up. It turned out that all the people that were interested in me were in Vancouver anyway and all it took was just that one company to say: “you know we’ll give her a chance” And they finally took that chance so…”

TT : “And what did the school tell you about the best way to get a job?”

CN : “They said it really all comes down to the reel. Just put as much effort into it as possible, do your best work, focus on it, do something that will entertain people as well as show off your skills and then if you’re good enough the rest will fall into place.”

TT : “And how much confidence did the school have in your final reel?”

CN : “A lot of confidence. I had a fair amount but everything that people said really boosted that confidence for me. People told me that there was no doubt this would work out eventually and it eventually did.”

TT : “Great. Can you tell me about your third semester mentorship? How big a role did that play?”

CN : “Huge, I really would not have been able to produce the reel I did without my mentors. Just having Paul, Brian, Mark and Morgan come in every week was amazing.  They each gave me a different perspective on things.  I was able to combine all of those into the reel I eventually produced. Just everything from the presentation to the little nitpicky things all added up.”

TT : “Paul Johnson from Bardel Entertainment was your primary mentor?”

CN : “Yes. Paul works on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles “at Bardel. He has been in the animation industry for years. He’s fantastic! He knows his craft very well but he is also very optimistic and very encouraging. If you’re having a bad day and you need someone to push you along and say “it’ll be good, you’re fine. Here is something you can do.” For all of us in the room it was a good thing to have his positive presence.”

TT : “And you mentioned you had more than one mentor. You had your primary and had some others?”

CN: “Yes, Paul was my primary and then Brian was the secondary. Mark came in to kind of supplement things with his own style and then Morgan was our universal mentor. All of them presented something different to us, but it was good to have a different perspective from all of them.”

TT : “What about Think Tank as a school, did you feel that the school supported you throughout your time there?”

CN : “One hundred percent. I recognized that the vast majority of the effort and the learning would come from me.  Just to have mentors and teachers sticking by me and giving me that guidance and saying you can do this, and this is what you’re meant to do was really supportive. I knew that I could do this early on but it always helps having people telling you this is something you can make a career out of.”

TT : “And you’re from the east coast of the United States, so you’ve travelled a long way.”

CN : “A very long way.”

TT : “You came to a strange city where you really didn’t know anyone, so it’s a huge leap of faith. So do you think overall you’ve made the right decision? And did Think Tank live up to your expectations?”

CN : “It really did. I achieved my goal and the school helped me do that. I had a blast all the way through and worked hard and I feel like I could’ve gone somewhere else but this is the place I chose and I’m happy I chose it.”

TT : “Did you make any friends?”

CN : “I did make friends! A lot of people here were interested in the same things as I was and we got along very well. Just having that kind of family atmosphere brought us all together .”

TT : “I understand that the school isn’t very formal, and like you said it’s almost like a big family where everybody is not only supported from a school perspective but also from an emotional standpoint. Did you feel that kind of support?”

CN : “Definitely. I think a lot of us realized that we have lives and we’re not just animators or compositors or modelers, we’re people. When somebody was having a bad day we would step in and we would support each other. I really love how this school is run very much like a studio and it feeds into the idea that “it’s a team effort” and if one person is suffering then the entire group would suffer, so it’s good to stick by people.”

TT : “Great, well you’re going to be missed,  come back and see us.”

CN : “I will do my best, so thank you very much.”


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