Returning to his roots at The One Academy

In times of global recession, when companies are retrenching, The One Academy graduates are still in high demand as illustrated by the recent recruitment drive and presentation by Lucasfilm Animation Singapore. Lucasfilm’s studio in Singapore is involved in television and film animation, game development and visual effects for feature films. Led by their recruiter, the team from Lucasfilm held a number of interviews with graduating students and a presentation in anticipation of finding talents for the Jedi master’s programme in Singapore.

This time around, Lucasfilm’s visit to The One Academy brought a new surprise. The crowd of students gathered in the audio visual hall could barely hold their excitement when the team introduced them to The One Academy alumni Jerome Moo, who is now a digital artist at ILM Singapore.

Together with the studio’s deputy general manager Jacqueline Tan, recruiter Iwona Macesowicz and Digimatte Lead for ILM Singapore as well as Moo’s mentor, Bryant Griffin, Moo and the team of delegates empowered the students with a two-hour sharing about the visual effects (VFX) industry.

"It has been an interesting experience for me, to see how far I’ve gone at Lucasfilm and to be back here again to share what I’ve learned with the students," said Moo.

According to Moo, a digital artist should be open-minded, a quick-learner and have keen eyesight.

"Be humble, be willing to take constructive criticism and be hardworking. Most importantly, keep pushing ahead of your boundaries and make great progress!"

An illustration graduate from The One Academy, Moo is in his third year with Lucasfilm Animation Singapore. As a digital artist he creates visual effects for blockbuster movies such as Iron Man, Star Trek, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. He was also one of a few selected digital artists invited to train with the Academy Award-winning Industrial Light & Magic team based in San Francisco, California. Moo has also worked on projects for television and games, doing mostly conceptual works, matte paintings and some 3D modellings.

During his presentation, Moo cited that a well-established portfolio, strong foundation in art and a great understanding in colour composition, polished communication skills as well as photography skills are some of the essentials needed to get into the competitive job market.

The team also presented its work on blockbuster films in stages, including concept art, product visualisation and the overall visual effects process. Students took the opportunity to ask questions relating to the VFX industry and discuss career prospects with Lucasfilm.

According to Griffin, a strong foundation in art is an important element. "It goes without saying that students will need to have a good understanding on colour composition to work in visual effects."

He added that VFX artists must also be an honest critic of their work, be humble and share what they learn.

Lucasfilm Animation Singapore opened in 2005 and has worked on visual effects for many blockbuster films, including Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Iron Man and Transformers. In addition, the studio also works on the animated Star Wars television series The Clone Wars.

Founded by George Lucas in 1971, Lucasfilm Ltd is one of the world’s leading fully-integrated film and entertainment companies. Lucasfilm’s studio in Singapore – houses a number of disciplines including television and film animation, visual effects for feature films and game development. Its integrated approach allows artists at the studio the unique opportunity to contribute to games, animation projects and visual effects – all under one roof.

"The One Academy has always been the international creative industry’s hunting ground for world-class creative talents. This reflects confidence in Malaysian youth and The One Academy’s credentials," said The One Academy principal Tatsun Hoi.

The courses offered in The One Academy are Multimedia Design, Digital Animation with Game Development, Illustration with Comics, Advertising & Graphic Design and Interior Design.