Stories From Industry: Industrial Light and Magic

Charlotte O'Keefe - Visual Effects and Motion Graphics.png

Charlotte O'Keefe graduated from our BSc (Hons) Visual Effects and Motion Graphics degree in 2019. We caught up with her to ask about her time in the industry after graduating.

How did you find your time on the VFX+MG course? 

I loved every second of it. Looking back at where I started to where I am now, it’s crazy how much I learned in only 3 years. A very stressful and challenging 3 years, but so rewarding.  

What have you done since graduating? 

Since graduating, I have been working at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) as a runner and I am currently working at Industrial Light & Magic. 

What is your daily workday like? 

Every day is completely different. ILM is one of those companies where there are always exciting things happening!

Runners at ILM are more like facilities/tech assistants, we help set up computers and meetings and just make sure the studio is running smoothly. We are constantly running around the studio helping every department and chatting with everyone. ILM promotes you go and chat with people and ask them about what they are working on!  

Once a week, I get a half-day and spend the afternoon working on live shots with the roto paint department and getting training sessions and most Fridays we have social events which different shows put on for the studio - this always consists of a lot of food and some drinks.

What projects have you worked on? 

I got to help on a couple shots for the Rise of Skywalker and am currently helping on some other projects which have not yet been announced… 

How did the VFX+MG course help you get on your career path? 

The number one thing that helped me get to where I am now, is having lectures which have a background in the industry.  

The lecturers tell you from the very beginning what studios are looking for in graduates, and start getting you into good habits. For example, script layouts and taking constructive criticism in a positive manner. 

What words of advice would you give anyone just about to start the VFX+MG course? 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and remember that asking for feedback from lectures and classmates is going to make your work 100% better!