Events purely for VFX are surprisingly rare. Now its 11th year, The VFX Festival is the only one of its kind in London.

The VFX Festival brings together the creative community, allowing emerging talent to explore the best of the screen industries and provides opportunities for professionals to expand their knowledge. Speakers from some of the world’s leading studios will be presenting this year and we spoke to two of them – Union’s Harriet Edge-Partington and Freefolk’s Robyn Guthrie, to see why the festival is a must for them.

Harriet Edge-Partington, Head of Unicorn Discovery at Union

Why is it important for Union to be involved in the festival?

It’s a no-brainer for us, we’ve been involved for a good few years now, as it’s the perfect place to present what we do and what we’re about to the VFX stars of the future. Escape students are always of a particularly high calibre so we want to make sure we’re part of the programme alongside the other VFX studios are involved. It’s important that their recent grads see us as an option and see the benefits of being part of an independent studio so they don’t just focus on the big companies.

What have you gained from past involvement?

We’re always involved in the recruitment Marketplace as well as case studies and panels and find this combination very complimentary. People see our talks and when they then come up for a chat at the recruitment stand they already have a really good feel for us and have a few specific questions up their sleeves. We’ve gained so much over the years, we’ve met brilliant industry people and have had the chance to fly the Union flag at a perfectly targeted event.

Have you recruited any Escapees as a result of the festival?

We certainly have, those who we’ve actually met at the festival and those who’ve been in touch as a result of the festival. In fact, Union was set up by our founders Tim Caplan, Adam Gascoyne and a few Escapees!

Robyn Guthrie, Production Assistant, Freefolk

Why is it important for Freefolk to be involved in the festival?

There are so many reasons to get involved in the festival. It’s a great opportunity to meet the new talent coming into the industry and find out what interests them about VFX and what they are looking for in a company too. It’s invaluable to meet students face to face which is why we are so excited to be there in person this year. It’s also a great place to showcase our work as a smaller independent studio and show that the quality and standard of projects can also rival the much bigger names in the industry.

What have you gained from past involvement?

Meeting the students is always the biggest win for us. It’s great when someone has heard one of our artists discussing their work and it gets them excited to find out more about Freefolk and the work they could do here.

Have you recruited any Escapees as a result of the festival?

We run an annual internship called Futurefolk and we have definitely had more applications due to the exposure of the festival.

Tickets are now available for The VFX Festival, which is returning in February 2023 as hybrid event,  hosted in-person at Escape Studios’ central London campus and streamed live online to provide access  for a global audience. 

Tanya Combrinck
Author: Tanya Combrinck

Tanya is a writer covering art, design, and visual effects. She has 15 years of experience as a magazine journalist and has written for publications including 3D World, 3D Artist, Computer Arts, net magazine, and Creative Bloq.