Irish VFX + Animation Summit 2015
We're excited to be collaborating with the Irish VFX + Animation Summit this weekend, November 21- 22nd. The Summit encourages engagement between studios and future artists and focuses on the importance of students and prospective artists knowing how best to show others their work and find the best VFX and animation opportunities.

We recently had the opportunity to chat with co-founder of the Irish VFX + Animation Summit, Eoghan Cunneen, to learn more about the Summit:

Tell us about the Irish VFX+ Animation Summit.

The Irish VFX + Animation Summit is our (with Northern Irish co-founder Laura Livingstone) attempt to promote the VFX and animation industry back home in Ireland. Laura and I met in San Francisco where she worked number of years ago and we both had similar experiences when we were in school and university as there was so little information available to us about how to get into the industry. We assumed that you needed to be in LA, which isn’t the case at all. A year after we first met we figured we had enough contacts to beg to come and speak at our first event which we held in Dublin in 2013. We’re about to host our third event.

What is the Shotgun Showreel Clinic all about?

A big part of what we’re trying to do is expose students and those who aspire to work in the industry to what the realities are. There are articles online on how to build a good showreel, but you can’t beat that one-on-one advice from someone who’s responsible for identifying great talent in the industry, or who lead teams on a production. We set up the Shotgun Showreel Clinic to do just that. By matching someone who wants their reels reviewed, by someone who can offer really good and constructive feedback, we want to do our part in ensuring that those applying for roles know what’s expected of them in a VFX or animation facility. Shotgun gives us that ability. We’re asking students to submit their reels to showreel@vfxsummit.com so we can match them with a professional who has expertise in that area so they can get direct feedback in a way that’s similar to how we view dailies at work so they can work to create the best and most relevant showreel possible.

What is your favorite thing about the Irish VFX + Animation Summit?
The chance meetings you have with people. Last year an oscar winning VFX Supervisor casually asked one of our scheduled speakers on Facebook about the event and that he was interested in attending as he hadn’t been to Dublin before. We were really excited and asked if he’d like to speak at it. He ended up giving a really touching introduction at the event which everyone really loved. He later went on to win his second Oscar that February for his contributions to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. Another chance meeting which came up last year was a young animator from Japan happened to walk past the venue while it was on. She showed a number of animators her really amazing animation showreel which she had on her phone (it was so good) and has since worked as an animator at a number of Irish studios.

What led you to VFX/animation?

I was given a present of a pack of crayons from my sisters when I was seven or eight. I didn’t like them initially, but over time I began to love drawing and illustration. That led to an interest in animation and film. The Lord of the Rings trilogy finally cemented what I wanted to do. The final film came out around the time I was doing my leaving cert (school examinations before university), so that helped my decision. I watched the making of parts of those films more times than the films themselves.

The Irish VFX + Animation Summit sponsored by Screen Training Ireland and The Animation Skillnet.

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