Andy Lockley graduated from Bournemouth University in 2000 and his career has gone from strength to strength ever since. Andy works at visual effects house Double Negative where he has worked on films like The Dark Knight, Hot Fuzz and the Harry Potter franchise. Andy was on stage at the Oscar's in 2012 accepting the Best Visual Effects award for his work on Inception.
In 2015, Andy has continued his success, on the stage at the BAFTAs and at the Oscars to receive the Special Visual Effects award for Interstellar.
We caught up with Andy before the BAFTA Awards to find out about his career and how he was feeling about the BAFTAs and the Oscars:
Can you tell us a little bit about your time as a BU student?
I attended NCCA in 1999-2000 where I did the MA in Digital Special Effects. I came in thinking I wanted to be a modeller or animator but realised quite quickly that I was more interested in the compositing side of things. I really enjoyed my time there, I came in as a mature student and hadn't been to university before, so I embraced student life to its fullest. I have very fond memories of my classmates and working through the night in the rather smelly lab, it doesn't sound great but there was great camaraderie amongst everyone and we'd go out and get pizza at one or two in the morning to bring back to the room and carry on working, which is probably why it smelled bad!
What did your first steps into the world of visual effects look like once you graduated?
I went straight from Bournemouth into a job at a placed called Mill Film out at Shepparton Studios. They were looking for compositors to help out on a film and called Bournemouth up to see if there was anyone would be suitable. So a few of us that had been doing the effects stream of the MA went up for interviews and within a week we were compositing on a major hollywood movie. It turned out to be a film called Pluto Nash, an Eddie Murphy film that its now infamous for being so awful, but it was still a 'proper' film in our eyes.
What has your career highlight been so far?
Its really hard to say what my career highlight would be, theres so many amazing things that have happen, particularly since winning the BAFTA and Oscar for Inception. But standing at the bar at the Vanity fair party with Tim Burton standing on my right and Quentin Tarantino on my left and them congratulating me is definitely up there in my top five!
What was it like being on stage accepting an Oscar for Inception?
Being on stage getting an Oscar was the surrealist thing ever. My heart was going like a train from all the adrenaline and I was looking out across a sea of faces that I recognised from years of being a film fan. It lasted for the briefest amount of time but it will be burned into my memory for a while yet.
Are you excited to see Interstellar nominated at the BAFTAs and Oscars for visual effects? Did you think you’d be in with a chance of a nomination when making the film?
YES I'm very excited that we are nominated again. Everyone seems to think that we should have expected to be nominated, but it's never a sure thing. If you think of the amount of hype around Dark Knight Rises at the time, and yet we didn't make it through to the final five, so I never took it for granted that we would get through this time either.
It’s great to see such a rise in the creative industries in the UK – what advice would you have for any current BU students reading this?
I think the best advice I can give is, know your subject inside out, there's a lot of competition out there and if you can sound confident and like you know what your talking about that can make a big difference in an interview. Be flexible, don't pigeon-hole yourself to anything too specific. You might get your foot in the door doing something that isn't entirely what you were after but then leads to what you really wanted to do ultimately.
To read more about Andy's success at this year's BAFTA, read our news story.