For some people, a post-graduate degree can be the key to unlocking a career path in a more creative industry, often in diverse and far-reaching roles across the globe. One such graduate is Dipesh V. Palan, who now works as a Visual Effects artist at Emmy-award winning animation and VFX studio Iloura in Melbourne, Australia.
Talking about his MA in Digital Effects and the reasons behind his success, Dipesh says: “BU helped me to solidify my foundation, further advance it to a higher level and helped me to channel it into the right direction. At BU I was introduced to every single aspect of creating a movie within that span of one year which I have found it useful all along till now and shall be of great use in the future too.
“I can look back at my term at BU and say that it was a VFX boot camp. The mentors put you through a training process that builds discipline and the right kind of attitude towards approaching your work. And these are the two most important components that define your future.”
Originally an IT professional, Dipesh looked for something where he could use more of his creative skills. He then studied 3D art, and from there worked freelance with other artists before working in a company for two years. But Dipesh wanted to specialise in his field and was recommended to look at studying Bournemouth University’s MA in Digital Effects course.
Now working across a range of film and television projects, including the HBO series, ‘Game of Thrones’, Dipesh talks about the kinds of work that a visual artist can encounter while working on big-budget productions: “Well, the recent projects demanded a lot of blood and gore, and I have been getting my hands dirty with a lot of CGI blood. In my career, I have dealt with CGI fire, smoke, destruction, water effects and creature fx work until now.
And most importantly, I work with a bunch of brilliant people here, who get their work done and know how to have fun. VFX is a rapidly changing industry, work hard and be smart. Be aware of your limits so that you can work on them.
You need to share your knowledge; so that you can help the community grow. The art that you create on the screen is a combined effort of many other artists like you, who have put in hours of effort; you have to respect it and most importantly, be a team-player.
Dipesh noted that with a BU degree in Digital Effects, employers are assured of something more, with a number of professionals in the industry being BU alumni: “Well with a BU degree, comes the assurance that the student has gone through the right kind of mentoring and proper guidance needed to leave their mark in the VFX industry. That’s the reason why they are more employable than other graduates.
“It would have taken years to grab all the knowledge that I acquired within that span of one year at BU if I had continued to work and not decided to go for the degree. It’s true that decisions change lives and that was one decision that I shall always be proud of.
“I firmly believe that time is the most important factor and that’s what gives meaning to our lives; BU rewarded me with precious knowledge and saved me a lot of time for which I shall be forever grateful.
“In the long run, persistence and determination will be solely responsible for where you reach in any area of your life. And your passion for the craft shall be the icing on the cake. The simplest and the best advice I can give is, dream big and get your work done [period].”