VFX Freelancer Holly Smith, Class of 2010

Holly Smith I graduated from Media Production in 2010 specialising in Digital Media. My first role in the industry was as a Runner at a post house in Soho and whilst working there I showed everyone I could my showreel, most of the time just on my phone in one of the kitchens. This led to one of the VFX editors recommending me to the VFX Company he was working with and I gained a junior position at The Brewery VFX where I have been working up until a few weeks ago when I decided I was going to take the leap to go freelance.

Over the past 2 years at The Brewery VFX I have been constantly learning new skills and gaining invaluable experience working in the industry on both Film & TV projects. I also helped to establish and run the work experience scheme for the company, which gave me the responsibility of reviewing CVs and showreels & interviewing shortlisted candidates. I contacted one of my old lecturers at the beginning of the year because I was tired of seeing the same mistakes made on applicants CVs and showreels and I wanted to be able to offer my advice to students ready for when they graduate. I think it’s so important to have a strong showreel and CV, as often this is the only way you can showcase your skills. Don’t be afraid to get a job as a Runner but make sure you are armed with your showreel or CV ready for any opportunity that might arise.

From my contact with the Uni I was invited to attend LSM’s Meet the Graduates Event in February, where I agreed to be on the panel. It was great to meet both fellow alumni and current students and be able to offer some advice and insight into working in the industry. I am also involved in the pilot of the Media Mentoring Scheme. It’s so good to be able to pass on my advice to my mentee over a cup of coffee and emails when we can’t meet. We are working together to make him as employable as possible and I’m super excited to see where his career takes him when he graduates later this year.

I also returned to the University of Lincoln School of Media recently to host a workshop for the Level 2 & 3 Digital Media students to talk all things Maya & VFX. I showcased some of the projects I’d be working on, gave hints and tips and advice on what it’s like working in the VFX industry. Hopefully my workshop inspired some of the students and helped to show them that there is work out there and with a strong showreel and CV you will be able to get that much needed industry experience.

It’s been great to reconnect with the University and I wish I had done it sooner. I’m now about to start a brand new stage in my career where I am beginning to work as a freelancer, it’s a bit of a risk but I have my new showreel ready and I hope it’s the right decision.