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Master's degree leads alumnus to Head of Production role

Ali Akber Rizvi

Without opting for such a Master’s program, I might not have been aware of the different areas and mediums of the 3D industry

Ali Akber, Alumni, Postgraduate

Head of Production, Ice Animations

Advanced Multimedia Design & 3D Technologies MSc - 2013

From Pakistan

Previous Institution

National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences (NUCES- FAST) - BS Computer Science

Tell us about your career journey since you graduated…

I started my career as a VFX Trainee (Jul 2014 - Dec 2014) that led to a position of VFX Artist (Dec 2014 - Dec 2015) then to VFX Supervisor (Jan 2016 - Jun 2017). I then progressed to the position of Producer (Jul 2017 - Dec 2017) which eventually led to the position of Head of Production (Jan 2018 to Present).

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

A typical day involves tasks such as producing (producing as facilitator, supervising staff and following the day-to-day production progress), studio management, finance, pipeline management, VFX on-set supervision, BDM, project bidding / scheduling, script breakdown, project proposal & company presentation, TVC / episodic series production plan design, meeting clients, interviewing & hiring talent, dealing with outsourcing animation vendors / freelance artists / audio studios.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Getting the opportunity to grow so quickly, from starting as a trainee to being the Head of Production where I report directly to the CEO above me.

How would you say Brunel helped you to get where you are today?

The master’s program helped a lot as it gave a good overview of the 3D industry, teaching aspects of 3D game development, visual effects, 3D film making and 3D pipeline (modelling, look-dev, animation/mocap, lighting/rendering, compositing/editing). With such an overview, I was able to make the right decision as to which path I should opt for with my professional career. Without opting for such a master’s program, I might not have been aware of the different areas and mediums of the 3D industry which could have led to choosing the wrong path for my professional career development.

What is your best memory of studying here?

Besides the great infrastructure (green-screen studio, mocap room and labs) that helped a lot in learning the aspects of the master’s program and getting hand's-on experience using these facilities, the accommodation and the campus are a huge plus for any student - it’s a once in a lifetime experience.

If you could give one piece of advice to new students, what would that be?

Always try to explore as many mediums (specifically in the media/arts industry) as possible because that will greatly help you choose the right path in your professional career development. No matter what path you choose, each medium you would have explored will help you in one way or another, as the basics of art teach you the same thing; to open up your mind with creativity.

What would be your top tip or advice for new graduates as they begin their career journey?

Try to explore as many mediums of the creative industry as possible during your studies and then choose the one’s you like the most and develop your career in that path. If you have not been able to explore those mediums during your studies, then try to explore most of them in your early professional life; the sooner you explore them the sooner you will come to realise what the best path is for you. Often students just get the opportunity to explore one or two mediums during the studies and think that is the best for them due to not being aware of so many other mediums, and later on in the professional life after a few years realise they could have opted for some other path that actually suits them better. I always feel that you shouldn't choose the path where you think you can make the most money, but rather choose the path you are passionate about - at the end of the day, if you love what you do, no matter if you earn big or small, you will always be happy. Your passion and efforts will take you a long way, it will pay off sooner or later.