Eloise (Ellie) Vanderwell
Expected Graduation: June 2019
Ellie is a current Film student who is quite active, not only as a student, but as a growing professional in her chosen field of Film. We asked Ellie a few questions about her recent internship experience and here's what she had to say!
Can you tell us a bit about your recent internship with The Creative Mind Group in Toronto?
I went to the Toronto Film Festival with The Creative Mind Group and they partnered us with our "parent company" that we would be directly involved with while there. I worked with two companies actually, Brilliant Consulting which is an event planning company and CAA, The Creative Arts Agency.
How did you secure this internship?
I found out about this internship through our Career Services. Carlos (Director of Career Development & Alumni Relations) sent out an email about an alumni member who participated in this program a couple of years ago and I went on their website to explore more.
How has this internship contributed to your professional development?
While interning with CAA, I was coordinating with the production company 3311 with potential buyers for their new film, so I was able to sit in on their meetings and learn first hand what takes place during their pitch. During screenings, it was really cool to be able to listen to the kind of questions a lot of industry professionals had for the filmmakers.
What did you hope to learn from this internship?
I didn't really have a goal or anything I wanted to immediately come away with from this internship. While I was there I continued learning more about the workings of the professional industry.
What was your most memorable experience throughout this internship?
The most memorable experience I took from this internship was just being surrounded by so many people who shared the same passion as me. The funnest part of the internship, though, was hosting an after party for "A Star is Born" and seeing Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper!
What advice do you have for current students interested in pursuing an internship?
I would say, keep networking! Talk to people! I know it's super hard. I'm very introverted so trying to start a conversation is extremely daunting but honestly, if you smile and look friendly chances are someone will start a conversation with you and you won't have to do anything!
Do you plan to pursue additional internship opportunities during your time at Flashpoint Chicago?
Most definitely! I really want to become an AD so I'm trying to network my way onto some Chicago sets and internships are a great way to expand your network.
Animation & VFX
Bridget is a 2011 Animation & VFX graduate and she recently relocated to Germany. We asked Bridget a few questions and here's what she had to say!
You recently relocated to Berlin, Germany - what took you to Europe?
A number of things. I've always wanted to live abroad and I also have always wanted to master a second language. And I remembered that an old colleague had moved to Berlin a few years ago and so I asked her about it. Turns out that it's quite easy to get a freelance artist visa in Germany and because of her, I could easily connect with many companies out in Germany. I was surprised to find out how much of the industry is out here. So it just made sense to come out here. Also, I like German beer.
What do you like most about working as an independent 3D Character Animator?
I haven't yet really experienced being a freelancer yet. I've been working at The Mill Los Angeles for the last 6 years, quit at the end of August and expect to get my visa at the end of October. Going freelance is another new way to challenge myself, with the hopes that there will be a high enough demand for me that I can pick and choose the jobs I want to take, as well as decide when I need to take time off. Working at The Mill was awesome, and it was very tough to leave, but I felt like I needed to because I wasn't learning as much as I could. You work with the same people for 6 years and you begin to plateau a bit with your skills. I found that the couple of times they sent me to other offices for a month or two, I learned so much more, just by being around new people. So I'm hoping that by constantly working with different companies, my skills will continue to increase dramatically.
What has been the greatest challenge you have encountered working in your current role/field and how have you overcome it?
I'm a quiet person, and it takes me usually a bit for me to be relaxed and joking around with people. I'm always friendly and professional, but when you work in a field that is so intimate (long hours, late nights, and weekend work with your colleagues) people want to work with their friends. As a quiet woman, it was always challenging for me to fit easily into the "boy's club". For the first few years, I thought that just the quality of my work was enough to get the jobs I wanted, which it does, but turns out that's a slower path. The last few years, I pushed myself to be more outspoken, more confident in my opinions, and asking for the jobs I wanted. Nothing is just given to you without asking. Don't expect for your leads to just hand out rewards. "The squeaky wheel gets the oil" I was constantly told. I still have to remind myself that being vocal and confident in my opinions and requests, doesn't make me a "bitch" for lack of a better term. I actually got more respect.
What would you say is one of the most important assets to have in your industry?
Definitely the guts to try new things, whether that be a new software, new tool, a job that you're not quite comfortable in, etc. And a really good chair. In vfx, you sit a lot. I personally prefer to sit on a exercise bouncy ball.
In your opinion, what should candidates new to the industry avoid in order to succeed?
Avoid arrogance, or any sort of entitlement. Nothing is more annoying than a junior who has only been around for a couple weeks complaining that they should get the fun stuff. Most artist have to work 2-3 years before they start to get the fun jobs they really love.
What advice do you have for individuals specifically interested in your field of work?
It seems like everyone wants to be an animator. It is really really really competitive. So if you do want to be an animator, you need to stick to your guns. When I started out as a Runner at The Mill, I spent every free moment that I knew people would see me, animating. If I saw that everyone else was staying late working, I would stay and practice animating. When I heard colleagues that I wanted to impress were going to be working the weekend, I came in and practiced animating. When I was given other tasks to do modeling, or UVing, I still made sure I went back to animation. When the head of 3D told me to learn tracking, the animation supervisor told me to focus on animation, otherwise I would get stuck in tracking. At one point, I thought I would be considered more valuable to the company (and I probably would have) by learning Massive, and doing crowd work. After a little bit of training, I was thrown into every crowd job, and I hated that I was no longer working on the animation jobs that I wanted to do. I got very lucky, and another crowd guy was hired and he stepped up and told scheduling to take me off the crowds and put me back into animation. I'm very grateful to him.
What piece of advice do you have for Flashpoint candidates preparing for the job search?
Network, network, network. Anytime I applied on a company website, I almost never heard back for something that wasn't automated. Or if I did hear back, it would be a year or two later. Jump at every offer of help, to pass your information along to someone, and RESPOND right away when you get emails. Internships or PA positions aren't fun, but they get your foot in the door. A lot of companies can take a bit of advantage though and let a non paying internship or low paying PA job carry on a bit too long. Set a reasonable goal for yourself so you don't get too comfortable or accepting. Mine was "One year after I graduate, I will be a full-time artist". And I did make that goal.
How did your experience at Flashpoint help you join your industry?
I had a great relationship with my teachers so my first two short term jobs where projects that they got offered and then handed off to me. That small amount of experience certainly helped when I moved out to LA to get internships with bigger companies.
What would you look for if an opportunity to potentially hire Flashpoint candidates came along?
First, their reel. Then personality and professionalism. I want to work with someone who will pay attention to the details, and has an eagerness to improve. Also I'd want to try to find someone who will get along with my team. There are some late nights, and you want to enjoy working with a new hire.
What was your favorite thing about attending Flashpoint?
I enjoyed the 2 year program (I came to Flashpoint after already getting a bachelor's so I didn't want to spend another 4 years in school.) I actually started in the Winter, and then took classes all Summer, so I did the program in a year and a half. I also really appreciated that the classes were small (I think there were only about 15 people graduating VFX with me) and that the teachers were working professionals. Also, I really love Chicago.
Name one thing that made you choose Flashpoint over other colleges?
That I could get my Associates in 1.5 years. I just wanted to get in the industry as quickly as I could.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I wish Flashpoint had a drawing class. Or maybe you do now, but not when I was in school. Or I wish that I had taken one while attending Flashpoint. I was able to take some free drawing classes when I was at The Mill and it was amazing how both my drawing and animation helped improve each other.
Could you share a fun fact (or two) about yourself?
Before I went to Flashpoint, I was on the path to Dental School. Very happy now that I changed my mind. I love traveling by myself. I love going to new places with no or very little agenda, staying in hostels and meeting new people. I feel like I have the most unusual adventures this way.
IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER
Every Wednesday from 12:45 - 1:15 PM in Room 658
the Career Development department will be presenting
on a specific topic related to the ins-and-outs
of becoming a professional.
Bring your lunch and bring questions!!
ATTENTION ALL STUDENTS!
If you wish to check out a laptop and/or power supply from the I.T. Department, you MUST LEAVE A FORM OF ID
(such as a Driver's License or State ID) with the I.T. Department while you are borrowing a laptop and/or power supply. This ID WILL BE RETURNED to you when you bring the equipment back to the I.T. Department.
Please note that NO LAPTOPS AND/OR POWER SUPPLIES CAN BE CHECKED OUT WITHOUT LEAVING AN ID!!! There will be no exceptions to this policy.
You MUST LEAVE A FORM OF ID (Driver's License or State ID) at the InfoCommons service desk as well if you wish to use the TV, Blu-Ray player, and/or one of the gaming systems in the InfoCommons (XBOX360, PS3, Wii). Your ID WILL BE RETURNED when you have returned all borrowed remotes and/or controllers.
INDUSTRY EVENTS & NEWS
Imagine this: Today is the day everyone has been waiting anxiously for—Election Day. It’s your first time voting, and you have your candidates in mind. But, you finally wonder: where do I vote? Is it the elementary school covered with signs? The local election office? Did I register to vote absentee and forget about the ballot? Or, am I still registered at my parent’s address?
On Election Day, 50 states spanning 6 time zones run elections. It’s a messy process that may seem confusing, especially to first-time voters. As a highly mobile population that recently turned 18, young adults may not have voted before. They may have no idea where their polling place is. For this reason, it is critically important that young adults remain informed about the electoral process. Here's an easy to follow voter survival guide to help new voters navigate the voting process.
1) Where do I vote?
Some states have early voting centers. A few states allow you to register to vote on Election Day at your local polling place. Most states, however, require you to vote in-person, at the polling place assigned to your registration address.
Do you know your polling place? Can I Vote? connects you to your state’s online registration database, allowing you to look this information up.
What does this mean for students at college campuses? If you registered to vote at your parent’s address, you must either vote in-person there, or request an absentee ballot. Alternatively, college students may register to vote at their dorm address and vote locally, in their campus community. However, remember that you cannot vote at both locations, as that is voter fraud.
2) How do I register?
This process is relatively simple; thanks to modern technology, the process is streamlined into relatively simple steps. The first step in the process is making sure you meet the registration requirements:
Are you a U.S. citizen?
Do you meet your state’s residency requirements? (You can be homeless and still meet these requirements)
Will you be 18 years old on or before Election Day?
If you answered “yes” to each of these questions, you can register! You will be directed to your state’s online voter registration tool. Alternatively, you may be provided with a PDF document that you must print and mail in order to register.
When registering to vote, please keep these things in mind:
If you live on a college campus and wish to vote in that community, you must use your formal dormitory address and your campus mailing address. (i.e. your dormitory address is where you sleep at night, your mailing address is where you receive your mail)
If you are registering at your parent’s home, use that address to register. Then, you can request an absentee ballot at Vote.org.
There are very specific time limits for registering before all general/primary and special elections. You can find your state’s requirements here.
3) What is a voter ID?
Hint: It depends. And that’s the problem.
Across the nation, legislatures have enacted voter ID laws that are inconsistent and that vary from state to state. Some states specify what type of IDs are accepted. While other states, like Louisiana, specify what features an ID must include, like a signature field.
This is particularly problematic for students who come to campus from out-of-state: Some states accept all student ID cards, others only student ID cards from publicly-funded institutions. Furthermore, some states accept out-of-state driver’s license, while others do not.
Some important guiding questions are:
Does your state have voter ID requirements?
Are student ID’s acceptable?
Can it be any student ID or must it be issued by a publicly-funded university?
Does your state specify what must be on the student ID? For example: signature, photo, or campus address.
Can students use out-of-state driver’s license?
Does your state have a strict address requirement on the ID? If so, for example, students who register on-campus may not use a driver’s license listing their parent’s home address.
Remember: Some states require your ID to include your voter registration address! That rules out passports, and rules out registering on campus if you don’t have an ID with an address.
Click here to learn more about voter ID laws.
4) Why should I care? Who’s even running this year?
Young people are at a pivotal moment in this country. According to CIRCLE, 24 million youth voted in the November 8 election, at a rate of about 50 percent. We are showing more tendencies to eschew political affiliation, and a hunger for change and progress. Had millennials chosen president on November 8, we would have had a different result.
This was the first Presidential election without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act since its passage in 1965. The choices we make as citizens will affect us for years to come. Now, more than ever, young people need to make the decision to show up.
While young people showed a strong turnout in the 2016 presidential race, elections during non-presidential years consistently produce low turnout among our age group. These elections are crucial, as some of the most important issues facing youth are often determined at the local, state, and congressional level, such as student loans, healthcare, campus safety, climate change, among others.
So know your elected officials and their stances. Find out who is planning to run for office, both locally and federally. Participate in civic action or organize a town hall of your own. Register yourself and others to vote. Do whatever you can to participate in the process, because it is up to all of us to build a sustainable future for all.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6
Hey Design professionals and students!
Want to use your creative powers for good? Bring your Moleskins and MacBooks over to the Design Museum of Chicago on November 3rd so you can get your design on for a worthy cause.
Design Museum of Chicago, Ferrer Foundation and Eight Bit Studios have teamed up to host this day-long DESIGNATHON that will allow participants to put their creative skills into play as we explore advancing the Ferrer Foundation and its mission across the digital landscape. The Ferrer Foundation is a Chicago-based non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire peace and hope for children living in underserved communities. For more than a decade, Ferrer has been providing programs and resources for youth affected by violence in Chicago.
Participants, working in teams of up to five, will have twelve hours to come up with a creative solution to the prompt. There's no shortage of directions your team can take -- design a mobile experience, or a website, or an animation, or an ad campaign -- whatever your skill set, and regardless of your experience level, you'll be able to engage and make an impact. After the day of creating and ideating, there will be group presentations where participants can share their solutions to an audience.
Our goal is to create an event that engages the design community, encourages collaboration across multiple design disciplines and uses our diverse skill sets to support ChiDM and the Ferrer Foundation. This event is also part of the AIGA’s eighth annual Chicago Design Week dedicated to a close examination of the fluid and evolving state of design and the role it plays in society.
We look forward to seeing you there and creating together!
Proposed Schedule - 8am - 8pm (subject to change)
Designing and Ideating
Designing and Ideating (continued)
What to Bring:
You're not required to provide anything, but feel free to bring any tools and materials you’d like. Laptops are recommended, so if you have one, bring it. We plan to have plenty of paper, pencils, sticky notes, erasers, markers, tape, etc. on hand.
If you have questions, concerns, or special considerations for attending this event, feel free to reach out to Alyssa Low - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, November 3, 2018
8:00 AM – 8:00 PM CDT
Design Museum of Chicago
108 North State Street
Chicago, IL 60602
THE MURDER OF FRED HAMPTON
The Murder of Fred Hampton began as a film portrait of Hampton and the Illinois Black Panther Party, but half way through the shoot, Hampton was murdered by Chicago policeman. In an infamous moment in Chicago history and politics, over a dozen policeman burst into Hampton s apartment while its occupants were sleeping, killing Hampton and fellow Panther Mark Clark and brutalizing the other occupants. Filmmakers Mike Gray and Howard Alk arrived a few hours later to shoot film footage of the crime scene that was later used to contradict news reports and police testimony. The Murder of Fred Hampton is a chilling slice of American history.
This screening is presented in collaboration with Chicago Film Archives.
Chicago Film Archives is a regional film archive dedicated to identifying, collecting, preserving and providing access to films that represent the Midwest. Our purpose is to serve institutions and filmmakers of this region and elsewhere by establishing a repository for institutional and private film collections; serve a variety of cultural, academic and artistic communities by making the films available locally, nationally, and internationally for exhibition, research, and production; and serve our culture by restoring and preserving films that are rare or not in existence elsewhere.
More information on Arts Bank Cinema and Rebuild Foundation, visit https://rebuild-foundation.org/
Friday, December 7, 2018
7:30 PM – 10:00 PM CST
Stony Island Arts Bank
6760 South Stony Island Avenue
Chicago, IL 60649
THE FUTURE OF MUSIC LIVE
The Verge’s hit video series The Future of Music is coming off the screen with a live event on Thursday, November 8 at the new Aloft Chicago Mag Mile. Musical artists Autograf and The Verge reporter and DJ Dani Deahl will take us deeper into how technology is changing the way we experience music. Join us for live performances, visual storytelling, hands on tech demos with Wave Ring, and Eater-curated drinks and bites from Girl & the Goat.
Date: Thursday, November 8
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Aloft Chicago Mag Mile
Address: 243 East Ontario Street, Chicago
RSVP required. Entry is first-come, first-served. 21+.
Thursday, November 8, 2018
7:00 PM – 9:30 PM CST
Aloft Chicago Mag Mile
243 East Ontario Street
Chicago, IL 60611
DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS: AFTER DARK
Join us Thursday, November 1st from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm for Día de los Muertos: After Dark, when our galleries are open late for guests. This month’s late-night falls on the very day of Día de los Muertos and we have a variety of activities lined up!
View Día de Muertos: A Spiritual Legacy
Make your own Día de los Muertos-themed postcard
Bring your children to make Day of the Dead masks
Enjoy pan de muerto
Visit the Tzintzuntzán gift shop and pick up all your ofrenda needs like papel picado and sugar skulls!
Día de los Muertos: After Dark is free and open to the public.
Thursday, November 1, 2018
6:00 PM – 8:000 PM CDT
National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 W. 19th street
Chicago, IL 60608
Now Recruiting for Clubs!
Now recruiting for clubs!
Feel free to let us know via email if you'd like to start your own club or join an existing club.
The more the merrier!
INFO COMMONS / LIBRARY
Alexis Kamensky, M.A.
Monday - Thursday: 10:30am - 5:00pm CST
To schedule an appointment or in the event of an emergency,
please contact Alexis at: