The e-mentoring program of Access:VFX, the industry-led non-profit coalition of leading visual effects, animation and games studios, has to date connected more than 1000 mentors and mentees across the globe. The Prospela run platform features members from Framestore, Blue Zoo and DNEG, among others, and has helped talented up-and-coming creatives from varying backgrounds and ages.
Currently, 689 mentees and 346 mentors work collectively to enhance job opportunities, discuss academic needs, develop skills and setup work placements. The latest report wraps up the year with Black, Asian, minority, and ethnic members accounting for 70 percent of all mentees. In addition, 57 percent of all mentors are female and/or representing Black, Asian, minority, and ethnic communities, working across a wide range of departments, ranging from production, 3D, and art and animation.
“I’m proud to see how our e-mentoring scheme expanded in times when young and ambitious people need it most,” says Simon Devereux, founder and director of Access:VFX. “We are lucky to be a part of an incredibly supportive industry, with established professionals always willing to help maturing talent find its way into a dream career.”
This year’s cancellations, postponements and countless changes to production schedules has had a significant impaction on talent acquisition, and has forced Access:VFX to pivot its activities to a digital, remote format.
Since March, the initiative has hosted numerous online events and collaborative projects, while the ever-popular podcast- and YouTube-series, featuring leading industry members covering the latest hot-topics, has gone from strength-to-strength, significantly boosting interest in the e-mentoring scheme.
“As we hit another milestone, we really see the value of this collective effort in making our industry more inclusive,” Devereux says. “We’re always encouraging more creatives, VFX artists, creative directors, storyboard artists, and pretty much anyone who holds down a role in our creative industry to join this hugely rewarding initiative.”
Framestore, Blue Zoo, DNEG, Moonraker, Cinesite, Carse & Waterman Productions, and many other competing studios have joined forces to actively inspire creatives from diverse backgrounds with practical tools essential to succeed in the industry. The initiative spreads across the globe, fast expanding in the UK and rapidly growing in Quebec, California and New York, with the new addition of the Oceania chapter in Australia and New Zealand.
“I am ecstatic that we have now reached over 1000 users on the Access:VFX mentorship Prospela program,” says Emma Kolasinska, executive producer at Moonraker VFX and the mentoring scheme coordinator at Access:VFX. “It is a credit to our industry that over 80 companies have got involved and we are able to help nearly 700 mentees from the UK, North America and very soon New Zealand. I feel very proud to be part of it.”