Is Lighting mentor a program like "Animation Mentor"?
No, it's not a program as such. There are no assignments, it's just an opportunity for you to have contact and an open conversation with an honest professional rather than your professors or demonstrators many of whom have little or no professional experience, or it may be a little out of date
What is mentoring?
I can help with advice, we can talk through your goals, find out areas that need improvement and I can critique your work, give you tips and guidance, I am very flexible. When you graduate it is easy for the showreel you have lovingly crafted to be lost in the abyss along with all the other showreels of students graduating that year and in previous years. I can help. I wish I had had the opportunity to be mentored when I graduated, which is one of the reasons I am so passionate about mentoring.
What are you looking for in students to mentor?
There is no criteria for students, you are my client, I work for you! In fact you may not want to be a lighter at all, or doing the mentoring might make you realise that another area suits you best. Or you might decide lighting is for you and want to pursue it further. Be assured it is not my goal to convert anyone to lighting, I want what is best for the student and I have a pretty good overview of all areas of CG including the technical side.
As an experienced lighter and compositor my skills would be put to best use mentoring those that have a strong interest in lighting but who doesn't necessarily want to be a lighter, just to be better at lighting. I had no intention of being a lighter when I graduated, I was a generalist, I had no interest in specialising.
Why is the website CG mentor.co.uk?
I don't want to limit the future scope of the website. I am well connected with Senior CG artists and Compositors who may be interested in being future mentors. If you are looking for a very specific skill set in a mentor, get in touch. I may be able to help you find the right mentor for you.
How and when will mentoring take place?
Mentoring can be at any time before a deadline, during a project (any kind of Uni or personal project), for a showreel to get a job, or just throughout your final year before graduating/first year after graduating. Emailed, blogged, FaceTime/skype however you prefer to be contacted or however frequent you require. If you take up one year of mentorship then you are guaranteed that place for a year, and you can contact me about anything within that year. Annual mentoring is ideal for Students in their final year of University as the mentoring takes you past graduation and into the workforce.
And for how long?
Basically I follow your lead, as long as the mentoring falls within the set number of hours . Working by an hourly rate keeps the costs as low as possible for the student. I will let you know when the mentoring officially begins and keep a total in minutes rounding to the nearest 5 minutes. At the end of each session I will let you know how many minutes of mentoring you have left.
Can anyone apply, will everyone get a place?
Yes anyone can apply, but ideally you will have some interest in CG lighting, and be either recently graduated or in your final year of University. Due to the nature of the work and in order to give each student their allocated time it will not always be possible to offer the service to everyone who applies. There will likely be busy periods, and if you are wanting mentoring on an hourly basis, those with Annual mentoring may take priority.
I don't understand the blog? Why blog?
I have mentored through a blog before, for Bournemouth Masters students. You can take a look at that blog here: http://ma3dlighting.blogspot.co.uk (it starts at the end so if you are interested to read it all then go back in the blog archive to June 2009) Students posted their project and their questions and I give them pointers and my opinion, they kept me up to date with their progress and I would guide and advise them throughout. This blog is quite old now and obviously things are moving on, software etc, but I never focus on software so most of it holds true today, I hope you enjoy reading it, I had fun writing it!
It may seem slightly unconventional to post a critique of your work for all the world to see, but I found this to be a highly effective learning device. First of all you have to present your work, a skill in itself and something you have to do in industry on a daily basis. Most companies expect to see work in progress and give notes that you have to take on board. That is a requirement of the job, the better you are at responding to feedback the better you will get on in the workplace. Another positive is that other students can see the feedback and some of which may apply to them. I won't be spending my time re-writing similar comments and can refer students to anothers work.
Why do you want to do mentoring when you could get a job on a feature film?
Its not as glamorous as it sounds. It's just a bunch of artist working really hard at their craft, often long hours hidden in a dark room. As a mum of two little boys the aim for me personally is to be able to work flexibly, part time and do something that I enjoy in a place that I love to live. At least for now.
What other services do you offer?
As part of Lighting mentor I offer free career advice to younger students aged 14-18 years. This can be a tough time in life and making decisions about how your life is going to pan out can seem overwhelming. It is vital that this service is free for those in need.
Why does it cost so much?
It is very hard to place value on advice. I have happily spent years replying to emails from students and graduates offering my advice on showreels and CV's, without payment and I have often wondered why there is not a service for these students as there is clearly a need. But for me to dedicate time to mentoring, and by reaching out to more students, I am not able to take on the role without payment to cover my costs.