Ultan Courtney ASSET recipient talks about the Benefits of the Scheme.

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

“The ASSET scheme afforded me the financial assistance I needed to fund a specialised training programme in the field of 3D, Animation & Visual Effects. It’s no secret that self-initiative is key to success in the creative industry. Although I don’t claim to be a success, I am proud to have made a substantial leap forward with the assistance of the ASSET Scheme.

I’ve heard that in the entertainment industry, you are only as good as your last job to generate momentum. The problem that the ASSET scheme appears to address for me is what happens when nobody else can supply you with a life raft to bridge this funding deficit. If you are about to embark on an upskilling initiative or if you intend to commit to a new career path for the very first time, the ASSET scheme offers the facility for your vision to inspire trust from Screen Training Ireland. Having failed numerous times to achieve funding, I discovered the secret is to have every aspect of your plan solid to the point where you are committed to go with or without the help of a third party. At that point it’s difficult for anyone not to take you seriously.

The turning point for me was on Saturday 21st September 2013 when Screen Training Ireland organized a fantastic event at the lighthouse theatre – the screening of Elysium followed by a masterclass with Peter Muyzers it’s visual effects supervisor. I was so engrossed with the quality and comradery of Image Engine, the main VFX vendor that I asked him where he found his graduates. Where on earth do these people come from? He suggested two schools, one of which was Vancouver Film School. It offered a programme broad enough that I could direct and produce my own signature demo reel. I knew I would learn best if I was producing a work of art or a clear vision. Otherwise I could risk losing heart in an entire year of scripted exercises.

As fate would have it, the school offered a full scholarship competition to study at their 3D, Animation and Visual Effects Course in the form of a 90 second film competition illustrating why you deserved to win. I took two weeks off work, scripted a short piece that sandwiched every relevant professional or unprofessional side project I had worked at in the preceding years, roped in my audio design collegue, and somehow won. Broadsheet also played an important role in clocking up votes.

By the time I had applied to the ASSET Scheme, I had everything set in motion except the very basics – travel expenses, accommodation and equipment hire. It was with the assistance of a scheme like this that I had just enough of a safety net that I could convert a terribly expensive risk into a more affordable and feasible educational experience.

Many Thanks to Screen Training Ireland for their continued Support and Assistance.”

Ultan Courtney, Visual Effects Artist & Motion Graphics Designer

You can see the final reel, “Aethernaut” on Vimeo by Ultan Courtney: https://vimeo.com/139518250

Linkedin: https://ca.linkedin.com/pub/ultan-courtney/15/ba1/69a