27.10.17 | Digital Production Mentoring Fund

Screen Training Ireland and Animation Skillnet are launching an international Mentoring Fund for VFX, Animation and other forms of digital production. This initiative will offer professionals at all levels and in all digital disciplines an opportunity to avail of mentoring supports or to engage a mentor at key stages in their professional development.

The mentor or mentoring arrangement can be local or international and the mentoring can take a number of forms, from a defined number of consultations/calls over a certain period, to international work placement, to shadowing or face-to-face career clinics.

Mentoring can work in different ways, depending on the upskilling requirements, structure, and focus. Applicants may consider:

Business Mentoring (emerging or mid-career producers/business owners): A number of meetings/consultations over a defined period with an animation/VFX business leader.
Creative Mentoring: Different mentoring interventions based on mentee needs and mentor availability, e.g. consultation; portfolio/showreel evaluation and feedback; shadowing; international work placement.
Technical mentoring: Focused mentoring to enhance specific technical skills, e.g. shadowing; international work placement; one-to-one tuition.
Ireland has a wealth of digital production talent operating at the very highest levels of the industry locally and internationally. The Irish talent diaspora is well-positioned and hugely committed to supporting the continued growth of the Irish audiovisual industry through bespoke talent development initiatives such as this. Screen Training Ireland and Animation Skillnet can access an extensive professional network in order to identify suitable mentors, but applicants are also encouraged to identify or suggest their own mentors.

Scott Pritchard, Compositing Supervisor with ILM London, said: ‘This mentoring scheme is a superb opportunity to assist Irish trainees with a passion for visual effects, and guide them through the first steps in their careers. I’m looking forward to passing on knowledge I’ve gained over 15 years in the industry to help the next generation of Irish visual effects artists.’

Stephen Fagan, Managing Director, Treehouse Republic said: ‘The Animation and VFX industry is maturing in Ireland and with that, the requirement for both business and creative focused individuals to become leaders in their field has increased. The growth of our industry will heavily rely on schemes such as this. The fostering and nurturing of talent through an organised mentoring programme is a major step towards the long term growth of the animation and VFX industry in Ireland. Strategically developing our leaders through mentoring ensures that the knowledge and experience we have gained will serve as stepping stones to those coming behind us, solidifying Ireland as a center of excellence in the years to come.’

An initial pilot fund will be open from October 2017 to December 2017, with further funding rounds throughout 2018. Full details about the fund and application process will be available on the Screen Training Ireland and Animation Skillnet websites in the coming weeks.

Image: THE BREADWINNER, Cartoon Saloon.

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