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Especially Generalistic

Especially Generalistic

When beginning a career in post production (at least at the time I graduated some years ago) it’s fairly clear that from the outset that there are two obvious routes to go down:

1 ) Drop everything and head to London to Roto/Paint, be part of a massive team working on one thing with individual input being very minor for something much bigger than you. 

OR

2 ) Stay a little more local, keep pushing a multitude of skills and become a generalist across motion graphics and visual effects, go smaller, and have a more measurable impact.

Whilst some people fit the first option down to a tee it is the last thing a generalist wants to do, there’s nothing more mind numbing than rotoscoping, slowly melting your eyes and gaining early onset RSI from that Wacom pen glued to your hand. Being a generalist gives you the ability to mix it up, keep it fresh and work on far more interesting output, whilst keeping you interested in your craft and always honing your skills. I’m not easily bored but drawing around Batman’s right arm for 60 frames to say ‘I worked on The Dark Knight’ is just not a brag that pulls me in.


Multi skilled people can often be overthinkers (Just typing this I am thinking about, thinking about typing it) We want to try a slice of everything and feel out what fits well, rather than dropping learnt skills in favour of beefing up others. There is merit in both, but for me being a generalist is where I feel happiest. Growing up with a family full of do’ers & try’ers has instilled me with that want, to try and learn anything that I see anyone else able to do.  

Starting at Wordley I soon realised that the generalist route was an excellent decision. The building was filled with very similar people, and this, for me, is why we are still here knocking out wonderful work every day. Working side by side with both specialists and people like myself I felt at home here as I stepped into the role, with a variety of fresh but practiced skills. I absorbed information from those that had some years on me and had a crack at anything I felt was even remotely within my skill set. It has to be said, that seeing your first bit of something graphic, 3D, visual effects or animation flying into frame, sitting there at home smiling, and knowing you made it, and there it is, is a wonderful thing. Granted the novelty wears off a bit when you hear the voice over and dub that you previewed in After Effects approximately 90 times before hitting go on that ‘Final’ render, but the hunger is still there to create great stuff and push my learning. Working with a strong team of both generalists and specialists has helped me develop over my years here and I continue to learn all the time. 

 

So here is a nod to all those slightly unsure generalists, be confident in your skills, push them all and know that there is a place for you. Keep it interesting, try it all, and if you find one thing you love then by all means specialise. If someone can do it then there is no reason why you can’t have a crack yourself and here’s to hoping you create beautiful things in the process!

Motion Designer at Wordley

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