Former Visual Effects (VFX) students are part of the talent behind films including the latest Star Wars episodes, Harry Potter, Blade Runner 2049, Inception, Jungle Book and space movies First Man and Gravity. The course, which has been running for more than 10 years, teaches the techniques to create the visual effects to films using the latest technology.

The university held a VFX festival as part of the Bolton Film Festival, which was held at The Light Cinema in Bolton Market Place in early October.

College students, aged 16-18, from across the North West had the amazing opportunity to listen to industry speakers which included our graduates, as well as a first-hand tour of the VFX course.

Matt Lilley, Assistant Teaching Professor and VFX Lecturer, said: “There are great opportunities for VFX work in the UK right now. The UK has the largest concentration of Oscar-winning VFX studios in the world. A lot of the VFX you see in many of the Hollywood films is actually done here in the UK and the last six Oscars for VFX have been won by UK-based VFX companies.”

One former student on the university’s VFX course, Louisa Ellison, is now a Graduate Production Assistant at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), one of the most famous VFX houses responsible for the visual effects in movies such as the ground-breaking Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park, as well as the Avengers series and the soon-to-released Star Wars – The Rise of Skywalker.


Louisa said: “I’m so grateful for the encouragement and support from the amazing lecturers at Bolton. Being taught by people with industry experience really shows through their teaching methods and knowledge of the industry. The course stays current with software that is constantly advancing and develops students ready to go straight into the industry as prepared as possible. Bolton sets up some great opportunities with guest speakers and studio visits, which proves they do everything they can to help you get to the next step in starting your career. They also continue to help and guide even after you graduate. I wouldn’t have got where I am now without everyone involved in the course. I can’t thank them enough for keeping me focused.”

Former student Robert Collier, now an FX Artist at MPC Film Montréal, which has provided VFX for Maleficent, The Lion King, Dora and the Lost City of Gold and The Jungle Book, said: “The lecturers are incredibly knowledgeable on all aspects of the VFX pipeline and are passionate about passing on this knowledge. They are up-to-date on current industry trends and adapt the course and teaching to be in-line with this. The course has a really great community vibe and everyone is there to push each other to be the best they can be.”

Another graduate, Adam Jackson, who works as a Compositor at Blue Bolt, the company which worked on Game of Thrones and Peaky Blinders, said: “The VFX course at Bolton is a real gem. The dedicated lecturers taught me all I know about visual effects and gave me the tools and direction to thrive within the industry.

Find out more about the course or see the course Instagram account.


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