Has there been a moment in your life when you looked back at your study period and wondered whether you made the right choice? After investing yourself so much into a particular course, what do we generally desire? A flourishing career right? A comfortable lifestyle with a high paying job and plenty of time at hand to enjoy what we earn. But is that what we usually get at the end of our studies?
I can speak on behalf of the 3D animation and VFx students- Its definitely not what they lead us to dream.
The Indian education system has become increasingly commercialised. The extent to which deception is used to lure prospective students into the Animation and Vfx institutes is unimaginable. The false promises of landing a golden job before the completion of the three-year advance diploma have fooled a lot of students from across the length and breadth of the vast country.
The lack of a merit-based entrance to these courses has led to the bulk entrance of relatively medium to low meritorious students into such career paths without realising where it is leading.
Students, especially from the interiors, pay the extremely high course fees (sometimes through student loans) hoping to get out of the clutches of the financial hardships (what irony!) by following their passion of working on Hollywood projects.
At the end of three years, the students find themselves stuck with two options- either wait forever for a more lucrative job offer or accept the one that pays less than the maid’s income. Instead of waiting endlessly, a new trend has developed nowadays. After completing the three-year course, they go in for the specialisation courses in the hope of getting more job offers. At the end of it, it’s all the same once again. Some students accept the low-paying job offers in the hope that the situation would improve with time because they are being associated with renowned names. But then, they have to face the dark scene behind the glorious industry (more about this in the next post).
I am not trying to be discouraging here. Just doing my bit to show you the harsh truth of 3D animation and Vfx industry in India. In spite of the above-mentioned scenarios, we do have some students who grab quite a good amount as initial salary packages (Don’t start thinking about the IT packages here plz!). But then, those are the students who were truly passionate about their work, who kept the creative spark alive despite everything. They are the students who know what they want in life and work hard towards achieving it. If there would have been entrance tests for such courses, these students would have been in the creamy layer.
So, you see where this is leading? Yes, the 3D animation and VFx industry is evolving in India and it will take you pure dedication and hard work to reach to the dream career you were shown when you first stepped in the Institute. My advice to all those creative young minds is not to get fooled by the false promises. Research the field of your interest before choosing the course you want to study. Instead of investing the precious years of your life in the three-year courses that teach you a bit of every 3D related software, go for the short term specialised courses directly. They will cost you less – both time and money wise. Then spend few dedicated months on developing your showreel. Be creative and make it your masterpiece. Take guidance from your instructors, they are always helpful once they see the fire and passion in you. You have paid so much for the course, utilise the resources of your institute. Instead of hanging out at the local cafes, form a like-minded group of friends and spend your time in the computer labs more. Remember at the end of the day, it is you who can pave your way to a bright future.
My best wishes to all the aspiring 3D animation and VFx artists out there 🙂