Ever wonder what a work experience student gets up to on a typical week in Brown Bag? Last week we had two talented work experience students based in our Manchester studio - Anastasija Suksina and Rohit Ghosh, both studying for their GCSEs at Co-operative Academy of Manchester and Manchester Grammar School respectively.
We asked Anastasija and Rohit a few questions, to get to know them and see what gets them ticking and to give us an inside peek at what they were involved in during their work experience with us. Here's what they had to say…
Can you tell us a little about your hobbies?
Anastasija: In my spare time, I enjoy drawing or writing out story ideas - I have always wanted to create my own book, which meant that I have spent many days creating and visualising concepts for characters and worlds.
I also play video games, watch documentaries and films, and sometimes even mix audio in Fl Studio. Occasionally, I might also play my guitar or try to study code within games, but I’m still trying to master those skills.
I also thoroughly enjoy creating masks and props from paper mache or writing poems.
Rohit: I like getting up to all sorts of activities ranging from guitar or taekwondo practice, artwork for my GCSE art portfolio, or learning to make games with languages like Python or C for fun.
I’m also an Explorer Scout; I help both my own unit as well as the Cubs (as a Cubs Young Leader) to earn useful badges through the programme such as survival skills or Chief Scout Awards, whilst also trying to make it as engaging as I can for them.
What's your favourite animation? Got any artistic heroes?
Rohit: Avatar: The Last Airbender / The Legend of Korra animated series. It’s one of my favourite animations simply because of how different and engaging it is, being an anime-styled Western animation with a deep but very likable story which all ages can admire and take away morals to understand. It has a little bit for everybody, from hilarious comic relief, gripping action scenes, and probably one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever listened to.
Anastasija: I really admire @kaylasa.art on Instagram: she has such a unique style. Her sketches are lively and many of my own character designs have been inspired by her. She’d, so far, have to be my absolute favourite artist.
As for animations, I have many. Oggy and the Cockroaches would have to be one since it’s always stuck with me throughout childhood. It reminds me of Tom and Jerry – classic but timeless – which I also adore.
Tell us about your first day doing work experience with us, how did you feel?
Anastasija: Nervous, as would anyone, I’m sure. But all that gradually went away as the days went on. I progressively felt more and more like a part of this team, and I got to understand how everyone was able to work so well. I hadn’t expected Brown Bag Films to be such an excellent working force.
Rohit: On the first day, I felt very intrigued. I’ve always wondered what the full animation pipeline looks like, and I was hoping Brown Bag Films would take me through what the animation industry was really like (which they certainly did). I was also interested to see what sorts of tasks they would have me doing.
Do you feel differently now your placement has ended?
Anastasija: Yes, definitely. I believe I have a better idea of what it’s like to work professionally now, and I have a clearer understanding of what goes on behind every animation and feature film. I also feel more open and confident. I don’t think any other place could’ve demonstrated better what it’s like to collaborate and co-operate so successfully without breaking under a tight schedule. This truly was an insightful week.
Rohit: My experience here has definitely taught me the realities of the animation industry, from the full process/pipeline of concept to delivery to the nature of the various departments (particularly the Backgrounds Department I worked with). I feel my experience has been very valuable and educational in learning the nature of animation, and I can safely say I’ve definitely learned a thing or two.
Have you been introduced to any new software/skills?
Anastasija: Yes, many, though I only know the names of a few. One of which was Shotgun, used for organising shots and scenes and seeing the notes made by others. I also found out about a software used for rigging which I hadn’t known even existed.
Rohit: I’ve been heavily exposed to working with Photoshop and as time has gone on I think (with lots of help from the kind staff in the Backgrounds Department) I’ve really honed my skills throughout the week from knowing not much to being able to draw via using vectors or the brush tool.
What was the most important thing you learnt during your work experience?
Anastasija: That staying organised is key to working effectively and being patient and helpful leads to a good working spirit.
Rohit: The most important lesson I’ve learnt from this experience has been my work on Photoshop.
I’ve also learnt about the nature of a workplace, as this has been my first time doing work experience, and from this, I think I’ve learnt a lot about the responsibilities but also the more friendly side of working with all sorts of people.
What have you enjoyed the most about your experience with us?
Rohit: I personally enjoyed learning about the pipeline the most, since it gave me a good insight as to what sorts of things I would be getting up to at Brown Bag. I also really enjoyed the company of the staff; I found them to be very warm and welcoming, and open to answering any questions I had.
Anastasija: One thing that stuck out to me was the wide variety of people from different backgrounds. I felt more welcome here knowing that so many people, all separate from each other, could work together so well. I have also enjoyed getting a first-hand feel for what it’s like to be in an animation studio. I hadn’t known many of things that I do now, and that’s a plus.
Has this given you an idea of what career you would like to pursue in the future?
Anastasija: Strangely, no. I am confident that I will be picking something related to expressing creativity, but I still don’t know what that will be. Though having been in the studio has helped me understand the duties and responsibilities undertaken when working in this field of work.
Rohit: At this stage, I’m still not certain what career path I would like to pursue, but I think one in animation wouldn’t be a bad idea.
What inspired you most on your work experience and how will that inspiration impact you moving forward?
Anastasija: Seeing others draw was very inspiring. Being an art fanatic, it was very exciting being around people of similar interests. It made me feel confident that one day I would be able to show off my skills to people just like myself.
Rohit: The thing which inspired me the most was the general attitude of the workers at Brown Bag; they all work hard and care about their jobs, but it’s also clear to me they care a lot about each other too and are open to helping each other.
Going forward, I think I should take a lesson from the staff at Brown Bag; I should be hardworking and patient, but more importantly, I should be open to helping other people.
If you could sum up your time here in three words what would they be?
Rohit: Welcoming, teaching, (but most of all) fun!
Anastasija: Wow, cool place.
Are you looking to apply for work experience with an animation studio? Be sure to check out our Dos and Don'ts here!