As an architect, Josephine Ross used to build film sets, the film industry has gripped her ever since. Now she’s studying Animation/Effects Producing. Here’s her story.
What did you do before (studies, training, experience through jobs and internships)?
I quickly studied architecture and urban planning after school and worked in a very ambitious office in Stuttgart after graduating with a bachelor's degree. There I was mainly responsible for the 3D work. Later, this also helped me a lot in my VFX and animation work. However, my passion for film attracted me to Munich, to a small but very fine production company (enigma film gmbh), where I gained my first experience in film production. It quickly became clear to me that I didn't want to leave this industry anymore. Since I had already built set designs at the Filmakademie during my architecture studies in Stuttgart, I knew the good reputation worldwide and the structure of my studies in Ludwigsburg and therefore wanted to study there.
What appealed to you about AEP studies?
The work behind the scenes. The collaboration with artists and the urge to learn how to become a good AEP student. Working in animation and VFX is different from working in real film. It was a whole new field. Organizing the artists, calculating shots that are created on the computer, financial aspects of animation films and career opportunities after graduation. All these points are topics that are dealt with only minutely outside Animationsinstitut.
What is special about Animationinstitut?
We are a family. The principle of the open door is lived here every day and no matter what happens, you will always find an open ear here. You are simply at home. In addition, it is the lectures (teachers) who present their experiences first-hand from the industry. Every student has the chance to learn from the best.
Wonderful World was one of the trailers of FMX 2019. Josy worked on this transmedial project as a producer.
What did your everyday life at Animationsinstitut look like?
I come to the office at half past nine in the morning and, depending on the status of the project, I have dailies (daily meetings) to start the day for the artists. I have a lot of contact with the teams of my project, as well as with sponsors and supporters. The planning and organization of the individual artists plays an enormous role in the everyday life of an AEP student. The door to our office is practically never closed. In case of problems, artists, directors and cameramen come to me. That's what makes it so attractive. I am involved in the individual projects at all times. This is the only way a project can be advanced. Since I focus on VFX, I still have the opportunity to work on the set. A perfect combination of office and set work.
In addition, there are lessons with outstanding lecturers, regular weeklies (weekly meetings) where I can present my daily progress and mentorings (professional consulting) where specific projects are discussed with the world's leading professionals in the industry. But of course, daily contact with so many people also has the advantage of being surrounded by incredibly talented people with whom you can enjoy your evening beer from time to time.
What are you taking with you from your studies at Animationsinstitut in general / AEP in particular?
Working with people. You should never underestimate how important it is to be a good person and a good colleague. As a producer you always work with different people. They all have their own peculiarities, different lives and maybe their own problems. We are the compass that has to find out how everyone is ticking and what everyone needs in order to work efficiently. Someone once told me that we are not surgeons in the end: If we make mistakes, the world won't end. Everyone should have fun at work and enter the office in the morning with a smile. That's what I'm taking with me, because Animationsinstitut practicing exactly that.
Everyone should have fun at work and enter the office in the morning with a smile. That's what I'm taking with me, because Animationsinstitut practicing exactly that.Josephine Ross
What are you going to do now or after your studies?
After my studies I would like to start my career in one of the renowned and big VFX companies. And I'd rather go abroad. I hope to find a job in North America. But there's also a great company in Berlin that I'm very interested in and whose appeal I can hardly resist.
Why should I apply for the AEP program at Animationsinstitut?
Because it might change your life and open the door to an unbelievable future. You should be able to work hard and love this job fervently. But if someone has these prerequisites, AI is the right place for you.
What do you recommend to potential applicants?
Be courageous, dare to apply. It's not witchcraft, you can learn everything, especially here at AI and never forget that despite the outstanding reputation in the public and the many publications there are people behind this institute who love the same as you: movies, unlimitedly, no matter if animation, live-action or VFX.