Aya Al-bayati, junior virtual studio developer, dock10
Talk us through an average day in your role.
Every day is different. I started at dock10 in September as a junior virtual studio developer – we have so many clients and different projects that you don’t actually know what your day is going to be like until you actually arrive in the morning. I’m working on one main virtual studio project that will film in dock10 (but I’m not allowed to talk about it!). At the same time, I help out with other projects, helping to remodel environments.
How did you get started in the media industry?
I graduated earlier this year with a degree in Computer Games Art from Teeside University. I love the games industry but wanted to explore other options too – and I came across this job opening at dock10. I applied and got an interview, and they were so accommodating. I was honest and told them I didn’t know much about the TV industry, but they said they would teach me all about it. I took a leap of faith, and I am so glad that I did!
What training did you have before entering the industry?
After high school, I first went to Durham University to study biomedical science. But after my first year, I realised it wasn’t for me. I left the course and took a year off, and started to look into 3D modelling for games. I took online courses and found them fascinating and just wanted to learn more. So, I went to Teesside University and studied for a BA in computer games art. Even though the course was for games, Teesside University always said the skills we were learning could be applied to many other industries. The degree sets you up for a diverse career path.
Why do you enjoy working in the industry?
We work on something different each day, which means the work is never boring. And the TV industry is really interesting – it’s amazing to see how many people are involved in the making of the shows at dock10. When you’re watching TV, you never realise how much work goes into it behind the scenes. I’m also getting lots of support here: if I don’t understand anything or if I need help with something, I can ask lots of questions – the team will explain and help me work through things. I also enjoy going on set to learn about studio production, from the keying process through to camera calibrations. I know about the modelling side of things from my degree, but not so much about the TV industry – so it has been really interesting getting trained in the TV side of things.
What piece of advice would you offer someone looking to explore a role similar to yours?
Don’t worry about trying something new. Don’t let the thought of having a go overwhelm you. I’ve been so lucky to get a job at dock10 – they are so helpful and accommodating. I’m so glad I went for it.