Janete Domingues

Film Technology and Visual Effects BSc (Hons)

Janete chose BCU for its state-of-the-art film technology facilities, and she left with the tools and skills needed to excel as a VFX production manager. So far, Janete’s in-demand skills and experience have taken her all over the world, and nowadays, she is thriving at Rodeo FX in Montreal, Canada, where she has been behind the scenes on exciting projects for the likes of Netflix, Apple TV and Cartoon Network. 

“I took a gap year before starting university as I didn't feel ready at the time. It ended up being a good decision because the course was restructured slightly. It had gone from students being evaluated through written exams, to being all practical exams, which suited me a lot better. It was also the year when Lianne Forbes, one of my lecturers, started working at the university, and she later became a valuable mentor for me when I went out into the industry.

My biggest reason for choosing BCU was the amazing facilities. We had a lot of spaces that we could use for our benefit during the course, including study areas, equipment to film with and computers. . The lecturers were all enthusiasts of the subjects they were teaching too, so, it was great for when I needed to pick their brains!

I managed to do various jobs throughout my time at BCU, including an assistant lecturer and being a virtual host for open days, alongside my part-time job, which were all opportunities that I had to gain skills that would later help me land my first job in the industry.

At the start of my final year of my course, I decided to pursue production as a career path. From there onwards, I tried to find anything there was to take on a production role on a university assignment, or anything at that capacity, to have a perspective of what it would be like to manage people, budgets and schedules.

Before the end of my university course in 2020, I landed a job as a Production Assistant in London that later fell through because of Covid-19. It wasn't until the end of that year that I managed to land another job, which took me to Denmark to work in 2D animation.

It was a very exciting time for me; new country, new job, new people. The company was small, and the projects were short format. They trained me up and later got me working on very fun projects, which were mainly commercial content for the gaming industry.

Later that year, I got promoted to Production Manager and by the end of the year I had been scouted by MPC for a position at their London Office. So, I went back to the UK and back to working on what I had studied for, VFX. There was a big learning curve for me for the first six months as I had gone from working in a small studio to one of the biggest and oldest VFX studios in the industry. I got to work on award winning shows whilst working alongside really talented people.

My contract came to an end, and I decided to move to another studio, Rodeo FX in Montreal, Canada. Nowadays, I’m still at Rodeo FX as a VFX Production Manager. I've had a chance to work on iconic shows, including a childhood favourite show of mine, Avatar: Last Airbender, as well as some really cool projects for Netflix, Apple TV, Riot Games and Cartoon Network.

A typical day for me starts with setting project priors, and these will typically be based on deadlines or anything urgent that needs solving. Then, we usually have a team meeting, where we go over priors for the day, issues and deadlines. My days are full of meetings, it'll either be to catch up with supervisors and coordinators for each department, talking with the resources team about show crew, or chats with the producer to discuss project progress, and sometimes, typically during delivery time, attending dailies to check on work progress.

In between those, there's a few tasks that I need to do throughout the week such as scheduling, shotgrid cleaning up, or crew planning, and checking emails is a big part of my role, whether it is to reply to a client's email or pass important information on to the team.

I still pinch myself with how much I've able to do and accomplish in since graduating. There's definitely been ups and downs, but I believe growth comes with having to step outside of your comfort zone and facing challenges. So far, it’s all been rewarding for me.

In this industry, there is often pressure, long hours and different hurdles to overcome on every project and even though there's now a lot of courses and books about managing people and managing productions, it's a job that you learn a lot by doing, which means, especially at the start, that you'll make mistakes and often feel lost.

However, remembering to be kind to yourself, having a mentor or a work colleague that you can talk to whenever you have a rough day, are some ways to overcome these challenges. Also, try to keep up with the latest information about your industry, software, or learn new skills that could help you overcome the challenges.

The past few years have been filled with amazing opportunities, from moving abroad and living in different countries to working with some of the biggest studios in the industry, all of which I'm very proud of.

Long term, I hope to keep growing in the industry, working on exciting shows with amazing teams and get the opportunity to attend premieres and award shows.

My advice to anyone considering studying at BCU would be to take every opportunity that you get during your course, whether that is work experience or attending industry events so you can start networking. Take advantage of the facilities and resources available to you during your studies, they are amazing! Set yourself a goal to focus on making it happen by being persistent, consistent and open minded; I never thought I would end up in Denmark for my first job in the industry and it was all because I was open minded and eager to start working in my field.

When you graduate, starting out can be tough and you might be rejected, but that's where you'll learn to be resilient. It's also important to know what your boundaries and values are, no matter if you're a beginner or experienced professional, as this will help you when trying to negotiate for a salary or benefits, or even on your search for a company. If you meet with a potential employer that won't be willing to meet in the middle or consider your boundaries, chances are, they are not worth working for.

For me, I AM BCU means being creative and innovative to push the limits to achieve the highest quality work. It's also being collaborative and achieving success together.”