Dave Downes: Hello Joel, thanks for taking the time to meet with me today.
Joel Morillo: My pleasure, Dave.
Dave: You’re awfully busy, so I’ll get right to it, what made you choose Platt?
Joel: I chose Platt because it broke away from the traditional schools where you waited 2 years just to get to your chosen course of study. At the time I was still unsure what career path I wanted to follow, so being able to jump straight in was a huge deal for me. I was also drawn to the Platt approach where the studies focused on both art and technology.
Dave: What did you enjoy most about Platt?
Joel: The teachers were all fantastic, also being exposed to several different disciplines was great because it allowed me to realize where my aptitudes were and how to best develop those skills.
Dave: What skills did you learn at Platt that you feel help you stand apart from your peers?
Joel: This may sound cheesy but by far the most important skill I learned at Platt was time management. You can be the best artist in the world but if you can’t make deadlines you won’t be employed for long. Being able to assess how much work can be done in the allotted amount of time is by far the most important skill to have.
On that same note, another skill I honed at Platt that people take for granted is the ability to be creative on demand. Anyone can get a burst of inspiration and create something. It’s a totally different thing to show up sleepy on a Monday morning and say “I’m going to be creative for the next 8 hours.”
Dave: Graduate Joel speaking to Day 1 Joel, what is that conversation like?
Joel: It would mostly just be me telling myself something along the lines of “You’ll be learning for the rest of your life and can’t learn everything at once, so take the time to really understand what you’re about to learn and don’t worry about what comes next.”
Dave: Who/what is someone/something that inspired you?
Joel: I’m always inspired by top notch work. I usually keep an eye on websites like http://motionographer.com/ and http://www.artofthetitle.com/, I see high quality work and it inspires me to be better.
Dave: Where are you working at now?
Joel: Im currently working at Zenimax Online Studios as a video editor, capture artist and motion designer. Most of my work is supporting The Elder Scrolls Online.
Dave: What is it like working there?
Joel: It’s been great. Being a capture artist is pretty interesting. You still need to apply all the same principles of cinematography that you would use on a movie set but there are a few extra challenges that come along when working with games. It’s a very interesting puzzle to solve.
Working here is kind of a dream gig for me. I’ve been a gamer all my life and working in the gaming industry is something I thought was out of my reach at one point. When I first went to Platt I went with the intention of pursuing a 3D degree. Turned out I was not very good at it. However camera work, editing and video production in general came pretty naturally. So I just assumed I’d never work in the game industry, but being able to use my skill set in my dream industry has been amazing.
Dave: Anything to add?
Joel: The best piece of advice I can give anyone trying to become a creative professional right out of school is make sure your demo reel and/or portfolio is current and ready to show at any moment. All too often I’ve asked people for samples of their work and they have nothing to show. You never know when an opportunity will present itself and you need to be ready!
Dave: Thanks for your time.
Joel: Thank you.