How an email led this Nanyang polytechnic student to have her name on the credit roll of Avengers: Endgame
First stop: Hollywood.
At 20 years old, Akshya Rameshkkumar has marked her name on not just one, but at least four Hollywood blockbusters.
All from spending six months in Los Angeles, where she was a motion graphics intern who had a role in illustrating and animating internationally-known movies.
Hooked onto design at young age
Akshya, a graduate of Nanyang Polytechnic’s diploma in Motion Graphics & Broadcast Design, said that she has always had an interest for design since she was 10 years old.
At that time, Akshya started to appreciate watching movies, which would be normal for most kids her age.
However, she also began to grow an interest in ads.
“Looking at ads kind of got my interest going at age 10. Also my hobbies like playing the piano, ice-skating and watching movies, seem to play a part in my passion for design.”
What 10-year-old Akshya didn’t know then was that she will be kicking off a career in design — in Hollywood, no less.
Internship in Hollywood
In June 2018, Akshya travelled all the way to Los Angeles, California for her six-month internship with Cantina Creative, a renowned design and visual effects studio in the U.S.
And it all started with a email.
“I emailed Cantina Creative for an internship opportunity during my second year in polytechnic. After a Skype interview, they told me I was successful. It felt so unreal!”
As a motion graphics intern in Hollywood, she got to work on major movie productions, including the likes of Bumblebee, Aquaman, Captain Marvel, and of course, Avengers: Endgame.
Even though Akshya wasn’t a full-time staff, she was trusted with a myriad of tasks including designing, animating, modelling and compositing various shots from the various movies.
Iron Man’s scenes were “complicated”
Working on huge blockbusters was nothing but a dream come true for Akshya, and Avengers: Endgame had to be one of the most memorable movies she has worked on so far.
While she can’t reveal much as to what exactly she has done due to a non-disclosure agreement, she mentioned that she was responsible for creating the original design assets as well as part of the illustration, animation, graphical user interface designs and 3D modelling work.
For example, the hands-on experience she got helped her to improve her technical artistry skills.
While she didn’t get to work on Iron Man’s scenes, she also learnt that it was complicated to film them.
Although she found it difficult at first to handle the weight of multiple big projects simultaneously and maintaining her quality of work (after all, the scenes of important characters were sort of in her hands), she didn’t regret anything at all:
“It was tough, but I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.”
And all the hard work and effort she put into working on these movies didn’t go in vain.
“It was such a thrill to see my work on the big screen as well. I even stayed behind after the movie – not to wait for any mid or post-credit scene but to check out my name in the credits.”
Her time in Hollywood, however, wasn’t all rosy.
While she said that California is full with “good people” and “amazing weather”, nothing compares to the comfort of home.
Being alone in a foreign country, it goes without saying that Akshya has had bouts of homesickness when she misses Singaporean food, as well as her family and friends.
Thankfully, that didn’t last very long.
“The people at Cantina made me feel and home and kept me going whenever I missed Singapore.”
Offered a full-time position
Her six-month internship came to an end in November 2018.
And even though she has already left the States for Singapore, it seems that she may have left a lasting impression.
After the end of her internship, Cantina Creative invited Akshya to take up a full-time position with them.
While she is grateful for the offer, she is putting that on hold for a while to explore the industry and see what suits her best.
“I’m currently working as a motion graphics artist with a local company. I’d love to learn more with them and gain exposure working with different kinds of clients first to see what works best for me.”
Top image courtesy of Nanyang Polytechnic
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