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news • 13 December 2022

Escape celebrates 20th anniversary

The last 20 years has seen an explosion in how we all use technology for entertainment and education. It’s amazing to remember 20 years ago there was no YouTube (2005), no Facebook (2004), and no LinkedIn (2003). If people needed to learn a profession, they needed to go to university or read a technical manual. 

The screen industries in the UK had already proven themselves in terms of inward investment and economic resilience, and a certain J K Rowling had written some books about a young wizard that ensured the UK film industry was a global force, and a home brew games industry had morphed and professionalised into a world beating giant. 

The only problem was talent to feed the monster. Industry railed against a university system at the time that seemed to eschew vocational or practical skills and produced graduates that needed further time-consuming training after they left their ivory towers. 

It was into this context that Escape Studios was born - an antidote that promised ‘Studio-ready graduates’ and co-created courses with some of the biggest employers in the animation, games and VFX industries, in order to teach contemporary skills and industry pipelines. Escape Studios was acquired by Pearson Plc in 2013 and became part of Pearson College London. 

That was 2002, and since then the symbiosis between Escape and industry has stayed strong. Nowhere is that more evident than in EscapePod:20, a new series of podcasts – one to celebrate each year of the anniversary. 

Listen to them and you get the sense that Escape Studios has been a presence throughout many of the major milestones of the success story that is the screen industries in the UK. Search for the podcasts on Spotify and Apple or download them

You can listen to a double Oscar winner saying how much he enjoyed working with Escape Studios; or hear how someone working for CERN’s large hadron collider changed careers by studying at Escape, or listen to what the VFX Supervisor for the James Bond films remembers about how the advent of digital effects changed filmmaking, or how one of our tutors early abiding memory of the first days of Escape at a Shepherds Bush location led them to see a mass brawl of professional wrestlers at a bar outside whilst they were learning complex 3D software. 

There are a lot of stories throughout the years, but what is striking is how far Escapees (Escape graduates) have penetrated the industry and are now happy to give back to today’s students. 

EscapePod:20 paints a picture of how at key moments of the games, VFX and computer animation industries inexorable world beating growth, our tutors and students have been at the centre of the action. The podcast series is a must for those interested in what happens behind the scenes of the film, TV and games industry during a time of unprecedented change.