Michael Coyle: From student to Prop Master
Well done BA (Hons) Model Making & Visual FX student Michael Coyle who this year worked on the film ‘The Wilds’. From a member of the first graduating class to Prop Master, we were excited to hear more about what his career has been like since graduating this year. Read on to find out more:
Tell us about your work for ‘The Wilds’
My job role on the wilds was prop master so I was in charge of buying and making props as per the script and the organisation of said props to be ready for each scene. I worked closely with John Noble in production design and also the director who was keen to make props, one being a 4ft cage. I got to make a rabbit sculpture made of MDF which was painted to look like rusty metal for our actor to pretend to work on with the use of an angle grinder. John came up with the idea of attaching a piece of metal the sculpture to give off sparks, it looked great in person and on camera.
How did you get involved in the project?
Throughout the course I have been involved in many work experience opportunities which have allowed me to gain industry contacts and through working on Lore with John I got to work for the producer, Adam Boabda who is also the producer of the Wilds who contacted me to work on this project.
What did you study and when?
I studied Visual effects and model making from 2018-21. I was involved in the first ever year of the course so it was fun and challenging to be the first to carve out the identity of VEMM without previous years to go by and set the bar essentially.
Tell us about what you are doing now in your creative field/ any projects you are working on?
After graduating I have worked on a number of short and feature films one being Those who remain which is set to be released in 2022 I created large standing stones that feature heavily in the film. Another being Lore which is an anthology horror film comprising several shorts. I was involved in a short with John and also the bookends to the film which was shot later. It was a great challenge as it was the first time I have been the head of the art department. I am now working alongside a fellow past student of production design Billy Cessford at his workshop where we make props for events, one being the monkeys you may see for the Hartlepool festival of illustration.
How was The Northern School of Art special for you?
The northern school of art allowed me to gain first hand experience in the industry where I got to work on exciting projects with fantastic crews. I made friends with fellow students and lecturers and I know that I am always welcome back to visit. I got to also collaborate with other creatives in the university such as production design and film and TV where I created props for their end of year films which was really enjoyable to work with keen individuals of their respective fields and I hope to work with them again in the future.
Any advice for future creatives?
Stick in, be willing to put the time in as it shows a good work ethic which is what employers look for. Allow yourself to get out of your comfort zone, University is a great place to learn but also a time to make mistakes and learn from them! and lastly invest in yourself not only in time I.e learning from other industry professionals but also the kit and tools that you will bring to industry.
If you are interested in the wide world of VFX and Model Making our exciting degree might be for you, find out more about it here.