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Reflections: Women's History Month 2022 at Jellyfish Pictures

A recent study examined women working in visual effects. The report, Invisible in Visual Effects, is a qualitative investigation including interviews with women in VFX as well as industry decision-makers. Results from the analysis demonstrate the difficult struggle facing women in the industry.

Across 400 top-grossing films from 2016 to 2019, women received 21.6% of all VFX credits. This is a ratio of 3.6 men to every 1 woman working in VFX. Additionally, there was no change over time, with 20.8% of credits awarded to women in 2016 and 22.6% of credits in 2019.

Looking back on the past month, we wanted to take a moment to reflect and share a few of our interviews with some of the amazing talent here at Jellyfish Pictures. Role models are essential to encourage young people to pursue a career in the art of visual storytelling. Below, you will find quotes from those excelling in their craft and gain inspiration from their stories.

What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

Natalie Llewellyn - Managing Director - Originals

It's an opportunity to celebrate and give thanks to women past and present who have paved the way for change and equal opportunities or been the change-makers.

Suleeko Abdi - Concept Artist

To me it means visibility in the spaces where it's common and sadly normalised to not exist. It also means to appreciate the steps, big and small, that past women had taken in order for me to be able to do what I'm able to do.

Daniel Vera Rodriguez - Lead Python Developer

It's a very important month but I think this shouldn't be just a month. I hope someday it won't be necessary because the role of women in the world will be recognized by everyone.

Growing up, were you surrounded by influential women? Who inspired you to become who you are today?

Sarah Tanner - Director of Operations

My family- mother and grandmother I would think- are both pragmatic but caring people with strong values, very strong work ethic and belief that if you tried your hardest that was the best you could do and you’d have no regrets.

Daniel Vera Rodriguez - Lead Python Developer

Definitely, my mom, of course. But I've found some very influential female characters in movies (like 'Chihiro' from 'Spirited Away' or every female main character of the Studio Ghibli movies) or comics (like 'Martha' from the spanish comic 'Superlopez').

Sarah Juniper - Senior Compositor

My Mother. She overcame polio, lived through the second World War, was a divorced single mother of four, and gave her spare time to help the WRVS and a local day centre for the elderly.

What advice would you give to women that want to work in animation and production?

Natalie Llewellyn - Managing Director - Originals

Do it! Be bold, be authentic and follow your dreams. And when you get there, put the work in.

Hayley Adams - Junior Modeller

If it's something that you are passionate about, do it! Work dynamics are always changing, the only variable you can control is if you are part of the team

Suleeko Abdi - Concept Artist

Don't sacrifice your authenticity or break yourself into bite size pieces simply to exist in spaces where you're not visible. Be present as whole, embrace the elements that make you different because your existence will someday become someone else's inspiration.

What qualities make an excellent leader?

Adheena George - Crew/HR Manager

For me, a good leader is always a good human being first. Genuinely caring for the well being of others, someone who believes that they grow by helping others grow and a person who leads by example are qualities I believe speak of great leadership.

Sarah Tanner - Director of Operations

Confidence and self-belief that we can achieve. Honesty, fairness, kindness, giving time to others as well as directing. Not being afraid to make difficult decisions. Organisational skills to allow clear direction and communication to the team - not being too proud to call on help/expertise to support and guide to allow you to make informed decisions. Gut instinct and listening to it! Listen, genuinely listen to others and their needs. Know and understand the needs of those around you and what makes them tick.

Natalie Llewellyn - Managing Director - Originals

Humility, passion, purpose plus the ability to listen, take action and accept that with success comes failure.

What advice would you give to your younger self about success in the workplace?

Mary Broome - Talent Acquisition Manager

Be confident of your skills and knowledge, and trust your own decisions/opinions.

Hayley Adams - Junior Modeller

Definitions of success change, just like people. Become in tune with yourself and don't be afraid to change when you feel a shift. Don't stay locked into old values that don't fit the new you.

Sarah Tanner - Director of Operations

There are always options- sometimes they aren't always great options, but if you aren’t happy don’t moan about it, change it. Surround yourself with people that provide you energy, not that sap your energy!

Through this journey, we also took the time to recognise how we are already focusing on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Having an inclusive workforce is a meaningful reflection of the world we live in and allows us to authentically deliver a diverse range of production content. Without this inclusivity, there would be a major loss of untapped talent and potential in an industry that already has a shortage of recognised talent. We support hiring initiatives and apprenticeship schemes that attract candidates from under-represented groups, and recently offered two paid internships through The Secret Story Draw.

Some of our most rewarding outreach has been inviting young people from mostly disadvantaged backgrounds into the studio to learn. This not only raises industry awareness but also gives us the opportunity to provide career advice about how to pursue specific career pathways. As well as working locally to make a difference and ensure we are using our presence as a positive, we are active members of Access VFX and Speakers For Schools.

Here, at Jellyfish Pictures, we celebrate diversity every day, not just one month out of the year.

If you missed our Women’s History Month series, make sure to check out our socials for details.

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Would you like to join us? See our openings here.