Compositor Ommelyla Gilani on returning to VFX

visual effects

We are pleased to be working with Film London as part of their Return to Work scheme, aimed at parents and carers who are looking to come back into the industry. You can find out more about the scheme, which is funded by the Screen Skills HETV Levy fund here.


With the help of the scheme Compositor Omm Giliani, who previously worked on Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures, had a paid ‘returnship’ at Bait during March. Here’s what she had to say about the opportunity, which included advice and guidance from the team at Bait and via an industry mentor.


Can you talk me through your education and career?

I graduated in 2008 from a Creative Technology (Productions) Course from the University of Glamorgan. Since graduating I have worked for the BBC, Bait and Cardiff Council in a mixture of VFX, motion graphics and editing roles.


What have you learned during your time here?


So much! I have used the software since leaving the industry and even challenge myself to create a tutorial for YouTube once a week. However the knowledge I have gained from hands on work and help from the team has been so valuable.


It’s given me the opportunity to work real footage that I would not have access to or think of recreating for practice, such as some tricky clean up. I’ve really enjoyed it and the four weeks have gone fast.


Why did you decide to apply for the ‘returnship’?


After leaving the industry for family reasons, I believed there was no way back into it within Cardiff. Not unless I had recent experience and up to date knowledge of the software, and often the positions were very inflexible. As a result I decided to pursue work in other areas instead.


I spotted the returnship on twitter, took a chance and applied to see if it was possible to go back into the area I’ve love to work in again. This placement took into account carers returning to work, something that I didn’t think was possible, so would not mention when applying for jobs. This is something that I’ve really appreciated and not had to worry about.


What other challenges have you come up against when looking to come back into the industry?


A few different things, such as:


  • Jobs being advertised where I don’t see them.
  • Jobs not being for a long enough period, as I worry that I would then be out of work at the end of the contract.
  • Jobs Fairs and events are aimed at students looking to come into the industry for the first time.
  • Not having the right connections, being out of the loop.
  • My showreel being of date and work I do in my own time not reflecting what the industry is now looking for.
  • Not having the confidence to apply for jobs, as I don’t believe I’m good enough.

Would you recommend a ‘returnship’ to others?


Yes! Film London are such a hands on team that have helped me in any way possible. They’ve provided me with a mentor who is so friendly, compassionate and available at any time over the phone. When I couldn’t attend events, they Skyped me in instead. I have been placed in front of companies such as Netflix, The Mill and Molinaire, as well as having the chance to work at Bait. On top of all that I also have a support group of people on the scheme who all help each other find work, help setting a schedule with family and tell each other about future opportunities.