London-based visual effects house Cinesite announced that Firtina Ozbalikci, a second-year computer science student from the University of Bath, is the winner of its 2012 Inspire Internship program. Ozbalikci is the winner of Inspire’s first technical effects internship, launched this year to encourage skilled computer programmers to consider a career in visual effects.
Ozbalikci was chosen from hundreds of applicants. “Firtina’s application showed a real determination to investigate graphics programming beyond what he’d been taught in his computer science course,” said Alexander Savenko, head of pipeline at Cinesite. “He demonstrated a keen interest in the subject and went far beyond what we asked in the initial brief, taking it in interesting and novel directions.”
Ozbalikci has won a six-week paid placement at Cinesite which will take place this summer. Under the supervision of Savenko and senior pipeline technical director, Don Boogart, Ozbalikci will work on integrating Cinesite’s core libraries into new technology and developing Cinesite’s real-time rendering capabilities.
“This placement will give Firtina the opportunity to see how graphics programming can be used in a fast-paced production environment, and learn what it’s like to work with artists and creative supervisors under tight production deadlines,” Savenko said. “Developing cutting-edge technology into easy-to-use production tools is no mean feat, and this experience will give him a taste of what’s required.”
“I’m honored to be selected as the winner as I’ve wanted to work in the entertainment industry since I was young,” said Ozbalikci. “I’m very excited about the prospect of learning from the experts at Cinesite and having this opportunity to contribute to the company.”
“We see a distinct lack of skilled programmers coming into the visual effects industry, which is why we decided to offer a technical effects internship this year,” said Antony Hunt, managing director at Cinesite. “Programmers play a vital role in creating the tools we need to deliver stunning visual effects. We’re looking forward to showing Firtina what it’s like to work in this world-class industry, and we hope we’ve inspired other talented programmers to consider visual effects as an exciting career option.”
Previous winners of Inspire visual effects internships have worked on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and John Carter, and are currently working on World War Z and Skyfall.