SAE Animation student in NYC


13 Oct 2016




SAE Animation student in NYC

13 Oct 2016

Where can a career in creative media take you?

Like so many people who book a tour to visit SAE's campuses, Chris Chan’s head was filled with questions. Little did he know that lady luck was on his side – in more ways than one! Along with making the decision to change his career focus from interior design to studying animation at SAE – he would also win SAE's Book A Tour competition.

The grand prize was a trip to tour any one of SAE Institute's 54 global campuses in 28 countries.

But more on that later… back to Chris's story and his career changing decision.

Chris Chan in NYCChris Chan outside the Youtube offices in NYC

Chris was a lawyer who decided to trade in the courts to pursue a creative career. His first degree was an Associate Degree of Interior Design. Although immensely talented and thoroughly skilled in interior design, he had an epiphany on Christmas Eve 2015; he wanted to work in animation, 3D modeling and VFX. Chris decided to enrol in the Bachelor of Animation at SAE Perth.

The Book A Tour experience

Chris decided to book a tour at his local campus, SAE Institute Perth, to check out the facilities and find out more information on studying animation and was in the running to win SAE's Book A Tour competition.

“I have been interested in Animation for years. I was self-taught in some aspects of Animation. In 2007, I decided to extend my skills and got my Diploma of Screen (Animation) at SAE", Chris explained.

Swag bag from SAE NYCSwag bag from SAE NYC

“I always loved the 3D aspect of design and wanted to take it a step further and go for the Bachelor of Animation at the same school I did my diploma. I had fond memories of those days."

SAE Institute New York City

Chris had selected to visit SAE’s New York campus in his winning entry - we spoke to Chris about his experience.

 “SAE Institute NYC is a well-established campus in the very hip neighbourhood of Chelsea. They have an amazing poster that indicates where SAE has expanded to around the world.

SAE Institute is a global creative media instituteSAE Institute is a truly global creative media educator

“SAE NYC currently offers Audio and Diploma only but they intend to expand. It was all very exciting.”

When we asked Chris about the similarities between the Perth and New York campus he said, “SAE really attracts dynamic and committed talent. I always feel welcome and inspired by the people at SAE.”

Chris Chan at the SAE NYC campusBook A Tour winner, Chris Chan, with Jerry Dzerens (Audio Technology Department Chair) at the SAE NYC campus

The Big Apple

Chris also had the amazing opportunity to visit The Mill, a VFX studio, during his time in NYC. Treated to a grand tour of the studio, Chris had the opportunity to sit down with the recruitment and talent manager and a lead animator for an in-depth chat.

"The layout of the workspace was well considered [at The Mill], everything was funneling towards creating an environment that would encourage creativity to flow.” said Chris.

Other highlights from Chris’ trip were visiting Times Square, The High Line, Central Park, Chelsea Markets, The Fashion District in Soho and hunting down Pokémon.

The Mill NYCChris with Cat Gulácsy, representative from The Mills VFX studio, NYC (September 2016)

“The hotel I was staying in was surrounded by Pokéstops with lures attached. I had to turn off my Pokémon Go app in order to sleep because there were spawns every minute, even past 2am, it was insane.”

Chris listed the following rare Pokemon he caught while in NYC…

Dodrio Dodrio Pokemon


OmanyteOmanyte Pokemon


Tauros Dodrio Pokemon


MagmarDodrio Pokemon


StarmieDodrio Pokemon


MankeyDodrio Pokemon


ParasectParasect Pokemon


SlowbroSlowbro Pokemon


MagnetonMagneton Pokemon


WartortleMagneton Pokemon


SeadraMagneton Pokemon


PinsirMagneton Pokemon


Chris’s Work

Chris has just started Trimester 4 in the Bachelor of Animation.  The following work is a collaboration he created in Trimester 3 at SAE Perth.

Chris describes the project here
"This was a fun collaboration between me and two other students, David Coghlan and Ho Yin Wong. We were tasked to create an 3D environment for a game.

"In this world, an eccentric engineer/scientist has built a peculiar steampunk-style observatory but he is missing. His assistant, of his own creation, wanders through his master’s observatory to unearth clues and answers to his disappearance.

"In this building, we created a quirky world where the telescope resembled a large insect/creature. Steps lead to a control centre. The seat has dials and switches that control various areas - are colour coded and accessible only when unlocked. A spiral staircase twirls in the centre. It has no railings so one false step could be fatal."

What are the best things about animation and studying at SAE?

1. You get access to the amazing guidance of some of this country’s most talented animation teachers;
2. Collaborating with fellow student animators and cross-collaborations with other disciplines like Audio, Film, Design and Game Development;
3. A conducive environment working with other creatives;
4. The vibrant atmosphere and camaraderie amongst students.

Chris having fun in Central Park NYC

What advice would you give those students interested in studying Animation at SAE?

If you are passionate about animation, go for it! Read up about what it entails. Progress is largely self driven and you benefit more when you put in the effort to learn. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve after the course and picture yourself where you want to be after graduation.

Vote Loki posterA cool poster captured by Chris - NYC (September 2016)

Follow Chris


Want to Book a Tour and visit an SAE campus?

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Want to study Animation?

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