In FSBlog’s Just Launched feature, we talk to brand new Full Sail grads, right out the door from graduation, about what’s next for them as they head out into the workforce. This month’s Just Launched graduate is Azadeh Iranban.
Name: Azadeh Iranban
Degree Program: Computer Animation
Graduation Date: May 8, 2015
First Job: I’m from Iran, and I actually started working in high school. In Iran, the education system is different. You choose a program when you start high school, then you take a placement test to determines your eligibility. I love art, so I went to the artist’s school, and that first year I spent a lot of time working in the photography studio. I love taking pictures, so I started working as a wedding photographer designing albums for brides and grooms. It was such a fun experience. I learned to ask clients what they wanted, and tell them what I needed from them. I was kind of shy at the time, so for me it was a good way to build up my confidence and learn to express myself.
Making the Move: After high school, I continued to study art in college. There are no animation programs in Iran, so I focused on multimedia. I’ve always been a little bit rebellious, and in my third year I created an animation based on some of the cultural and political problems in my country. After that, they expelled me from university. A little while later I was on CG Society looking for other programs, and I saw an ad for Full Sail. I requested information and the International office got back to me right away, and they helped me start the process of getting my paperwork together. Since there’s no American embassy in Iran, I had to go through Dubai. Some of my friends in Iran are scared to come to a new country. But for me, because I went through so many experiences back in Iran, I knew I could handle it, even though it was hard sometimes.
When I got to Winter Park, I couldn’t speak English, so I spent 4 months in the ESL program at Full Sail, The instructors in that program are amazing. They teach you a new language the way a kid would learn a new language, through projects and games. For one project, I had to show how to cook a food from my country. It’s really a good program, and it kind of forced me to talk to Americans more. The first time I ordered pizza on my phone it was such a big deal!
Before Graduation: During my time at Full Sail I focused on rigging and animation. I love rigging because it’s that concept of being one hundred or zero; it either works to it doesn’t. And I love figuring out how something is going to work, because it’s so satisfying when it’s done. For me, the final product is the most important thing.
Short-Term Goals: I’d love to work on a movie and then be able to go to a theater and see people laughing at my character, or crying with my character. That would be the most satisfying thing ever, if I could get that feedback from an audience. To be able to say I’ve done something meaningful is my ultimate goal.
Down the Road: I think in this industry, women are missing something. A woman has never won an Oscar for computer animation. I’m not saying I’m going to do that— it’s a really big dream. But I do feel I have a responsibility as a woman to show that I’m capable of doing the things that guys do. I don’t know where I’ll be in ten years, but I want to be in a position that I’m proud of, and I want to be in a position where women aren’t usually represented.
Advice to New Students: Take advantage of every single thing that you can. Full Sail offers so many good classes and we have so many awesome teachers. Pick their brains and try to do as much as you can while you’re here.
I came from a country where nobody takes your dream seriously, and I decided to follow my dream. That would be my advice to anybody, that you should follow your dream and do what you love.