Oscar winner launches Bristol School of Animation

Issue date: 19 February 2009

Bower Ashton Campus houses the Bristol School of Animation Bristol School of Animation, Bower Ashton Campus, UWE
25 February 2009 18.00 to 21.00

Triple Oscar winning animator, Richard Williams, will launch the new Bristol School of Animation at the University of the West of England on Wednesday 25 February. Richard Williams, voted by his peers as the Animators' Animator in the London Observer, has won over 250 international awards including three Oscars, three British Academy Awards, and an Emmy. His films include Who framed Roger Rabbit, The Return of the Pink Panther and A Christmas Carol.

Significant recent investment of over £250,000 in state of the art kit from Escape Studios has meant that UWE can now offer graduates industry standard equipment in computer aided animation like that favoured by Pixar as well as more traditional stop frame animation such as that practiced by Aardman in the Wallace and Gromit films.

The launch event will include an opportunity to see a show reel of recent work by current graduates.

Gill Sandford, Head of the School of Animation, said, “It's great that Richard has agreed to come and help us celebrate the relocation and expansion of the Bristol School of Animation. He will spend an afternoon working with our students before cutting the ribbon at the launch event in the evening. This is a fantastic opportunity for the students as they will get a chance to learn so much from Richard's expertise.

“The investment by UWE is a key to our ambition to be the main animation hub outside London. We have plans to develop the School by engaging with our industrial partners through courses and collaborative projects and making this a great place to work and study.”

Second year animation student Mark Turpin is very enthusiastic about the resources on offer. He said “Not only are we working with the same software as they use in the industry but also the same hardware; it puts us in a great position for when we enter the industry as professionals. We also have access to Escape Studios' online tutorials that introduce the core features of Maya and progress on to some really advanced techniques; this, coupled with the onsite support from Ian Friend - our CGI Technical Instructor, means you never feel out of your depth. Working in a completely digital environment enables me to have complete control over every aspect of the scene, from the colour of the sky to the direction that the wind blows – it is so flexible and the possibilities are endless. I'm really glad we have access to these resources.”

Professor Paul Gough, Pro Vice Chancellor, said, “We are very excited at creating what we believe will become a beacon of excellence for UWE. The expansion and investment this year confirms our ongoing commitment to animation. We believe that there is fantastic potential to nurture and develop talent amongst our students but also to look beyond this to collaborations with industry and research partners.”

For more information about the Bristol School of Animation see the School website


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