UWE takes part in 'Sharp Shotz' initiative

Issue date: 26 March 2009

Sharp Shotz Unsigned 09 The University of the West of England is taking part in this year's Sharp Shotz competition, which aims to use the talent and creativity of young people to drive home important messages about the issues of guns, knives and drugs and how these affect young people.

In a new venture this year, IDEAL, the charitable organisation behind the Sharp Shotz campaign, has joined forces with Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios to put together 'Sharp Shotz Unsigned 09' - a national music competition for unsigned musicians under the age of 25.

The Sharp Shotz Animation Competition was launched in 2007 with the support of Aardman Animations, the School of Creative Arts and the School of Health and Social Care at the University of the West England.

The animation competition offers 11 to 18 year olds the opportunity to work with Aardman and animation students from the highly accredited School of Creative Arts in the creation of a short animation, based on the winning story boards, that raises awareness of the consequences of either Guns/knives or Drugs. This year's new venture follows on from the success of the Animation Competition.

Shawn Sobers, lecturer and project coordinator for UWE said, “We are delighted to be cooperating with this project once again. The partnership with IDEAL is a very positive experience for our students and the staff involved. Last year those who took part benefited hugely from their involvement. The issues raised through these films are particularly important in the time we now live in and we hope that the messages resonate amongst the target audience.”

This year Sharp Shotz and Real World Studios have invited musicians under the age of 25 to write and perform a title track for one of the two winning short films. Entrants will be guided in the writing of their songs by the winning story ideas from the Animation Competition.

Ten finalists (5 for each category) will be chosen and requested to play live in front of a panel of judges at Real World Studios. The two winning acts will be able to:

•Follow in the footsteps of the musical greats by recording and mixing at Peter Gabriel's world class Real World Studios
•Have their creation used as the title track to the corresponding winning animation.
•Get heard through a wide variety of means, including the City of Bath College label BA1 Records.

The two winning songs will be recorded, produced and mixed at Real World with the help of City of Bath College students under the guidance of Real World's talented in house engineers.

Garry Brandrick development manager of IDEAL, which established and coordinates the Sharp Shotz Campaign said, “Sharp Shotz, now in its second year is an awareness campaign focused on increasing knowledge and understanding of the consequences of guns/knives and drugs and enabling young people to develop and demonstrate their creative ability.”

“After launching the second Sharp Shotz Animation Competition in September, we received a message to call Real World Studios…….and now Sharp Shotz is in the incredible position of being supported by Britain's leading companies and educators in the creative industries – Aardman Animations, Real World Studios, the School of Creative Arts (UWE), and the City of Bath College.”

Eleanor Household, Studio Manager at Real World Studios says: “Real World are really thrilled to be involved in the musical element of this competition. The Sharp Shotz campaign is so valuable on so many levels – not just by raising awareness about Guns, knives and drugs and all the obvious benefits that doing that holds - but offering much needed hands on experience throughout the industry to talented and enthusiastic students."

David Sproxton, Executive Chairman of Aardman Animations, said “Aardman is delighted to be involved again in this year's competition. Developing creative talent is at the heart of what we do, and we recognise that capturing young people's imagination while raising awareness of some of the issues they face is vital. Real World Studios involvement this year in the Unsigned competition highlights the important relationship between music and animation. We're looking forward to experiencing this year's winning entries.”

Garry Brandrick, IDEAL, says, “If you are passionate about making your own music then you have to enter Sharp Shotz Unsigned, it's simple just go to http://www.sharp-shotz.comand get creative!”

Sharp Shotz Unsigned 09 opened for entries on 16 March 2009.

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