Aardman and UWE launch opportunity for budding animators

Issue date: 06 March 2006

Paul Gough pictured left and Dave Sproxton Oscar winners Bristol-based Aardman Animations Ltd has signed a unique agreement with the Bristol School of Animation (University of the West of England) to create unparalleled opportunities for student animators and practising professionals in Bristol. The new initiative is expected to double the number of international students coming to UWE to study animation on the short course and on the MA.

Aardman's 'Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit' won best animated feature at this year's Oscars on Sunday 5 March and also won Outstanding British Film of the Year in this year's (2006) Bafta awards.

The decision to work more collaboratively, recently forged between Aardman Animations Ltd and the Bristol School of Animation at UWE, is designed to attract talented students of all ages and levels from across Europe and the UK to study and work in Bristol. The agreement recognises the strength and depth of the City of Bristol as a centre for the rapid development of the media and cultural industries in which the ambitious animation industry plays a leading part.

Under the new agreement people applying to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level or those looking for professional skills and training with the Bristol School of Animation will now have direct access to the expertise and experience of Aardman Animations Ltd and other Bristol-based animation studios. Successful applicants studying at the Bristol School of Animation will have their work viewed by leading regional companies, and subject to individual skills and abilities, will be encouraged to find placement or work opportunities here in Bristol. The agreement highlights the need to attract students from across Europe and the UK.

The Bristol School of Animation will be co-directed by Dave Sproxton (Executive Chairman) at Aardman Animations Ltd and Amanda Wood, Director of the Bristol School of Animation at UWE. Aardman Animations, together with other leading Bristol-based companies will advise on the design and delivery of all the School's programmes to ensure that the training and education on offer is relevant to the needs of a rapidly developing global industry. Through the new agreement Aardman will also be involved in the direct promotion and recruitment of students to UWE animation courses.

Amanda Wood, said the scheme provided outstanding opportunities for would-be animators and those seeking professional training, “This strategic collaboration between Aardman Animations and UWE is designed to attract the brightest new talent to the Bristol animation scene. The collaboration is designed to ensure that potential animators with a broad range of skills understand the possibilities offered by a career in Animation and to make sure that a ready supply of talented individuals are here to support the growing ambitions of Bristol's Animation Industry. We believe this is a unique collaboration, offering exceptional opportunities to those studying in this field, and further enhancing the key role that Bristol are playing in the international field of animation.”

Dave Sproxton, of Aardman Animations Ltd says, “It is hoped that through the sharing of strategies both UWE and the animation industry will attract highly talented individuals from across the world to study, train and work here in Bristol.”

Speaking about the new collaboration, Sir Howard Newby, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West of England said, “The animation industry in Bristol is already successful on a global scale. By bringing together Bristol UWE's expertise in teaching and learning with the creative skills of the UK's leading animation company we hope to provide excellent opportunities for the next generation of animators. The partnership will also enhance Bristol's growing international reputation as a centre for animation and media industries.”

The Bristol School of Animation is linked to specialist animation schools across the EU and the aim of the collaboration is to attract talented students from across the EU and further afield. Sponsored by MEDIA the Bristol School of Animation is already recognised as a leading provider of training for graduate and professional animators from around the world.

Bristol School of Animation has courses which cover the whole range of skills practitioners need from pre-production, storyboarding, design and model-making through to film-making, scriptwriting and post–production.


Further information see: http://amd.uwe.ac.uk/amd/index3.asp?pageid=92

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