Learning / Aardman

Aardman launches virtual animation course

By lowie trevena, Wednesday Nov 11, 2020

Aardman will treat new animators skills they need for the industry in a new 12-week virtual course.

Industry Training: Stop Motion 1 is due to start in February 2021 and will teach “excellence in animation” for up to 35 individuals hoping to break into the animation industry.

Led by animators working at the company, the course will be led by former Aardman director and filmmaker Mark Simon Hewis.

“It’s incredibly exciting to offer the chance for aspiring film makers around the world to develop their careers in animation with us at Aardman,” says Mark.

“It’s been our ambition to create a course that offers the very best tutoring available. We truly believe this is something unique and special, offering access to support, guidance, teaching and mentorship on a course run by experienced animation professionals with a track record for excellence in their chosen field.”

Mark Simon Hewis will lead the new course. Photo: Aardman

Course fees start at £2,220 and two places will be fully funded through a partnership with Creative Access. The collaboration aims to build a more diverse and inclusive workforce within the animation industry and nurture talent from the ground up.

Stuart Messinger, who has worked on films including The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!, Quantum of Solace and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has been brought in as academic lead formulating the curriculum with Loyd Price, head of animation at Aardman and animator on Early Man, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Established in 2013, the Aardman Academy was designed to nurture talent and strengthen ties between the animation industry and education, providing development for animation professionals, outreach training and progression opportunities.

Aardman created its Academy seven years ago. Image: Aardman

“I’m a huge advocate of animation as an expressive art, but I find that in this country we’re great at encouraging filmmaking and much less good at teaching the foundation skills of animation and performance,” says Peter Lord, Aardman co-founder and creative director the Aardman Academy.

“It’s important to us at Aardman to nurture great talent, and make sure future filmmakers develop the skills and the confidence to prepare them for the industry.”

A welcome pack will be delivered directly to each successful applicant, with specialist equipment needed to participate in the Industry Training: Stop Motion 1.

Storyboard artist Sam Horton, senior model maker Nancy Jones, model maker George Watson and senior model maker Jim Parkyn will offer their knowledge in a series of masterclasses, including a one-day portfolio course, a two-day storyboarding session and a five-day sketch to screen model making course.

The course will teach everything from model making to building a portfolio. Photo: Aardman

In the new course, each of of the 12 weeks will cover a different topic, all of which will help build the foundations and develop practical skills needed for a career in animation.

Video workshops, lectures and tutorials will provide grounding for regular assignments with progress reviewed every four weeks.

The course will end with a final submission, which will be assessed and then livestreamed for all participants in a virtual party.

Main photo: Aardman

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