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Successful Debut For Animation Base Camp

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The inaugural Animation Base Camp comes to a close this week, Friday 02 September, as 15 animation graduates complete a trainee programme working with industry mentors from Sony Pictures Animation in Los Angeles.

Presented by Once Were Farmers and The Animation Centrifuge, with support from Creative Scotland, the initiative has been designed to develop skills and support the transition from study to employment.

With trans-Atlantic video conferencing and computer lab facilities provided by Glasgow Caledonian University, the Sony Pictures Animation team have been able to supervise the graduates' work in an industry-based working environment. For the past two months the trainees have been based at Glasgow Caledonian University working to an original concept developed exclusively for the Animation Base Camp by Director David Feiss.

James Williams, Head of Layout, Sony Pictures Animation, said: "It's wonderful to have this opportunity to showcase the work of upcoming animation talent. The team of mentors here at Sony Pictures Animation have thoroughly enjoyed nurturing their potential and enabling them to develop their skills to feature-level working practices. Gaining practical experience of international collaboration early in their careers is incredibly valuable, and paves the way for future co-production. This is an exciting foundation on which to build."

Natalie Usher, Director of Screen, Creative Scotland, added: "We've been hugely impressed by the inspirational and collaborative industry-based working environment created by the partners in The Animation Base camp. The Base Camp has presented a fantastic opportunity for this international group of participants, helping them to develop their skills and be supported while they navigate the transition from animation education to the workplace. This programme is one of a number of valuable initiatives taking place across Scotland to develop a skilled and diverse screen workforce, and underlines our ambition to support and strengthen Scotland's animation industry."

The eight-week training initiative is the creation of new Glasgow-based animation company, The Animation Centrifuge (founded by industry veterans Fraser MacLean and James Williams). Participants for the training programme were selected from Scotland, Ireland and Norway.

Co-founder and Co-Director Once Were Farmers, Will Adams, commented: "The Animation Base Camp has helped young aspiring artists to develop new traditional and digital skills, helping them through the often difficult transition from study to employment, with guidance from industry leaders whose screen credits span some of the best loved and most successful animated productions of recent years.

"Through the Base Camp and by running smaller-scale practical workshops hosted by top industry talent from around the globe, The Animation Centrifuge aims to expand the production and co-production opportunities for individuals and animation studios in all three participating countries; bridging the gap between animation education and the industries eager to hire graduates with industry-ready skills."

Photo credit: Base Camp Participants: Fraser Maclean.


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