Robert is the Course Leader at the NFTS Animation MA. He is a filmmaker and is also a regular lecturer with us here. What he doesn't know about narrative and storytelling isn't worth knowing so he came along to tell us about the stuff he does know, which is. Memorable and brilliantly funny as ever.
John Knowles, lead animator and writer from BAFTA winning London animation studio Blue Zoo was in to shine a beautifully rendered spotlight on the real world of CG animation production.
The endlessly busy and brilliant Ed Barrett, creative director at Animade Studios and alumni of this parish dropped in once again for more funny face frivolity and serious business. He was joined by a factfinding team who introduced our students to some cutting and bleeding edge tech for future projects - watch this space...
Character designer, art director, commercial animation guru and all round very decent chap Peter Dodd was in the big room sharing his professional insights and experience of directing the animation on the new Raymond Briggs’ feature film Ethel and Ernest.
A full third of the six sided BAFTA nominated London based animation studio The Line treated us to a wonderful and hilarious lecture full of fun and filth. Woof.
Mikey is a BAFTA winning animation filmmaker who recently co-founded East London-based Parabella Animation Studio alongside fellow RCA graduate Dan Ojari. He brought some amazing project development work for his stop motion films and commercials as well as some of the funniest and most useful diagrams we have ever seen.
Candy is a funny lady. A very funny award winning animator, filmmaker and writer lady. She brought us hilarious tales of filmmaking, ad making, book writing and pond life and it's fair to say she asked even more questions of the audience than they did of her. She's a force of nature and we want her back soon.
Jim Le Fevre
Jim brought his incredible energy and enthusiasm for all things animated and entertained us with his diverse knowledge of practical hands-on animation and digital techniques. A BAFTA and British Animation Award winning free-lance film maker he discovered an interesting thing a few years back with a record player and a camera and showed us what it can lead to. His Phonotrope experiments are pure joy.
Dave Prosser (left) and Dan Chester (other left) of the splendid Moth Collective gave us an insight into setting up a new company and the trials and tribulations of such a venture. They showed their stunningly beautiful work and gave us the inside track on how they work together to develop ideas and how they evolved their powerful visual style.
Merlin was back for his 2nd visit in 3 years and again totally captivated a packed lecture theatre with his experiences of working as a senior creative director at Aardman Animations. The room was transfixed as he absent mindedly created a Morph from a ball of plasticine as he chatted. He now sits proudly in the treasure cupboard, as does Morph...
Jon brought a broad range of gorgeous award winning films and commercials from his brilliant career in animation and kept us all entertained and on our toes with a final burst of super condensed and insightful PechaKucha fun right at the end. Inspirational!
Pete brough with him some exquisite models from some of the best puppet animation films ever produced. Mackinnon and Saunders are the master puppet makers that brought us Hollywood blockbuster animated characters that grace films such as Fantastic Mr.Fox, Corpse Bride, Mars Attacks and of course Bob the Builder...
Barry is an utter gentleman and a brilliant speaker with work that is stunning in it's detail, beautiful in its control and mesmerising in it's ability to bring characters to dramatic yet subtle life. Solid gold insights from Barry on his first ever visit to us. He'll be back...
Smith & Foulkes
Adam and Alan's amazing range of multi award winning commercial work along with new short film work is an absolute joy to behold and a packed lecture theatre was entranced by their self effacing and illuminating chat about the frustrations and pleasures of commercial animation.
Bexie Bush and Rebecca Archer
The first Keynote Lecture of the 2014-15 season was a double header with these excellent Rebeccas both fresh from their film-making adventures at the NFTS. Funny and creepy moments threaded through their fabulous talk featuring love and fear and bears and chains and life and death and gravy stains.
What can be said about Cyriak that hasn't already been illustrated in complicated diagrams? Firstly, he's an alumi of the college but mostly he's a brain-spillingly funny maverick talent with an extraordinary body of work that has garnered a huge following on a thing they call the internet. Cyriak had the room filled with laughter and inspiration as he showed us the inner workings of his computer and his alarming imagination.
Multi award-winning Darren Walsh returned to his old college and had the room in hysterics as he showed us some classic early work in the form of Angry Kid alongside all manner of superb and hilarious commercial work including the now legendary Meerkats series. Frightening masks were passed around along with blue rabbits, an oversize pepperami that's a bit of an animal and a small clockwork mouse that Martin Scorsese once chased around a clocktower.
Rightly celebrated bona Fide animation legend Caroline gave us a beautiful and illuminating talk about her unique methods of production and brought with her some remarkable artefacts from her film making process including some gorgeous hand scratched 70mm stills from her seminal cameraless film Two Sisters.
Multi award-winning Creative Director of the vastly successful and influential StudioAKA animation production company in London Phil talked lucidly about his career and the ups and downs of working in the animation industry both in commercials and in film. He also gave us some special glimpses of some their latest work and revealed how the often complex technical process really works.
Bona fide animation legend, Joanna was all packed and staying at course leader Lesley's house in the countryside, ready for a couple of days with the animation students in Farnham when the big snow hit! She had to stay there for days with little more than some hot cross buns and wine to live on. As promised she did finally make it this far east and the impact of her animation workshop on the students was nothing short of miraculous.
Multi award winning director, animator and comic artist Matt Abbiss gave us a hilarious glimpse into his mind and working methods. A privilaged and unplanned stroll into his flash files was an added marvel and we were also treated to some exclusive glimpses of his beautiful new work. We even managed to get him a pub lunch!
Max is a renowned, award winning artist working with animation, intallation and audio visual performances. He gave us an inspirational show of controlled and powerful abstract and political work that really challenges concepts of what animation can be. A prolific artist with a fantastic broad range of approaches.
2012 BAFTA winner Grant Orchard was literally just back from the 84th Oscar Ceremony in Los Angeles, where his short film ‘A Morning Stroll’ was up for some award or other. Grant, who graduated from UCA Farnham in 1995 gave a spell-binding talk to a theatre that was full to the brim! Grant, who works for top London studio AKA as a director, charted his journey from graduate to working as a runner in Soho, making short films and commercials right up to the red carpet of Hollywood.
Michael Dudok de Wit
Oscar winning Film maker and Farnham Alumni, Michael Dudok de Wit gave a genuinely inspiring talk to a packed lecture theatre of BA and MA animation students during induction week. Afterwards he thanked the course for providing him with such “a big and nice audience!” The course team were also able to reunite him with his 16mm prints of his student films – including a film he has not seen since 1977!!!
UCA alumnus Rob Morgan returned to Farnham in February 2012 the day after attending the BAFTAs, where his film ‘Bobby Yeah’ had been nominated for Best Short Animated Film. Rob, who is best known as an award-winning independent film maker entertained, shocked and delighted a packed auditorium, particularly when he candidly revealed that one of the characters in his latest film had been made from his toe-nail clippings! Rob’s work showed another side to stopmotion animation in which he specializes.
Paul who has directed many short films and commercials, as well as lecturing at the National Film & Television School has a unique approach to the medium of animation. It was standing room only in the lecture theatre as Paul screened his work. From pixilation and time-lapse to painting and scratching on film his work caused a buzz of excitement as a new world of techniques were revealed.
Sarah is a multi-award winning, director, animator and producer and runs her own animation production company, Arthur Cox. She spoke about her work in short films and commercials and her recent award-winning film collaboration with the Tate Gallery and Aardman Animation titled The Itch of the Golden Nit.
Merlin captivated a packed lecture theatre with his experiences of working with Nick Park and Peter Lord and how it felt the first time that he was let loose with Wallace and Grommit. The lecture theatre had a buzz from the start when Merlin proudly presented not only the Wererabbit, but Wallace and Grommit themselves. Merlin gave a brief talk about his path to the top at Aardman and then went on to give some great insider tips, showing how Aardman animators develop their shots from the storyboard to the screen.
Phil Mulloy has been making his own unique and challenging films for over twenty years and has a string of awards to his name. From working in a cow shed in Wales to his own studio in London, Phil has been producing films that strip away the polish of the studio system to deliver something that as he said “…is minimal, has almost everything taken away, so that the audience can bring their own ideas and thoughts to it and build from that something that is unique…” Phil was able to give another fascinating insight into the animation industry, this time one where the filmmaker has total independence and operates outside of the mainstream.
Lionhead is one of Microsoft’s leading game developers with a string of BAFTAs to its credit for games such as Black and White and the highly successful Fable series. Andy Brunton is Lionhead's lead animator and he was able to show the animators of tomorrow just what it means to be working in the rapidly expanding games industry and to shed light on what it was like to work with such luminaries of the silver screen as Sir Ben Kingsley, Stephen Fry, Bernard Hill and Simon Pegg, all of whom have voiced characters for Lionhead.
Guest lecturers since 2009 include: Barry Purves, Daniel Greaves, Darren Walsh, Chris Shepherd, Mark Baker, Quadratura, Andre Masters, Leo Mason, Karen Watson, Candy Guard & Marjut Rimminen.