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NFTS teams with Aardman for animation training

The UK’s National Film and Television School (NFTS) has partnered with Wallace and Gromit creators Aardman Animations to launch a new training course.

The three-month Certificate in Character Animation course will be taught by industry professionals including main tutors Loyd Price and Mathew Rees.

Price is head of animation at Aardman and has worked on films including Curse of the WereRabbit, Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists and Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.

Rees is a supervising senior CG animator and has worked on commercials as well as Pirates!.

The new course has been launched to “meet the growing demand for animators in the UK”, and follows the introduction of a new tax credit for animated productions in the UK.

Price said: “The UK is very much a powerhouse of animation at the moment. Our continued success at Aardman and that of others such as the NFTS means that people are travelling to the UK from all over the world to learn our style of stop frame and CG animation. We’d like to build on that success by developing home-grown talent to work in this exciting entertainment industry.”

Aardman has won four Academy Awards and received 10 Oscar nominations, including Pirates! earlier this year.

The 12-week intensive course will take place at Aardman’s Bristol headquarters and provide the core practical skills needed to become professional animators.

The majority of the course is practical with participants working on animation exercises to improve their skills, knowledge and experience. This will also be supported by animation theory.

It culminates in a short character animation sequence - pre-planned and boarded - to showcase the skills learnt during the course.

Nik Powell, NFTS Director said: “We’re looking for applicants with a real passion for animation to join this flagship course.”

Jon Wardle, NFTS Director of Curriculum and Registrar added: “This course will give participants a chance in a life-time opportunity to train with Aardman animators and gain the highest level of animation skills that can help them get jobs in this growing industry.”

The NFTS’ stop-frame animated film Head Over Heels was nominated for Best Short Animation this year – the only film school nominated for an Oscar in 2013.

The School’s stop-frame animated film Miss Todd is also a finalist in the Oscar qualifying 2013 student Academy Awards (a competition it has previously won five times) and its charcoal-drawn animated film Magnificent Lion Boy is the only UK film school film in Cinéfondation at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

The application deadline is June 21, 2013. The course starts in September 2013.

More details can be found at www.nfts.co.uk

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