Hi Felix, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m 25 and I’m a commercial director at Aardman and Arthur Cox in Bristol. I also animate on a lot of things from things for broadcast and commercials to digital content. When I’m not doing that I like making short animations of my own!
What led you to study animation at University of Wales, Newport?
I looked at a few courses but Newport seemed to be one of the only ones that focused on story development as well as the technical side of animation. I wanted to learn more programs but also have the opportunity to apply what I’d learnt to finished projects I’d be proud of when I’d finished (rather than just have endless pencil or FX tests). Newport let me do that.
You graduated in 2007 with your graduation film entitled Keith Reynolds Can’t Make It Tonight. Could you tell us a little about that and also what opportunities this led to?
I had pretty much a year to develop and eventually make a short film. It was great because I wanted to try writing and also got to produce an entire project from start to finish on my own – so by the time I had finished I had a good understanding of the professional process.
Newport gets industry professionals in to do lectures and one of them was Sarah Cox (the Cox from Arthur Cox Ltd) and at the end of the year the guest lecturers help judge some of the films and Sarah saw mine and offered me a job animating on some commercials. I’d done work experience with them before but it really helped that someone made her watch my film! I’ve been working with her ever since.
How do you feel Newport prepared you for that?
Each year progresses from the previous really nicely. In the first you learn the very basics of various programs while making a few small projects. In the second year you work on more professional looking pieces including a big group project. I think think the group project really showed me what I could do with enough time (there were four of us working on it for four weeks) and I learnt a lot from the people I was with then.
Newport also encouraged me to go to Annecy Film Festival which was brilliant for inspiration and a great place to meet people. In fact that’s where I met people from Arthur Cox for my work experience!
What is next for you?
I’m just finishing up animating and writing at Aardman on the TATE Movie Project website (www.TATEmovie.co.uk) and then I’m going to take some time off to make another short film before heading back to work on commercials again! One day I’d love to develop my own animated TV series.
If you could only watch one film for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Home Alone 🙂
Thank you for your time Felix!
Keith Reynolds Can’t Make It Tonight (2007)
by Felix Massie
This is Keith Reynolds and today is promotion day. Having worked at the company eight years he is the most senior Junior Business Analyst in the building. He’s been waiting for this day for a very long time.