Multi-award-winning independent animation studio Aardman announced yesterday (12 November 2020) that its training facility, Aardman Academy, is launching a three-month industry training course. It will be the first in a series of online stop motion courses provided by the famed studio, best known for creating Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run and Shaun the Sheep. The curriculum is looking to take on up to 35 individuals looking for a career in the animation industry aiming to provide educational excellence to the next generation of talent.
The programme, developed in-house by Aardman, is due to take place in February 2021. The course is titled Industry Training: Stop Motion 1 and is a 12-week virtual course taught by award-winning professionals working at the studio. According to a press statement, “it’s the first in the series of industry-led courses from the studio; committed to building sustainable careers within animation.”
Promising “intensive tuition spanning the three month period via virtual lessons and weekly one-on-one mentor tutorials,” each student will be assigned an individual Aardman professional who can offer guidance and advice throughout the course. Mark Simon, the course leader and former Aardman director and filmmaker will deliver weekly live and interactive lectures with the aim to share ideas across the community. He is best known for directing 8 Minutes Idle and The Life Size Zoetrope.
Also amongst the course’s faculty are Stuart Messinger, who’s formulated the curriculum as academic lead along with Aardman’s head of animation, Loyd Price. On hand throughout the duration of the course are tutors Mark Simon Hewis and Stuart Messinger too. Aardman is offering two fully-funded bursaries for the course, partnering with social enterprise Creative Access aiming to get people from under-represented communities into the creative industry.
Course fees start at £2,220 for early bird applications which open from 17 November to 17 December 2020. You can apply here. The course welcomes students from across the globe and Aardman has recently adapted its courses to be delivered online to a global audience. Previously, it has received students from Qatar, Mexico, India, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Cyprus and the US.
The Aardman Academy was established in 2013 as an initiative to nurture talent and strengthen ties between the animation industry and education. Peter Lord, Aardman co-founder and creative director said in a statement: “|’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. The Aardman Academy believes in redressing that unbalance. 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.”