I’ve had an interest in animation ever since I was young. Most of my mornings would be spent watching cartoons, and most evenings watching films. As I got older I began to spend more time researching how the animations I loved were actually made. It quickly became clear to me how much hard work and time is involved, as well as the sheer volume of jobs that were available within the industry.
After completing secondary school, I started at Canterbury Christ Church University studying Film, Television and Radio. This gave me an introduction into the film-making process within a professional capacity. I gained skills in editing and sound work and this was initially the path I wanted to take. It was only when I reached my second year of university that I gained consistent access to animation equipment. Animation became available as a module on my course so naturally I jumped at the opportunity to finally be involved in producing some animation of my own. Although I was given instruction on how to produce 2D drawn animation, I was more attracted to the stop-motion animation department. Something about manipulating physical models and props was immediately more appealing to me.
I initially contacted A+C after searching for UK animation production studios, in the hope of gaining any form of industry experience. I was amazed to find A+C were based just down the road from my home in Margate, so wouldn’t have far to travel to get there. After talking to one of my lecturers about them, I was surprised to be told that the Director of the studio, Dan, was actually a graduate of the course I was on. This prompted me to email over my CV and portfolio in the hopes of an opportunity coming up. Further surprise came when I was immediately contacted back by the studio Producer and asked to come in.
I was brought in as a runner, working on a paper-craft stop-motion animation. One of my first jobs was to complete overflow work within the model making department, helping sort all the paper elements and gluing together background props. Despite my inexperience, the team were impressed with my work. As a result, what was initially meant to be a two week work placement became a three month internship at the studio.
During my time at A+C, I have completed a variety of jobs which, although sometimes challenging, have allowed me to learn and expand my skills for the future. Some of these jobs have included model assembly and repair, set painting, helping set up studio equipment for shoots and even animating an internal project.
My time at A+C so far has been filled with new experiences which have taught me a lot about how a professional production company actually operates and runs. Every day is different, fast paced and always hands-on. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to work for them and hope this is just the start of a long and exciting career in the industry.
If you are also interested in work experience, you can contact [email protected]aplusc.tv with a CV, portfolio and examples of your work or alternatively sign up to our newsletter below to hear about further opportunities.
Also published on Medium.