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UCLan animation graduates win Royal Television Society Award

05 March 2013

Lyndsey Boardman

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Duo crowned as winners of North West animation prize

Two animation graduates from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have been crowned winners at the Royal Television Society Student Television (RTS) North West Awards 2013.

Robert Beard and Matthew French were awarded the regional RTS prize for animation for their short film Mime Square, which the duo produced during their final year at UCLan.  They will now represent the North West region at the national RTS Student Television Awards in May.

Mime Square is a three minute twenty second film about two mime artists; a rookie and an experienced performer who compete to attract an audience before realising they can wow the crowds by working together instead of against each other. 

Mime Square from Robert Beard on Vimeo.

“It’s exciting to win an RTS award and be given the opportunity to showcase our work in the final where it will be seen by key figures in the animation industry. The prize will provide a solid base for our future careers."

Robert created, modelled and animated the characters and CGI assets whilst Matthew produced the 2D animation and textures.

RTS Events Student Chair Ed Pugh commented: “This film felt fresh and modern, like watching the old and new come together seamlessly; some thought this was a Pixar concept.  It has beautifully observed characters and backgrounds and is unique, ambitious and brilliantly executed.”

Robert said: “It’s exciting to win an RTS award and be given the opportunity to showcase our work in the final where it will be seen by key figures in the animation industry.  The prize will provide a solid base for our future careers and will hopefully help us to stand out from the crowd.”

Matthew added: “I was shocked to hear that we had won the award.  Both Rob and I were very happy with our film and our friends assured us it was good too, but winning the award really gives us a sense of achievement and pride in what we have made.”

“Their achievement emulates several successful years at the RTS awards for the University. It’s a reflection of the hard work and commitment shown by the students and the industry relevant experience they gain during their studies.”

Robert and Matthew were chosen as the winners from a shortlist of three that included fellow UCLan graduate Joanne Edwards who was nominated for her film The Sand Troll.

Her work was described as “magical” by the judging panel who said it was a “simple charming and emotive story that achieved a good narrative with excellent production values and a retro-stop motion feel.”    

Joanne, who has recently finished her first commissioned advert for the North West Air Ambulance and is developing a pre-school series to pitch to the BBC later this year, commented: “I'm very happy that my film was nominated for an RTS award, I worked very hard and I'm glad to know that people recognised this.

“It's a great triumph and I'm pleased that my name will be up on a wall of achievement at UCLan. It's extra special as my name will be alongside my two friends Rob and Mat.”

UCLan’s animation students have enjoyed success over the last few years at the RTS Student Awards after Charlotte Blacker won the regional prize before going onto be crowed as the overall winner in 2011 for her film The Little Red Plane.  Her contemporary James Millington was also shortlisted the same year in the North West awards for his film Bluey and Louie.

Sarah Kennedy, the course leader for the undergraduate and postgraduate animation courses, commented: “It is fantastic that Robert and Matthew have been recognised by the RTS and I wish them luck in the final.

“Their achievement emulates several successful years at the RTS awards for the University.  It’s a reflection of the hard work and commitment shown by the students and the industry relevant experience they gain during their studies.”

The 2013 Royal Television Society Student Television (RTS) Awards will be held in May where Robert and Matthew will compete against other regional animation finalists for the national prize.

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This news story was produced by

Lyndsey Boardman

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