Mario Kkounnous - Staff Spotlight

Career background
I have been working as a freelance animator, concept artist and 3D artist since 2005 and have worked on projects for NETFLIX, Barry Osborne who produced the Lord of The Rings movies on a book adaptation of the Heartstone Odyssey. I mainly work from home with any external projects and would like to explore more independent filmmaking for the animation festival scene.

Choosing to study MA in Animation
I chose to study MA Animation mainly because of the staff who teach it and the facilities that the University has to help students complete the work.

The staff are very supportive and will also offer great constructive advice. The creative freedom we have when developing our ideas and producing our concluding outputs is a plus for me.

Mario’s recent animation project
The Ticket Maker is part of my studies for a master’s degree in animation. It is also a technical exercise and an exploration of how limitations in resources, time and budget can encourage creativity within the arts in education. 

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Stills from Mario's work for the Ticket Maker
Stills from Mario's work for the Ticket Maker
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Award winner
I just wanted to make a short film to show people and I had no expectations of winning any awards. It is a fantastic feeling to have your work recognised within the festival circuit globally and to win six awards, this hopefully demonstrates the impact it has made on some.

The film has been featured across the globe including UK, America, India and Europe. I think the biggest venue it featured was in the middle of Manhattan.

The impact of industry experience on teaching
Yes of course. Everything I experience as an artist contributes to my teaching as I feel it is important that students relate to what we deliver and the projects that they undertake during their studies.

Upcoming exciting projects
I am currently working a series of 3D zoetropes that will bring to life Magic Lantern slides from the Temperance movement and exhibit a proof of concept by October 2022.

I am also working with several colleagues on a project which will be produced mainly by selected current and alumni students that will bring an out of commission Theatre into Virtual Reality with a performance to experience.

As a personal project I currently develop a series of 3D printed sculptures of ancient military cultures from Later Babylonians, the Successors of Alexander the Great with the Seleucid Empire, the Palmyran Empire, Byzantium era and many others over time.