Respected author and UoB alum Roger Cowdrey offered some of our final-year animation students the opportunity of a lifetime to create animations based on his book ‘The Secret Mission of the Malaysian Squirrel’ written under the pseudonym August Moon.
Roger is no stranger to supporting our students, and prior to giving placement students real-world experience, has been sponsoring a Breakthrough Creative Entrepreneurship prize through the university’s annual Ideas Competition, which has seen five prizes awarded to students since 2017.
Placements like this offer our students real-world experience to put things they have learnt on their course into practice providing invaluable opportunities and portfolio building, working from a creative brief.
We caught up with Christodoulos Kestelidis (pictured alongside screenshots of the animations), one of the students who took on the brief. He told us what attracted him to this placement, his experiences and what he hopes to achieve now that he has graduated:
“The reason why I chose this placement was my fascination with the source material. Having seen and read the August Moon characters and stories, it really sparked my interest for wanting to adapt them to a short animation that kids would love to see on the television on Saturday morning.
“My creative process would be described in the following steps; First, it took two weeks to think about what sort of animation I wanted it to be, which parts I am going to animate and the whole look of the animation. After the feedback that Roger Cowdrey shared with me, it was decided to be a short animation, showcasing the most important parts of the book, while being an exciting piece of advertising for the books.
“Secondly, the remaining month was for the storyboards, the colours and the actual animation process and editing.
“The whole experience was so unique to me because I had the chance to work with a very sweet and wonderful creator, within a more professional setting than I was used to, while learning about new techniques in my animation (colouring, staging, editing) and working on a piece that is made for children, which is not an easy task to achieve.
“My advice to other students, regarding placements is don’t forget to maintain your style in any piece that you are tasked to do, while also considering your employers needs for the product and try to work together to make great things.
With regards to his time studying at the University of Brighton, Christodoulos told us that his “experience on the course was nothing but positive, since I got the chance to be taught by wonderful people, who cared about my future.
“Now that I have graduated, I am hoping to get started on my way to the industry and step by step, build my own company with talented people and produce films of our own.”