Skillset Showcase

I've just got back from London where I was selected to exhibit work at the Skillset Soho Showcase. This was a day of talks, meetings and presentations aimed at bringing together industry with new talent. Various schools had stands with work on display and it was a great opportunity to try and break into the London network. I met a few really useful people and the calibre of guests was great although there was a large emphasis on CG / compositing / VFX work so not many relevant companies for the kind of work I make.

Greg Boardman of Three Stones Media talking about the making of Rastamouse

There were a few good talks including Greg Boardman talking about producing Rastamouse, a very home-grown children's show made in the UK and one of the only stop-motion series being produced at the moment. The animation was done by Dynamo in Cardiff and a few friends of mine worked on the project. Interestingly one of the main creatives on the show was Derek Mogford who trained with the great Ivor Wood and was animator on Charlie Chalk, Bertha and Gran and he bought a charming nostalgic feel to the show.

Christian De Vita, lead storyboard artist on Fantastic Mr Fox talked through the process of boarding the film with Wes Andersen. He's just finished pre-production on Tim Burton's Frankenweenie and is about to head to Paris in September to direct a children's series for Nickelodeon.

One of Christian's sketches for Tim Burton's Frankenweenie
© Christian De Vita / Burning Windmill Productions

 Vladermersky of the London International Animation Festival did a presentation about the festival, its history and development and the kind of work they champion. He screened three films which demonstrated the variation of the films they show including A Morning StrollStudio AKA's recent bizarrely brilliant short. He then went on to chat with Chris Shepherd director of the now dormant Slinky Pics
about a career in which he's balanced commercial and artistic work which was very entertaining.

Who I am & What I Want (2005) Dir(s) Chris Shepherd and David Shrigley
© Slinky Pictures

After the talks and seminars (and a nice lunch) there was a speed-networking session which was a chance for students to share their work with industry, make connections and talk about the next step.

Me with producer Mick Foley discussing career options...

Lots of the London animation network came along to look around the exhibits and talk to students. Much chatting and exchanging of business cards all helped along by the bar, sponsored by Adobe! Check out skillset's write up of the day here 

Guests and graduates have a drink at the Vinyl Factory in Soho, London

All images of the event from the Skillset Flickr album here