Students from University of Wales Trinity Saint David welcome the return of Swansea Animation Days (SAND)


UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art are celebrating the success of SAND 2017, which has made a welcome return after a brief hiatus. The two-day animation industry event put on by the School of Film and Digital Media offered students the opportunity to participate in talks and workshops from industry professionals from all over the world. Guest speakers included UWTSD 3D Computer Animation graduates Sid Harrington-Odedra who works for VFX studio The Mill, Adam Davis the Global Head of Virtual Production at MPC, and Ryan Morgan, also at MPC who has worked as Modelling and Texturing Technical Director on recent blockbusters Guardians of the Galaxy, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, and The Jungle Book.  Becky Graham - a CG Sequence Supervisor from Double Negative - is another ex-UWTSD student and Swansea native who came back to show off the incredible work she does.

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The conference was open to a wide range of students interested in pursuing a career in animation, computer game design, or music technology.  Students were given valuable career advice from industry giants such as EA Games, Blizzard, MPC, the Mill, and Framestore as well as local entrepreneurs who work in the industry. Students were also given the opportunity to have their work critiqued by industry professionals. Charlotte Preston - now in the second  year of her MArts 3D Computer Animation degree - was one student who received feedback on her portfolio. She said: “My lecturers encouraged me to submit something and I was so nervous. My work got sent off to California and then I got feedback in the final session of the conference from people working in the industry. It was just such a great opportunity.”

Another second year animator Matt Kinahan said: “The event has been fantastic, especially for people like me who haven’t had the chance to speak to people who are in the industry. It’s something that can be really daunting but SAND has given me more confidence. It’s really motivating to know what standard I need to achieve to get to where I want to go. They couldn’t have got a better group of people to come and speak to us. There was someone from every profession. It was a real treat to listen to!”

Fellow student Joseph Long continued: “They talked about how to get your work seen by industry professionals. I’ve been to talk to them and they were really friendly. I spoke to Ryan [Morgan] who graduated from here and that gave me a lot to think about what direction I want to go in. There’s so much to learn but SAND taught me to stay calm, work hard, and be focussed on my goals.”

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Dr. Paul Hazel, Head of the School of Film and Digital Media, said: “SAND 2017 turned out to be a fantastic event for everyone involved. Both our own students and those we invited from local colleges for the Careers Day were thrilled to have such a stellar line-up of presenters.

The fact that top industry professionals came to Swansea College of Art from as far away as California and Montreal shows the high regard the event continues to hold within the industry. That so many of the speakers from the big London production houses were ex-students of ours is inspirational for our current students and clearly validates the quality and relevance of the teaching that goes on in the School.

The main thing I personally took from it was the experience of meeting some interesting and very, very, nice people, all utterly passionate about what they do. It was a blast!”

Courses offered by the School of Film and Digital Media in Swansea include the BA/MArts 3D Computer Animation, the MA 3D Computer Animation, the BA/MArts Creative Computer Games Design, the BA/MArts Digital Film and Television Production, and the BA/MMus Music Technology.

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Further Information