15 February 2010
American Director Mark Osborne flew from Los Angeles to Middlesbrough to speak at the eleventh Animex Festival.
Mark Co-Directed the Oscar-nominated global animation hit Kung Fu Panda and was one of the conference’s keynote speakers on the final day.
He has worked in animation for 18 years and is now Director of Happy Product Inc.
Experiencing Animex for the first time, Mark said: ‘This conference is great and I wished I’d been here from the very beginning, it seems like I’ve missed a lot of great stuff.
‘It’s a unique experience to be in a student environment - they always have such a great energy and there’s a real collaborative quality to the University’s School of Computing.’
‘I’ve encouraged the students at Animex to find their own voices as film makers. They need to keep making their own short films like I did, that’s the way to long-term job security.’
Unanimous praise for Animex Designer and children’s author Curtis Jobling, who designed hit television show Bob the Builder, said Animex gets bigger and better every year.
This year he ran a workshop teaching youngsters how to design and create characters for animation.
‘It’s nice that the little ones can get to see that they can actually make a career out of art,’ said Curtis.
Animex regular Ed Hooks, who teaches acting for animators, added: ‘If you have any interest at all in animation you will learn more here and be more entertained than you could even imagine.’
This year’s Animex Festival was also extra special for Teesside graduate Phil Shoebottom, who returned as a guest speaker after excelling in his role as Senior Lead Artist at Real Time UK.
Phil, who gained a BA (Hons) Creative Visualisation, said: ‘I was quite nervous coming back as a guest speaker but I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without my time here.’