Teesside University 'Doughbutt' animation

Digital studio nurturing animation talent

A digital design studio at Teesside University which taps into home grown animation talent is helping to steer graduates towards their professional careers.

Launched last year in the University’s School of Computing, Media & the Arts, the studio has already completed high profile commissions for Public Health England and Durham Police, along with Random Acts Network Centre North, a joint initiative between Channel 4 and Arts Council England.

The Random Acts animation titled Doughbutt is due to be broadcast and released on Channel 4’s online platforms on Thursday 14 December.

The film by Theo W. Scott, with Nicole Haigh as animation director, is a kitsch animation which investigates the parlance of our times. Nicole has also been commissioned to make a Random Acts Network Centre North film to also be produced by the University’s digital studios.

The Random Acts education, training and production programme is backed by Arts Council England in partnership with Channel 4 and delivered in the North of England by Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle, HOME in Manchester and True North Productions in Leeds.

The animations for Public Health England were created by the studio collaboratively with graphic design academics in the University’s School of Science, Engineering & Design, after the studio won the tender to create an online toolkit for the PHE website. The short animations which focus on weight management and obesity are aimed at GPs and their patients.

The Durham Police commission involves animated films to ensure small businesses are aware of cyber security.

Tim Brunton, Senior Lecturer in Games Animation, heads the studio with support from assistant producer Kayleigh Stevens and animator Rose Gibbin, both Teesside University graduates.

He said: “The studio is a mixing pot which is bringing together researchers, academics, students and graduates to collaborate on a variety of projects.

“We get businesses wanting to work with us and tap into our expertise. The studio has an important role in helping the region’s digital economy to grow. We’re also here to support graduate businesses.

“A catalyst for the studio’s creation was the University’s graduate intern scheme and we aim to continue working with graduate interns in the future.”

He added: “Since the launch of the studio we have had various work commissioned and successfully submitted bids to work on projects, with a number of big projects on the horizon.”

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