BU Honorary Doctorate “more special” than winning an Oscar

Posted on Friday, November 9 2012

A visual effects supervisor said receiving an Honorary Doctorate from Bournemouth University is “more special” than the Oscar he won for his work.

Paul Franklin, who won an Oscar and a BAFTA last year for his visual effects work on blockbuster film Inception, received an Honorary Doctor of Arts at the graduation ceremony for students from BU’s Media School today.

Paul, who has worked with BU for the past 20 years, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. It is an amazing honour, which wasn’t something I was expecting and I am very humbled by it.

“I’m incredibly proud and it is great because I’ve been associated with the university for the best part of two decades – coming here as a lecturer and working here as an external examiner – and it has been brilliant to see the way that the university has developed into this amazing powerhouse of creative arts and media.”

He added: “This is more special than receiving the Oscar, because somebody wins the Oscar every year for visual effects but this is, for me certainly, a once–in–a–lifetime experience.”

A number of graduates from the National Centre for Computer Animation – based at BU – work at visual effects studio Double Negative, which was co–founded by Paul and is now the largest in Europe.

BU graduate Andy Lockley, who completed an MA in Digital Special Effects at the university in 2000, was joint winner of the Oscar and BAFTA for Inception with Paul.

Paul said: “I’m very, very fond of Bournemouth University – I’ve long worked with the students and a lot of them have become my colleagues over the years.

“It has just been brilliant to see the way the university has developed from quite a small group who were involved in visual effects and animation back in the early 1990s into probably the premier course of its type anywhere in the world.”

Over 5,000 BU students have graduated in ceremonies at the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) this week.

Paul’s advice to the graduates was to see the occasion as the beginning of the next chapter of their lives.

“I think the key thing is to not see this as the end of something,” he said.

“There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t draw on the experiences and things that I learnt myself when I was an undergraduate a long, long time ago.

“You just begin to realise as your life goes on that it is really the beginning of something absolutely fantastic.”