BU graduates celebrate Oscar and BAFTA success

Posted on Friday, March 15 2013

An Oscar statuette

A number of Bournemouth University (BU) graduates celebrated nominations and wins at high-profile award ceremonies this year.

Graduates of the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) in BU’s Media School worked on the visual effects for blockbusters nominated at both the 2013 Oscars and BAFTAs.

Steve Twist, who completed a BA in Computer Visualisation and Animation and an MSc in Computer Animation and Visual Effects at BU, worked on the visual effects for Life of Pi – which won both the Oscar and BAFTA in the Visual Effects category.

Steve worked for California-based Rhythm & Hues Studios as a Character Rigger – and helped create the skeletal structure, muscles and body, and face controls for the computer-generated animals on the lifeboat during the film.

“It was an amazing experience to work on Life of Pi,” said Steve, who graduated in 2010.

“The artists at Rhythm & Hues are an incredible group of people, and it was quite a journey to see the film develop.

“When I saw the movie in the movie theatre, I was very proud to have played my small part to bringing the characters of the movie to life.”

Unfortunately, the company recently filed for bankruptcy protection, so Steve said winning the awards was a “bittersweet moment”.

“It’s amazing that our work was so well received, both by audiences and by critics,” he said. “But, needless to say, I probably felt every emotion possible during those few days.”

Meanwhile, visual effects supervisor Paul Franklin, who co-founded VFX company Double Negative and received an Honorary Doctorate from BU in 2012, and graduate Andy Lockley, who completed an MA in Digital Effects in 2000, were BAFTA-nominated for their visual effects work in Batman film The Dark Knight Rises.

Emma Clifton, who completed a BA (Hons) Computer Visualisation and Animation degree in 2005 was among BU graduates and ex-lecturers who worked on the Oscar and BAFTA-nominated visual effects for The Hobbit.

And two 2010 graduates of the BA (Hons) Computer Visualisation and Animation degree course at BU worked on the Oscar-nominated visual effects for Snow White and the Huntsman.

Dante Harbridge-Robinson was part of a team at BlueBolt Ltd. who helped design and create the castle in the film, while Daniel Georgiou worked on it as a matchmove artist for Double Negative.

Daniel, who now works as a lighting technical director, also worked on visual effects for Les Miserables and Skyfall, which were both nominated for numerous high-profile awards.

It wasn’t just visual effects that BU graduates received recognition for. BA (Hons) Television Production graduate Teddy Leifer was part of the team nominated for Best Documentary for a feature he produced called The Invisible War.

Teddy, who graduated in 2005, was executive producer on the film, which explores the topic of sexual assault in the US military.

Stephen Jukes, Dean of the Media School, said: “We live and breathe the industry in the Media School and we are extremely proud of our graduates who go on – which increasing success – to carry off some of the most prestigious awards.

“I believe we offer a unique combination of academic learning and professional practice which sets students up extremely well to flourish in the rapidly changing and highly competitive media world.”