NCCA’s BAFTA success receives widespread local coverage

The work of graduates and staff from the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) on the BAFTA-winning visual effects for the film Gravity received coverage across a range of local media.

Around 40 graduates from the NCCA – as well as current Senior Practice Fellow in Computer Animation Adam Redford – worked with effects house Framestore on the visual effects for the blockbuster, which won six awards at the 2014 BAFTAs.

Their success was picked up in articles by local newspaper the Bournemouth Echo and Blackmore Vale magazine – which both quoted MA Visual Effects graduate Sam Salek about his involvement with the film.

The story was also featured in news bulletins on local radio station Fire FM, while Sofronis Efstathiou, Framework Leader for postgraduate visual effects and animation courses at BU, was interviewed about it live on BBC Radio Solent’s Drivetime programme.

Sofronis told presenter Tim Butcher that Framestore have an outpost based near BU’s Talbot Campus, where some students and graduates worked on the visual effects for the film, and that the reputation for BU’s animation courses and graduates continues to grow.

“We’ve been around for about 20 years now, but over the past 6 or 7 years, every Oscar or BAFTA night we’ve seen our graduates either be nominated or certainly part of those films,” he said.

“We’ve got a big team here and we work very hard and speak to industry, having them feed into our teaching, so it’s good to see it’s working.”

He added that the visual effects industry – and the popularity of BU’s animation courses – continued to grow.

“It’s one of the best courses in the country…It’s a vibrant industry, it’s a creative industry around here – not just in London, but around the borough and certainly around the world it is doing very well.”

Listen to the interview in full (Starts 1 hour 35 minutes into programme)

Student wardens scheme gains widespread regional media coverage

The introduction of BU student community wardens to work with residents in Winton gained widespread regional media coverage across TV, radio and print.

BBC South Today came to Winton to film the wardens in action, knocking on doors and speaking with residents and students about potential issues.

An interview with student warden Coralie Wood and Winton Community Forum chairman Pat Oakley was broadcast on the lunchtime bulletin, and a longer report – which featured additional interviews with Winton residents and SUBU VP Comms Annie Hall – was shown in the evening bulletin.

The story was also picked up by the Bournemouth Echo newspaper and in news bulletins on local radio stations BBC Radio Solent and Fire FM.

Professor Matthew Bennett shares top tips for building perfect sandcastle

With the sun shining and Bournemouth’s beaches filled with excited holiday goers, BU’s Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Matthew Bennett has been sharing his top tips for building the perfect sandcastle.

Also known as ‘Professor Sandcastle’, following his research into the science behind sandcastles and which beaches are best, Professor Bennett was interviewed on BBC Radio Newcastle and wrote a piece for the Sunday Times.

He told BBC Radio Newcastle Drivetime presenter Anne Leuchars that the mix of sand and water was crucial when building a sandcastle, with eight buckets of sand to one of water being the ideal.

“If you’ve got too much then the grains are lubricated and move past one another and don’t lock together, but if you don’t have any water in there, there’s nothing to bind them together.” he said.

“With just the right amount of water, they stick together.”

Other tips included sticking to a simple bucket and spade, as they are the “most versatile, you can create almost anything you want,” and creating a mound of sand and sculpting from that, instead of using buckets of sand as ‘bricks’.

He added that sandcastles were a fun and accessible way to get people of all ages interested and engaged with science.

“Whatever vehicle you use, communicating the passion and the enthusiasm for science is really important, and sandcastles allow you to do that.

“Understanding where the sand came from, it holds a story about our planet and the history of our planet. It’s just lovely, it’s a really fun thing to do.”

Professor Bennett also gave his top tips on local radio station Fire FM and wrote 7 Golden Rules for building the perfect sandcastle in the Sunday Times.

They included the location of the sandcastle – sand on some beaches are better for sandcastle building than others, with Torquay coming out on top in Professor Bennett’s research, and Bournemouth in third place.

He also advised that people should ‘think big’ when it comes to building their perfect sandcastle.

“Size matters in the game of sandcastles,” he wrote.

“A modest pile with perfect towers, battlements and moat is OK, but the huge redoubts that break the beach horizon are what inspire awe and wonder.

“Pebbles, shells, driftwood fragments and feathers all enhance the look – and, let’s face it, a castle should always be built to be seen.”

Listen to the full interview on BBC Radio Newcastle