Cartoon Network U.K. has teamed up with animation students from the London Animation Studio at Central Saint Martin's College of Art and Design, who have produced four high-quality IDs now airing across Europe on the channel.
Originally Cartoon Network sought to hire the best new talent and graduates from the London Animation Studio for various projects. After several discussions, Cartoon Network committed to supporting the course by giving students official jobs to work on while at school to gain industry experience. CN also gave the college funds to buy studio equipment including Flash software and Adobe After Effects.
Students submitted 30 ideas to CN, which selected four. Students were then divided into groups to work on each one, with animation direction from the course tutors and presented CN with a series of line tests for its approval. The students then animated and produced them, including laying down the soundtracks to be fully immersed in the entire production process. The project counts toward the students final grade.
"Many of these students are definitely names to watch as the work they have produced is superb, said Finn Arnesen, vp of programming, acquisitions and development for Cartoon Network, Europe and head of program production for Cartoon Network International. The quality of concept and execution exceeded all expectations.
"This project has been a fantastic opportunity for our students to work with Cartoon Network, whose shows we all love anyway!" said course director, Birgitta Hosea. "It's great for students to follow an industry brief with strict deadlines and then to be able to say on their CV that they have had some of their work broadcast. They enjoyed the experience of visiting the sound studio and seeing the process of adding sound to their animations.
Cartoon Network U.K. and the college have decided to make this an annual project and are considering one for 3D students as well.
The project was led by Rita Osei (producer) and Dan Balaam (creative director) at Cartoon Network and Steve Roberts (2D tutor) and Hosea at The London Animation Studio.
Students involved in the CN project were Jordi March, Chris Wayles, Vincent North, Joanna Lane, (The Powerpuff Girl Halo Group), Viktoria Astrom, Alison Crawford and Matthew Ingram (The Dexter Mandark group), Joae De Abreu Pires, Jamie Pickup and Andy Alder (The Dee Dee Paint group) and Siren Halvorsen, Nick Wade, Lisette Sledgers and Rik Goddard (The Ed Edd n Eddy group).
The London Animation Studio (www.Londonanimationstudio.tv) was originally set up by the Guild of British Animation and the London post-production industry to meet a skills shortage of animators, and is now a premiere center for character animation training in the U.K. The course has close links with the animation industry, including a unique mentoring program, plus 80% of all graduates are now employed at the high-end of the broadcast and animation industry by companies like the Framestore CFC, Mill Film, BBC, the Moving Picture Company, Cinesite, Aldis Animation, Richard Purdum Prods., Cartoon Network and Hibbert Ralph.
Cartoon Network U.K. celebrated its 10th anniversary in September 2003. Since launching as a pan-European channel in 1993, CN now has localized services throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa in 11 languages, where it is available in 30.4 million homes making it the most widely distributed kids channel in the region.