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Manchester Graduates Evening #Recap

Our Manchester studio held a Graduates Open Evening last week at The Sharp Project where they opened their doors to over 60 graduates!

The evening was organised to give graduates the opportunity to meet Brown Bag creatives and discuss careers in animation as well as what it’s like to work at Brown Bag Films. Some of last year's Open Evening attendees are now valued members of our BBF UK team. You can read about their journey here.

Katie Lander our Manchester-based Learning & Development Advisor explains why it’s so important to offer this opportunity to graduates:

Katie: Animation isn’t an occupation that’s openly encouraged by Careers Advisors, in fact, if you asked most Senior School Career Counsellors what they know about animation, they may be able to tell you a handful of familiar shows or films but that’s about it. Occasionally an Art Teacher may have some knowledge of our industry but again, it’s rare. So it’s no surprise that the number of young people in the UK going through the University route and coming into our industry is incredibly low.

Those intrepid individuals who have sought out the knowledge of how to become professionals in our animated world should be nurtured and enthused, they’re at the very start of their career path and it’s critical that in an industry with an undersized talent pool, we keep them engaged and motivated to achieve their ambitions.

Add to this the theoretical understanding they have developed at University, with little input from production companies on how an animation business actually runs and we run the risk of losing talent to other creative industries. We want to step up and say ‘Come and see this in practice’ and show them what an amazing business this is, the incredibly talented people working within it and the opportunities for long-term careers in the animation sector.

We are proud to say that here in the Manchester studio, we have a large proportion of early career graduates within our workforce. They are enthusiastic, energetic and really keep our business current and relevant. So even when we don’t have any live vacancies, we want to give back as much as we can by showing new talent just what they can expect in this crazy world of moving storybooks.

During the evening the graduates took part in speed networking, where they got to meet employees from all levels and roles across our 2D pipeline. We caught up with some of the graduates after the event, including a senior lecturer, to see what they thought.

“One thing I really enjoyed about today is seeing the pipeline and all the different jobs. The storyboarding was amazing, they're all really enthusiastic. I only have positive things to say about it, I will definitely go back and look into the different disciplines.”

- Kate Muldown (University of Central Lancashire)

“Personally I’m passionate about rigging, speaking to a lot of people here I have learned that the skill is in demand at the moment.”

- Ashley Collier (UCLAN)

“I have spent my life working/studying animation and helping students learn animation, to spend the last hour in there with a group of people who are so passionate, who want to recruit people with similar interests and who want to make the next big animation. To recruit in so many different roles and to hear all about things that I talk about in my role as a lecturer, it’s reinforced here. If you want to be an Animator, it’s about the principles and showing a good walk cycle. If you want to work in the Art Department, character design and good design levels putting across good ideas and themes, it was fantastic. I recommend anyone coming here to do it, you will have a great time, the staff were really helpful and they want you to excel in whatever you want to do in your animation career.”

- Philip Organ (Senior Lecturer UWTSD, Swansea)

For those who couldn't attend the evening here are a few tips for making it in the animation industry:

- If you submit an application make sure that you link your showreel and that the link works! Don’t forget if it’s password-protected to include your password.

- It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you. Make sure to network whenever you can.

- Don’t procrastinate, opportunities will come and go but if you do nothing about them so will you.

- Keep learning and make use of online resources such as Schoolism.

- Be active on social media! You can find work not only on Linkedin but by building followings on other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

- Study your peers. If you're not sure where to start you can find inspiration from our talented employees on our Instagram page @brownbagfilms.

And, of course… don’t give up!

Rachael Rothwell

We Love Animation®

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