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A lesson in animation from Aardman's Andy

Andy Symanowski with some of the children on the course Photo: Alan Walters
Andy Symanowski with some of the children on the course Photo: Alan Walters

A well known and internationally respected animator held a two two day workshop in Empingham recently.

Andy Symanowski, a former Casterton College pupil, has worked as an animator, writer and director for Aardman Animations for more than 20 years.

He has worked on Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Chicken Run and more recently, Early Man.

The two-day course held on June 30 and July 1 was open to children between the ages 11 and 15 and Andy said six kids had enrolled.

“It went really well,” he said. “The children were really engaged in the work and what we were doing and enjoyed it. We made a short film which they were able to take home to work on.”

All materials for the course were supplied and children only needed to take a packed lunch.

“It’s possible we have have some future animators among them,” said Andy.

“If they keep practising what they learnt and keep improving and go to college to study further there is no reason why they can’t pursue it as a career.”

Andy, who was drawn to animation after watching the early Star Wars films, also worked on Morph, the lovable claymation character who lived on Tony Hart’s desk.

He said a lot of time and effort went into making an animated film, but that it was a rewarding career. “It takes 24 pictures to make one second of animation,” he said.

However, he cautioned that it was a difficult career to get into without the right experience.

“It’s a small industry with many people wanting to do it,” he said.

“I was hoping to hold 10 workshops this year and have done two so far so anyone interested in learning more should keep an eye on my website for details.”

For details of future workshops visit www.trickfilmanimation.co.uk

Our photo shows Andy with some of those on the course Photo: Alan Walters

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