Monday, 31 January 2022

Free Rigs, Sets & Props at Escape Studios

Character in a Cartoony Landscape by Jamie Floodgate
Escape Studios' students can now access a very wide variety of production assets, including many production rigs from our students' short films, all now available at UG/Shares on the main drive. 

UG Shares is where we keep most of our production assets, including rigs, sets and props for student use.  Looking for a cartoony landscape, a friendly cartoon cat, a robot or a prison cell?  We've got an asset for you.

Sunday, 30 January 2022

"Punch" Best Director in San Francisco Fest

Congratulations to the makers of "Punch", an animated short film created at Escape Studios, which has won "Best Male Director" at the San Francisco Indie Short festival.

"Punch" was written and directed by Niccolo Smaldone, and produced by Stevie Stedman.  The original score was composed by Stuart Bramwell

Friday, 28 January 2022

Golden Acorn Wins Best Trailer at HEI Fest

Many congratulations to the makers of "The Golden Acorn", which has won an award for Best Trailer at the Art Film Awards.

"The Golden Acorn" is a movie trailer completed by 2nd year undergraduate Escape Studios Animation students, written & directed by Maciej Osuch, edited & produced by Miguel Teixeira

In The Golden Acorn a detective duo team up in NutTown to defeat the evil squirrel crime boss. Two agents, one nutcase. 

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Simone Giampaolo Oscar Shortlist Q&A

Escape Studios' tutor Simone Giampaolo is hosting a free Q&Q tomorrow Friday 28 January at 7pm GMT about his Oscar-Shortlisted short film "Only a Child", a "visual poem" created by over 20 animation directors.

"Only a Child" is a short film based on the words spoken by the then 12 year-old Severn Cullis-Suzuki at the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, in which she made a plea in verse to world leaders for better environmental protection. 

March of the Potguins Best VFX at HEI Fest

"March of the Potguins" wins Best VFX at HEI Fest
Congratulations to the makers of March of the Potguins, directed by Michael Vodden and produced by Daniel Brooks, which has won an award for Best VFX at the Heart of Europe Film Festival (HEI).

March of the Potguins is about two penguin salt & pepper pots who embark on an epic journey across the kitchen counter top.  March of the Potguins has won many festival awards. 

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Video Retrospectives at Escape Studios


At the end of most of our undergraduate modules at Escape Studios our students write a retrospective of approximately 2,400 words. Students must explain how they approached the practical work in the module, what they learned, and how they might perform a similar task better the next time around. The idea is to reflect on their performance, analyse what went wrong, celebrate what went right, and draw conclusions from the process.  Lately we've been exploring some alternative methods of creating a retrospective, either by writing a blog or - as in the case of Ross Green's Video Retrospective above - cutting a video.

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Last Call for UCAS! 26 January 2022

UCAS - time to apply
Last Call for UCAS applications for Escape Studios - the deadline to apply is tomorrow, January 26.  

Escape Students Finalists in Rookies Contest

Knight Spider Contest Finalists
Once again our students have turned in a great performance for "The Rookies", the international VFX organisation which last year organised a global animation contest for their new "Knight Spider" rig, which you can find here

The Knight Spider Challenge opened on 24 September 2021, and closed on 14 January 2022.

We're delighted to announce that four of the ten finalists are students at Escape Studios. This is an amazing result - no other school succeeded in getting more than one name onto the board. 

Monday, 24 January 2022

All About "The Art of The Title"

artofthetitle.com
Part of making any film is thinking about titles, and typography.  A good title sets the tone and style for the forthcoming film.

For all our students working on titles and title sequences for their short films, we recommend visiting theartofthetitle.com, a website dedicated entirely to the art and craft of movie titles.

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Kiwi's Dream Best Micro Short at GNIFF

Kiwi's Dream wins Best Micro Short at Golden Nugget
Congratulations to the makers of "Kiwi's Dream", which has won Best Micro Short at the Golden Nugget International Film Festival. 

Directed by Paloma Zhu and produced by Daniel RoweKiwi's Dream was based on an original concept by Freddie Belsom about an origami kiwi who dreams of flying in the clouds. It has won many festival awards. 


Saturday, 22 January 2022

Ben Gardener Storyboard Artist at Brown Bag

Ben Gardener
We're delighted to congratulate Escapee Ben Gardener who is currently working at Brown Bag Animation as a Storyboard Revisionist.

Ben took our evening class in storyboarding with industry veteran Francesca "Chess" Adams and built up a storyboard portfolio over the duration of the course.

Storyboarding is a growing part of the UK animation industry, as studios develop more in-house content for the expanding creative industries.

Friday, 21 January 2022

Why Animators Need Sound Design

A sound designer at work
Animators need sound design. If you're working on a short film, sound design is a necessary part of the animatic you will put together to test out your work. 

Sound design includes voices, narration, sound effects (such as foley), and music. 

How these get combined together is part of the art and craft of film-making, and must be done before animation begins. 

Pet Shop Wins Best Trailer at Golden Nugget

Pet Shop wins Best Trailer at Golden Nugget Fest
Congratulations to the makers of "Pet Shop", which has won an award for "Best Trailer" at the Golden Nugget International Film Festival.

Directed by Shauna Ludgate and Produced by Emmanouil "Manos" Zervoudakis"Pet Shop" is a story about animals in a pet shop who long to find a home.  It has won many festival awards. 

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Amarok Wins Best Trailer at Golden Eagle

"Amarok" wins Best Trailer at the Golden Eagle Fest
Congratulations to the makers of "Amarok", which has won Best Trailer at the Golden Eagle Film Awards.

Amarok was written and directed by Shenaaz Suliman and produced by Josiah Martin-Lofters.  

Amarok tells the story of a First Nations police detective in a remote town in Northern Canada where a curfew is imposed as a killer wolf stalks the community. Amarok has won many festival awards

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Escape Studios Saturday Club is Back

Escape Studios Saturday Club, part of the National Saturday Club Campaign, is back.

Saturday Club starts up in January 2022; you can register your interest here.

Saturday Club is open to students between the ages of 13-16, and aims to give them a taste of life in the creative industries, such as animation, visual effects and games.

We especially welcome students from disadvantaged backgrounds, many of whom lack the opportunity at school to tackle creative subjects.

Over Under Best No Budget at Dreamer's Fest

Many congratulations to the makers of "Over Under" , which has won an award for "Best No Budget Film" at the Dreamer's Film Fest.

This is the latest award for Over Under, a short fantasy sci-fi film directed by Lucy Harris and produced by Aidan Lonergan, as part of their graduation year Studio Project.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Sasha Fusini Storyboard Artist at Blue Zoo

Sasha Fusini
We're delighted to congratulate Escapee Sasha Fusini who is currently working at Blue Zoo Animation as a storyboard revisionist.

Sasha took our evening class in storyboarding with industry veteran Francesca "Chess" Adams and built up a storyboard portfolio over the duration of the course.

Storyboarding is a growing part of the UK animation industry, as studios develop more in-house content for the expanding creative industries.

Escape Studios "2D Pathway" for Animation

Animation in Toonboom Harmony by Lilian Fu
Escape Studios is delighted to announce our new "2D Animation Pathway" for our undergraduate animation students studying The Art of Computer Animation.  

In recent years 2D Animation has experienced a significant revival, both in the UK and overseas, as Studios such as Blue Zoo, Aardman Animation, and Brown Bag Films adopt new software such as ToonBoom Harmony.

Monday, 17 January 2022

Steve Sole Teaches Production Design Jan 24

Steve Sole...and Mr Bean 
On Monday 24th January 2022 we welcome back designer & visual development artist Steven Sole to teach the fundamentals of Production design, starting at 9.30am. 

Steven will be teaching our 2nd year undergraduate students, who are currently working on their Specialism Module CR5001.

Steven Sole comes to us from Framestore and also from Tiger Aspect Productions, where he was Art Director on the hit series Mr Bean.  To see Steven's design work, visit his official site.

"Planet Mars" Best Cinematography at GNIFF

Planet Mars Best Cinematography at Golden Nugget Fest
Congratulations to the creators of the animated short mockumentary  "Planet Mars", which has won another festival award - Best Cinematography at the Golden Nugget International Film Festival.  

Directed by Escapee Sebastian Kuder, and produced by Katerina Zacharakis, Planet Mars was a Studio Project completed by second year animation students at Escape Studios. It has won many festival awards.

Sunday, 16 January 2022

Creating Content Webinar with British Council

"Garbage Boy and Trash Can"
Escape Studios, Animation UK, and the British Council are teaming up for an "Introduction to Content Development" webinar on Monday 24 January at 10am, discussing ways in which animation studios in Nigeria can create their own unique content and characters.

In the past two decades the animation industry has gone from being a small cottage industry to a global powerhouse, driven by advances in technology and also a huge increase in content creation.  The Nigerian animation business is a growing part of this landscape

In this webinar, made possible by the British Council, we'll be looking at the ways in which African startup studios can create their own unique content and characters and turn these into business opportunities. 

Saturday, 15 January 2022

Alma Best Prod'n Design (Hon Mention) TIMFF

Alma Wins Best Prod'n Design
Congratulations to the makers of "Alma", which has won an Honourable Mention for "Best Production Design" at the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIMFF).


Alma has won many festival awards.  

Friday, 14 January 2022

Moon Rockz Wins Best Sci-Fi at Art Awards

"Moon Rockz" wins Best Sci-Fi at the Art Film Awards
Congratulations to the makers of "Moon Rockz", a short Sci-Fi comedy written and directed by Molly Babington, and produced by Stevie Stedman, which has won Best Sci-Fi at the Art Film Awards.

"Moon Rockz" tells the story of the moon landings - from the point of view of the moon.  The film has won many festival awards.

Thursday, 13 January 2022

Iliana Franklin Teaches Storyboards 17th Jan

Iliana Franklin
Escape Studios' Head of Story Iliana Franklin is back on Monday morning to teach "Storyboarding for Animators" to our Second Year animation students.

Iliana teaches our master's degree in Storyboarding and Previsualisation, and also runs her own production company Mediaframe.

Iliana's class starts on Monday 17th January and will help our animation students learn the art and craft of storyboarding, a necessary part of the film-making process and a vital skill as our students get ready for their 2nd year studio projects.

"Slushy" Wins Best VFX in Tokyo Film Fest

Congratulations to the creators of "Slushy", which has won Best VFX at the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIMFF). 

Directed by Callum Wylie and produced by Jess Hiles"Slushy" is a short animated film about two frozen soft drinks who get separated and have to find a way back to their fridge-freezer home.

Slushy was created as part of a Studio Project in which animation and vfx students join forces to create a short film. 

Slushy has won multiple festival awards.

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Birds Connect Our World Wins GNIFF Award

Birds Connect Our World wins Best Environmental Short
We're proud to congratulate the makers of the short film "Birds Connect Our World", written, directed and animated by Escapee Wing Lan Lilian Fu, which has won an award for "Best Environmentally Conscious Narrative Short" at the Golden Nugget International Film Festival in London.

Birds Connect Our World was animated in Toonboom Harmony; this is its first festival award.

Meet "Russell"

Russell | Student Short Film - Escape Studios from Russell - Short Film on Vimeo.

Meet Russell, a new short VFX film created by students at Escape Studios.  Russell was written by Scott Middleton and Liam Martin, directed by Scott Middleton and produced by Gary Roche.  Russell tells the story of a curious hedgehog who dreams of taking to the skies. Russell is currently being entered into film festivals. 

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Golden Acorn Wins Best Trailer at Art Awards

"Golden Acorn" wins Best Trailer at Art Film Awards
Many congratulations to the makers of "The Golden Acorn", which has won an award for Best Trailer at the Art Film Awards.

"The Golden Acorn" is a movie trailer completed by 2nd year undergraduate Escape Studios Animation students, written & directed by Maciej Osuch, edited & produced by Miguel Teixeira

In The Golden Acorn a detective duo team up in NutTown to defeat an evil squirrel crime boss, and foil his nutty plans.

Monday, 10 January 2022

Introducing "Shimmer"



Introducing "Shimmer", a new vfx short film created by students at Escape Studios. "Shimmer" was directed by Will Moss and produced by Aidan Callaghan, and tells the story of two glass figurines which come to life.  Cinematography was by DOP Clement Gharini.   It was created by our 3rd year animation and VFX students as part of a studio project, in which students collaborate to produce a short film. 

Mafia "Best 1st Time Director" (Hon Mention)

"Mafia Mix-Up" wins Best First Time Director
Congratulations to the makers of "Mafia Mix-Up", which has won an Honourable Mention in the category of Best First-Time Director at the Art Film Awards.

Mafia Mix-Up was written and directed by Jake Lee, and produced by Emmanouil "Manos" Zervoudakis

This is the third festival award for Mafia Mix-Up.

Sunday, 9 January 2022

Malloe Best Production Design in Athens

Mallow Best Production Design in Athens
Congratulations to the makers of "Malloe", which has won Best Production Design at the Athens International Film Festival (AIMAFF).

"Malloe" is a short film about two children who find a very unusual creature - one that is very fond of marshmallows. 

"Malloe" was directed by Eilin Berrio Pena, edited by Ross Green, and produced by Nickoel Izharudin.  Production Design was by Paloma Zhu.

"Malloe" was produced by our 3rd year animation students, working together as a team to produce the film.  It has won many festival awards. 

Saturday, 8 January 2022

Steve Lall Teaches MoCap Tuesday 11 Jan

Motion Capture with Steven Lall
We're delighted to welcome back Escape Studios' Studio Assistant and occasional tutor Steven Lall, who will teach a class in Motion Capture Animation to our Second Year animation students at Escape Studios on Tuesday afternoon.  

Our second year students are tackling CR5001,  the Animation Specialism module, in which students begin to focus on one particular skillset within the animation pipeline.

Friday, 7 January 2022

Quarantine Chorus Best Animated Film of 2021

Quarantine Chorus "Best Animated Film of the Year"
Many congratulations to the makers of "Quarantine Chorus", which has won "Best Animated Film of the Year" at the Dreamachine International Film Festival.  

This is the latest of many festival awards for Quarantine Chorus, a short story about life under Lockdown in a small town in Italy.  

The film was directed by Edoardo Sartori, produced by Nickoel Izharudin and edited by Paloma Zhu; it was based on an original idea by Tequila Mason

Steve Burch's "Golden Ticket" on Monday

Escape Studios is welcoming back veteran animation producer Steve Burch on Monday 10th January, for a "Golden Ticket" - an introduction to the mysterious world of Producing Animation.

Steve, has worked on multiple animation classics including The Iron Giant, Space Jam, and Osmosis Jones, and will deliver a workshop on "Producing Animation" to our second year animators.

Thursday, 6 January 2022

Giada Carnevaletti Animator at MPC

Giada Carnevaletti
Congratulations to Escapee Giada Carnevaletti who has started work as an animator at global VFX powerhouse MPC. 

MPC is one of the UK's longest-established VFX and animation houses; responsible for hits such as The Lion King and The Jungle Book

While at Escape Studios, Giada worked on two award-winning films: CandleWick and Moon Rockz, both of which have enjoyed considerable festival success.  Giada also worked at Escape Studios as a Studio Assistant.

Meet "Sweet Heart"

Sweet Heart | Short Film from Manos Zervoudakis on Vimeo.

Meet "Sweet Heart", a short VFX film created by students at Escape Studios. "Sweet Heart" was directed by Liam Mann, co-directed by Shenaaz Suliman, and produced by Emmanouil "Manos" Zervoudakis.  "Sweet Heart" tells the story of two cake figurines who fall in love - with a twist.

Wednesday, 5 January 2022

Character & Creature Creation Starts 26 Sept

Design by Max Brazier Jones
We're delighted to announce the return of our new short course in Character and Creature Creation on 26 September 2022.

This new 12 week course in Character & Creature Creation - first launched in September 2021 - is all about designing, modeling, and rigging your own characters.  

Students learn all the stages of character creation from design through to final render.  

Punch Double Win at Florida Shorts Film Fest

Punch Double Winner at Florida Shorts Film Festival
Congratulations to the makers of "Punch", an animated short film created at Escape Studios, which has won two awards at the Florida Shorts Film Festival: Best Male Director and also Best Composer.

"Punch" was written and directed by Niccolo Smaldone, and produced by Stevie Stedman.  The original score was composed by Stuart Bramwell

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

March of the Potguins Hon Mention Best VFX

MOTP wins Hon. Mention for Best VFX at LIMFF
Congratulations to the makers of March of the Potguins, directed by Michael Vodden and produced by Daniel Brooks, which has won an Honourable Mention in the category of Best VFX at the London International Film Festival (LIMFF).

March of the Potguins is about two penguin salt & pepper pots who embark on an epic journey across the kitchen counter top.  It has won a number of festival awards. 

Monday, 3 January 2022

3D Anim Evening Class Starts 26 April 2022

Dragon animation by Shauna Ludgate
Our 20 week part-time evening class in 3D Animation  returns on Tuesday 26 April 2022.

This online class runs for 20 weeks on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, from 7-10pm, and is taught by veteran animator Matteo Sanna, currently working at WETA digital.

The course starts with animation fundamentals and builds up to complex actions and performances, and a professional level demo reel.

"Moon Rockz" Best Micro Short at Vesuvius

"Moon Rockz" wins Best Micro Short at Vesuvius Fest
Congratulations to the makers of "Moon Rockz", a short Sci-Fi comedy written and directed by Molly Babington, and produced by Stevie Stedman, which has won Best Micro Short at the Vesuvius Film Festival.

"Moon Rockz" tells the story of the moon landings - from the point of view of the moon.  It has won many festival awards.

Sunday, 2 January 2022

Meet the "Gnaughty Gnomes"

Gnaughty Gnomes from Hannah Sheppard on Vimeo.

Meet Gnaughty Gnomes, a new short animated film recently completed at Escape Studios. Gnaughty Gnomes was directed by Antonia Palmer, produced by Hannah Sheppard and co-produced by Charlotte Gimbird.   Ever wondered what happened to your car keys, your wallet, or your phone? Watch Gnaughty Gnomes to find out. 

Storyboarding is Back on 10 Feb 2022

Storyboarding with Chess Adams
Our evening class in Storyboarding with Francesca "Chess" Adams, series director and story board artist at Blue Zoo, returns on Thursday 10 February 2022.

This evening class in storyboarding is an online class, taught from 7-10pm, and runs for ten weeks.

Chess brings her long experience of storyboarding and directing shows like Digby Dragon and The Go Jetters, reflecting the substantial increase in animated content being created in the UK.  

Saturday, 1 January 2022

Amarok Wins Best Trailer at Dreamachine

Amarok Wins Best Trailer at Dreamachine
Congratulations to the makers of "Amarok", which has won Best Trailer at the Dreamachine Film Festival. 

Amarok was written and directed by Shenaaz Suliman and produced by Josiah Martin-Lofters.  

Amarok tells the story of a First Nations police detective in a remote town in Northern Canada where a curfew is imposed as a killer wolf stalks the community.

2022 New Year's Resolutions

Happy 2022!
Happy New Year to all our students past, present and future.  The New Year brings new challenges but also opportunities - the animation industry continues to thrive, with studios now offering new jobs working either in-house or remotely. 

The 2D animation industry is experiencing a Renaissance, with new technology, such as Toonboom Harmony, making 2D animation easier to access, and studios such as Blue Zoo and Jellyfish are expanding their 2D capacity.

So, as the industry continues to grow, what should an animator's new year's resolutions be in 2022?