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Animators establish studio straight after graduating

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 29 OCTOBER 2013

Birmingham City University’s NTI Birmingham has interviewed up-and-coming Animation specialists Sector5 Studios, the product of graduates who wanted to take their careers further by setting up their own business.

Sector5 Studios (S5S) are a company based in the West Midlands with each team member contributing their own skills in animation. S5S started as an idea by undergraduate Ravi from University of Wolverhampton, with Matt Ayris, Illustration and Animation, Alessandro Nicholas, 2D Animator and Gary Jones, Stop-Motion Animation.

After meeting the team at Sector5 Studios during the Drawn from Life event, Animation forum thought it ideal to talk to such talented and innovative individuals to share their experience, and help give other animators similar inspiration.

‘Sector5’

“It took us longer to decide on the actual name, logo and design” said Ravi. “‘Sector5’ describes the various animation sections we cover as a team. Each person specialises in a form of animation and illustration, which helps provide a different take on each project.”

Although a new business, S5S have experience in animation having worked on a number of stings for Flip Festival, as well as designing projects for music videos, banners and short films. In between client work, they keep their drawing skills up-to-date by bringing in inspiration from animators such as Japanese company Studio Ghibli and Blizzard Games.

“We all worked with each other during university and found we worked together very quickly and smoothly,” said Alessandro, S5S’ 2D Art conceptualist. “For our ‘Ringmaster’ project for Flip Festival we spent a lot of time designing the sting, and the extra work we didn’t include we can save for future ideas.”

Wallace and Gromit

“I really like Nick Park and what he’s done with Wallace and Gromit, the work that goes into his designs is extraordinary,” says Gary. “I find it better when you can see the personality of the animator through the work; it makes the clip a much better product to watch. I struggled with animation during my first year at university but after a few weeks I settled into it. I’m glad I persevered and the tutors really helped me and still offer advice for the company.”

Illustrator Matt handles the financial side of the company, as he has the most knowledge of the business sector. S5S went along to Access to Business in Wolverhampton for an Open Day, a non-profit organisation dedicated in helping to support anyone looking to set up a business. The team at S5S acknowledges that it is beneficial to rely on the strengths of others in the team, and focus on how your own skills can contribute to its success.

“In the end we just decided to set [S5S] up on our own. In this industry it’s all about networking and making contacts – which we had begun to do during university,” says Matt. “Try to plan ahead and get things sorted before you leave, go to as many conferences as you can, we were lucky that Flip Festival was local to us.”

Sector5 Studios submitted work which was screened at Flip Festival. The full article is available on the non-profit organisation Animation Forum, an independently run support network, available for anyone looking to work in animation in the West Midlands. Currently, Sector5 Studios are gathering information to help continue to fund their company and enhance their online presence.

You can also check out more of the teams work on Sector5 Studios website, including the official ‘Ringmaster’ sting.

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