BAFTA Games Awards Winners In Focus

BAFTA Games Awards

The winners of the 2016 BAFTA Games Awards were announced in London earlier this month, with prizes in nineteen different categories, honouring the best games of the last 12 months. We take a look at some this years big winners!

Fallout 4 (Winner, Best Game)

Fallout 4, from Bethesda Game Studios, is set in a post-apocalyptic Boston in the year 2287, 210 years after a devastating nuclear war. The player completes various quests and acquires experience points to improve their character’s attributes. With first-person and third-person perspectives available, players can explore Fallout 4’s open world setting at will, allowing non-linear gameplay. The Best Game winner has received positive reviews from critics, notably for the world depth, player freedom, overall amount of content, story, crafting, characters, and soundtrack. Gamespot said, ‘Fallout 4 rewards your curiosity with excellent storytelling and hearty doses of tense combat in a wasteland full of possibilities.’

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Events Round-Up: Spring 2016

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Attention animators! Want to know about the latest events in the industry, but want someone else to do the hard work? Well we’ve obliged, as we look ahead to a few great animation and gaming events, big and small, coming up over the next few months.

The Animation Grill 2016
Taking place in Cardiff on 14th April at KIN+ILK, 1 Capital Quarter Tyndall Street, Cardiff.

The Animation Grill takes place on a monthly basis, and allows animators to meet to review personal animation work and network. It’s a great opportunity for animators looking to get feedback on their work, and meet other animators in a relaxed environment.

It’s free to attend, but you can register here: http://bit.ly/1RqBRhF

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British Animation Awards Return

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Tonight at the BFI Southbank, the British Animation Awards return for their 20th anniversary, to once again bring us the very best of British animation!

The categories this year were slightly modified and entries were accepted for Best Student Film: Undergraduate, Best Student Film: Postgraduate, Best Children’s Series, Best Pre-School Series, Best Film/TV Graphics, Best Use of Sound, Best Commissioned Animation: Promotional, Best Commissioned Animation: Documentary, Best Voice Performance, Best Music Video, Best Animation in a Commercial, Best Short Film and Best Long Form.

The public also has a chance to award their favourites from the Favourite Short Film and Music Video categories with the Public Choice Award.

BAA Director, Jayne Pilling says: “It’s 20 years since the British Animation Awards began and this is the first awards ceremony to take place since the industry reaped the benefit of the changes to the tax-break arrangements.  With the animation industry in rude health, there has never been a better time to celebrate this wonderful, thriving, creative force and we hope to make this the best awards ceremony yet.”

In anticipation of tonight’s ceremony, let’s have a closer look at some of the best animation work this year.

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Situation Vacant

Ruth Fielding

As hopeful graduates flood the recruitment market, Ruth Fielding, of Lupus Films reflects on the new talent entering the animation industry.

It’s the beginning of the summer and those CVs from eager graduates are flooding in daily. We try to respond to everyone giving some sort of constructive advice but it’s frustrating when we either don’t actually have positions to fill, or secondly, 99% of the applicants don’t have what we’re looking for. Most of the CVs are from animators who want to make their break into the world of work. As Lupus Films is not an animation studio, but a production company that outsources the majority of our animation work to animation studios at home and abroad, we rarely have suitable opportunities.

However, what I’ve never received in many years of running a company is a CV and covering letter saying; Dear Sir/Madam, what I’d really like to be is an animation producer. Please will you invest in me and train me up so that I can take your job one day? (No doubt I will get lots of letters like that as soon as this article is published!)

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Have You Added Your Showreel?

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Every AnimationBase Pro member now has the option to add a showreel to their profile. Adding media to your profile allows employers to instantly view a sample of your work when they search our database, without having to navigate away from the site.

Here are a few pointers:

  • Add a video which supports your current work ambitions and strengths.
  • You can embed videos from YouTube, Vimeo or ProductionBase.
  • Keep it short – you should be able to show off what you do in a maximum of 3 minutes.
  • Title and Tag your media in the most appropriate way.
  • Share your profile page anywhere and everywhere once you’ve added your showreel!

If you’re a Pro member, add your showreel via the last section of the Edit Profile page.

Basic members can upgrade to Pro membership at any time to enjoy a range of benefits. As well as adding your showreel, you’ll get exclusive access to the latest jobs, and priority positioning when employers search our database. Upgrade now to Pro membership.

Lessons In Getting Animated

Tim Searle

Creative Director, Tim Searle, offers some practical advice to animation graduates who are hoping to succeed in the industry.

I’ve been working in comedy animation for more than 25 years and in that time I’ve been lucky to have worked on some great projects, with some really great people. Working in animation isn’t ‘work’ like my dad knew the meaning of the word, but I can safely say it hasn’t been easy. From what I’ve seen, a career in any creative field, from writing, performing, camera work, sound, music,… production, programming, (everything), takes a tenacity and self belief bordering on madness. Animation is no exception.

I’ve put teams together and over the years given numerous people their first break into the industry. I’m now a member of the Skillset Animation Skills Council, we try to encourage the provision of quality skills provision in education.

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Look Beyond The Jobs Board

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The AnimationBase jobs board is one consistent source for finding work, with hundreds of jobs currently being posted every week, but don’t make it your only focus.

There are more than 1,600 animation, gaming and VFX companies from around the world on the site and conducting searches, so your focus should also be on how to get yourself found! If you haven’t created your free profile yet, then what are you waiting for?! If you have then, this is what we recommend you do to improve the chances of your profile being viewed…

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Missing In Action – Why Women Aren’t Animated About Games

Saint John Walker

It’s frequently highlighted that women are leaving the media industries in their droves, and animation and games are shown to particularly lack female talent. So what’s it like for that rarest of species, the female games animator?

Previously I’ve discussed the curious dissonance between the increasingly familiar imagery of the casual female and an industry that remains remorselessly male.

Considering the shift in how we consume games, and the rise in female gamers, why aren’t we seeing young women being attracted into the industry. Seemingly, despite being welcome to play games, they aren’t being welcomed to work on games.

The gender imbalance is a normal fact of working in games. A number of social and economic factors could be at play here. It’s true for instance that other high-tech laden media sectors like Interactive Media also suffer such an imbalance (5%) and that the increasing proportion of coding and programming roles within modern games companies (and proportionately less growth in art roles) doesn’t particularly favour women’s entry into the industry since less women study those subjects at school or college.

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Make Use Of Your Personal Web Page

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With the launch of the all new AnimationBase a few months back we introduced some great new features to the site, one of which was the addition of your own webpage.

It’s a fantastic way to showcase your profile and, as it’s available to all AnimationBase members, saves you lots of cash on running and maintaining your own site.

But are you utilising it to its full potential? Here are a few key reminders of getting the best out of it…

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Animate Your Own Skills

Saint John Walker

If you could improve your skills, what would you learn? If you could get training that helped you progress in your current job, would you take it? You’d think so, but most people don’t for a couple of good reasons: time and money.

Skillset’s research shows a third (36%) of employers in animation are keen to encourage their staff to work towards a qualification, but almost two-thirds (61%) of employers report barriers preventing their organisation from undertaking such training and development. The most common barrier was, you’ve guessed it, the cost. This was followed by the difficulty in assessing the quality of courses available and a lack of suitable courses in the locality.

Skillset spends a lot of time engaging with universities and trying to improve the talent of new entrants, but what about helping “skill up” the employees and freelancers who have made it into the industry? How can animation businesses gain new skills in say, Stereo 3D, new online business models, media and IP law, or the latest versions of Nuke or Maya?

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