|Young animators who developed their talents at the University of Lincoln, UK, have helped to bring to life an award-winning tale by acclaimed British author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, best known for his Christmas classic, The Snowman.
Patrick Collins and Alison Oxborrow were part of the team at Lupus Films who created Ethel & Ernest, a hand-drawn animated feature film telling the true story of Raymond’s own parents, two ordinary Londoners living through a period of extraordinary events and immense social change.
The pair joined a team of top British talent breathing life into these special characters, with Lincolnshire’s own Oscar winner Jim Broadbent and Golden Globe winner Brenda Blethyn in the title roles, and Olivier Award winner Luke Treadaway as Raymond.
Both Patrick and Alison met the film’s Animation Director, Peter Dodd, and Head of Assistant Animation, Denise Dean, while studying the BA (Hons) in Animation degree course at the University of Lincoln, and acknowledge it was these industry connections that helped them join the team at Lupus Films entrusted with bringing Raymond Briggs’ most personal story to the silver screen.
Patrick, who graduated with Alison in 2015, explained: “I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t studied animation in Lincoln. As well as learning about form, construction and animation technique I met some great people who actually work in the industry. When I saw that Denise was looking for assistant animators to work on the film, I jumped at the chance.”
Sultan Efe, Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Animation in the University’s Lincoln School of Film & Media, said: “It’s fantastic that both Alison and Patrick have gone on to work on such a high profile animated feature film project in which they’ve been able to demonstrate their expertise in traditional animation techniques.
“At Lincoln our students engage with industry experts, becoming creative animators with the flexibility to practise their craft in a variety of media and making valuable connections along the way.”
Ethel & Ernest premiered at the BFI London Film Festival 2016 and is now being shown in cinemas across the UK (released 28th October 2016).
*Image courtesy of Vertigo Releasing.