2012 Awardee: Jessica Ashman

It excites me to be part of an industry which makes the impossible possible, and reaches out to the hearts and minds of audiences from all walks of life

Biography

Jessica moved to Edinburgh from the Midlands in 2008, after gaining a coveted place on the Animator Apprenticeship Scheme run by what was then Scottish Screen. She proved herself to be a commited and passionate young animator, with the necessary patience and core skills required to make a career in the artform.

After her apprenticeship, Jessica lived and worked in Glasgow.  She made a name for herself as a freelance director and animator in the film and TV industries.

Jessica’s passion for directing comes from the ability to share stories, experiences and emotions through work on screen.  Her short film Fixing Luka is a stop motion animaton that explores her personal experience of growing up with a younger brother who has autism.  The film went on to win a New Talent BAFTA for Original Score and a Scottish BAFTA for Best Animation in 2011.

Also in 2011, Jessica was commissioned as a writer/director on B3 Media’s Talentlab Programme;  a creative development programme produced in partnership with Skillset and BBC Films.  She received mentor support from top industry professionals and on completion was accepted onto the prestigious MA in Animation at the Royal College of Art.

How the Award Helped

Studying for a masters degree provided a crucial tipping point for Jessica, taking her to the next level of her career.  She received a Dewar Award to enable her to benefit from this opportunity to the full.

Trailer: Fixing Luka

Trailer: Tenderfoot (MA final year film from RCA) 

It excites me to be part of an industry which makes the impossible possible, and reaches out to the hearts and minds of audiences from all walks of life

2011 Awardee: Stephanie Ward

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for such an honourable award. I am sure this award will help me develop myself as an animator and will allow me to pursue the career I desire.

Biography

Born and brought up in Greenock, Stephanie exhibited a self-portrait in the McLean Museum, Greenock while still at high school. She went on to study digital art at the University of West of Scotland. Her degree show was exhibited in Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts.
Stephanie is aiming for a career as an animator. She had an internship as a comic book inker in Glasgow and, unpaid, for Picasso Pictures in London, both of which inspired her to develop her skills in dynamic figure drawing and character development.

More unpaid work followed as she designed a comic for an independent writer in the USA and then carried out a concept design for a small games company also in the USA.

The hard work paid off and she won a place on the MA in Character Animation course at Central St Martins, London, one of the leading art schools in Europe. She was the only Scot to have gained a place on the course this year.

https://stephsanimationblog.myblog.arts.ac.uk/

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help support Stephanie through the first year of her postgraduate studies.

Ariel and Caliban.mov from Stephanie Ward on Vimeo.

Final animation from Stephanie’s studies at Central Saint Martins

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for such an honourable award. I am sure this award will help me develop myself as an animator and will allow me to pursue the career I desire.

2008 Awardee: James Wood

I am delighted to accept this award … it will prove to be of great assistance to my studies.

Biography

From Stonehaven, James graduated from Gray’s School of Art in 2007 where he studied painting and drawing.   He has a wonderful natural gift as a visual artist, excelling in painting, drawing and sculpture.

On graduation, James’s ambition was to train and work in 3D computer animation. His gift in traditional drawing techniques will be an enormous advantage in this field of work. James was accepted onto the highly-regarded Masters course at Bournemouth University, which, he writes, is the ‘perfect platform’ from which to launch himself into the competitive arena of film and video game production.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help pay towards the costs of attending this course.

Since the Award

Jamie graduated with distinction in 2009. A film of his final Masters project can be viewed on his website at www.jamiewoodart.com.

He writes, “I still feel the same passionate drive that I had one year ago to pursue a career in this area and I am extremely grateful to the Dewar Awards for the fact that I am now equipped with the skills and experience needed to break into this competitive industry. With the UK in its current position as one of the world leaders in the development of film and computer game digital content, I am now in the position of being able to represent Scotland by initially seeking a 3D artist job here in the UK.”

I am delighted to accept this award … it will prove to be of great assistance to my studies.

2007 Awardee: Oliver Smith

I am delighted that I will be able to continue my animation career, and I will try to live up to your expectations.

Biography

It’s not that unusual for a twelve-year-old to be a whizz at computers. But what is remarkable about Oliver Smith is that he entered Digital Eden, a competition for adults as part of the 2006 Inverness Film Festival, and was one of six winners. His winning entry, a 6-minute animated short film based on the 1970’s hit MASH!, was described as ‘clever, inventive and humorous’. It was a great success with the public.

The prize was to produce a film based on this idea, with mentoring from a film professional. Oliver demonstrated creativity, determination and maturity way beyond his years to those who worked with him on this further project. In 2007 his film was short-listed out of over 120 entries for the National Young Filmmakers Award.

Oliver began his interest in animation by producing animated sections on his primary school’s website. In 2005 when still in Primary 7 Oliver, along with a friend of his own age and using a camcorder and basic movie making software, won an ‘Albert’ prize (Arts in Motion) for their live action short film ‘The Pillow Killers’.

At his young age, it is impossible to say what Oliver will do professionally. But at the moment, he is keen to pursue a career in film-making.

All we can say is, his creativity and interest in film-making are rare in someone so young. He may well be an important Scottish film-maker of the future.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award enabled Oliver to buy a computer and software to help with develop his next film-making project.

Since the Award

November 2007 – Oliver’s short animation film ‘Go Practise’ was nominated for a BAFTA.

April 2008 – Oliver received the ‘Up and Coming Youngster Award’ at the Moray Firth Radio Awards.

I am delighted that I will be able to continue my animation career, and I will try to live up to your expectations.