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Michael Laine


Animation_Student_Michael-LaineWhat appealed to you about Northumbria University?

What appealed to me most about Northumbria University and the city itself was that it struck a balance between the good reputation of University and the city, as well as its closeness to my home.

What was it about your course / subject area that had a particular interest?

What really interested me to do animation was the fact you can do absolutely anything, the only thing you’re really limited by is your imagination. From being a little kid growing up on Cartoon Network and Saturday morning TV, cartoons, animated movies, stop motion and even adverts all fascinated me wondering how they were created.

How did you feel during your first week with us?

My first week at University was good fun, the first day of class and the whole course went on a field trip to Edinburgh to visit some galleries and get to know each other better. During class we were given simple daily exercises to blast through.  This gave us a foundation on how the basics of the basic worked which was nice to do as it eased us into the work and let us just get to know each other. This put me at ease with the stress of starting University and getting my head around it all.

What do you enjoy most about your course?

I enjoy everything about my course, from the just sitting round with classmates talking about work, or stuff we've seen on field trips to places like Berlin and Amsterdam. The end of year screenings and exhibitions are awesome too, they are like your own private party with close friends.

Can you give us an example of a project you have recently worked on and what it involved?

One of the projects I enjoyed most was the very first big one we got, which was called "Imagine Newcastle", where we were given a section of Newcastle from a map to go research for inspiration, and then make a short traditional animation about the area. I ended up, after a long time of wondering what to do with the very quiet residential area I was given, came up with a mock documentary style thing where someone was spying on the inanimate objects within the streets and watching them come to life. One of the things I really enjoyed about this project was, I felt like a real animator, sat in front of a light box for hours just drawing away while listening to music, it was nice.

What would you like to do when you graduate?

Ideally I would like to move down to London or somewhere where there is a demand for work and make a few shorts, maybe an advert or two just to get my name out there, then move on to a bigger studio somewhere and work on some big name titles. What I want in the end is to run my own studio even if it doesn’t turn out to be massive, I’d just like to have a team of people I work well with and can push out short after short, in between feature length projects.

How do you get on with your tutors?

I get on really well with them, they are always up for a laugh and don't mind if you quiz them about anything and everything. A really nice set of people.

Do you have any general advice for someone applying to your course, or to the school of design in general?

Not really, all I would say is get your portfolio sorted, make sure there’s no pointless filler in it and it’s just full of things that you are truly proud of.

What is your favourite thing about Newcastle?

One of the best things about Newcastle has to be if you’re sat with housemates at 2am and suddenly decide to go out you all know for a fact, there are plenty of places to go, and they won’t shut for hours.

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