Film and animation

Animation studio – develop a creative project with Will Bishop-Stephens

Ref: S3D08939



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About this course

This course will help you take the seed of a new idea for an animation project (short film, music video, abstract art or narrative animation) and bring your project to life in a working studio environment. It is suitable for enthusiastic amateurs who have attended the beginners' stop-motion animation course and semi-professionals with their own basic equipment.

Course Description

This course is intended for intermediate to advanced students who have their own basic equipment and an animation project in mind that they would like to develop, even if the idea is vague or in it's earliest stages. The course expands upon our Stop-Motion animation beginners course (see 9-11 June) but is suitable for enthusiastic amateurs and semi professionals across a range of animation techniques.

We will work together to bring your project to life, whether you have an idea for a short film, music video, series or feature, abstract art or narrative animation.

Beginning with story development techniques developed in industry, your tutor is there first as a script doctor and storyboard assistant in pre-production, then in production as a studio technician and production assistant, and finally in post production as digital editor/sound designer. You benefit from professional, personalised support and a working individually in a focussed creative environment.

Whatever stage your animation project is at, the three days that make up this course will develop it so that you have a clear direction to move forward, having developed and thoroughly tested individualised and practical solutions that give you a fresh set of creative skills, allowing you to getting the best out of any production situation. You will learn how to structure stories to give a satisfying narrative arc, how to make best use of your equipment and raise your production values, and how to apply the fundamentals of animated movement to bring characters and environments into vivid life.

After some warm up activities on the first evening, key concepts are discussed, with story structure and what it means in relation to a range of animation practice, by watching short animated films. On the first full day there are some group activities, to test and develop ideas. After this the focus shifts to one-to-one support and individual working.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • You need to bring your own equipment and materials to create your animation - the things you would normally use to create animation at home - but even if you only have a sense of the kind of thing you would like to make, then we can develop ideas from there.
  • Equipment may include a digital stills camera, mobile phone or tablet with a mini tripod, chargers, plenty of space on your device/memory cards, Any camera accessories (eg camera tripod) if you have them
  • You can download software in advance and try it out before you come. Some good examples are Stop-Motion Studio (Apple iOS/Android) iMotion (Apple iOs) Stop-Motion (Android, iPad).
  • You will get the best image quality with a Digital SLR camera and a laptop, using iStopMotion (Mac) Stop-Motion Pro (PC) or DragonFrame [recommended] (PC or Mac). Each of these have lists of compatible cameras online which you should check before spending any money.
  • A spare battery, or ideally a mains adapter is also a worthwhile purchase.
  • Also bring a USB stick or other external device (to store your films on).
  • You are welcome to contact the tutor in advance if you need to discuss ideas, especially if you would like to prepare art work in advance of the course. Email

Available to buy

  • Multi coloured packs of New Plast plasticine
  • Black & White packs of New Plast plasticine
  • Coloured card pack
  • Some wire
  • Modelling tools
  • PVA glue
  • USB stick


Will Bishop-Stephens

Will Bishop-Stephens is an award winning Animation Director, specialising in Stop-Motion model animation. Will's most recent film 'Two Films About Loneliness' is currently being screened around the world including at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, acclaimed Sundance Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival. It went on to win the Future Shorts Spring Season 2015 prize. Will has been Programme Leader for Animation and Illustration at the University of East London since 2014. Prior to this he was a lecturer at the Royal College of Art, Westminster University and Plymouth University and led animation modules at UEL.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.