An animated experience with extra learning on the side

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An animated experience with extra learning on the side

02 March 2015

Rianna Hale BFI course

Bracknell & Wokingham College has had its first student, Rianna Hale, Media student, 16, Bracknell, accepted onto the British Film Institute (BFI) Film Academy residential programme in Animation and VFX (visual effects).

The course taught Rianna how to make a short stop motion animation and gave her the opportunity to gain a few high profile contacts in the business:

“Throughout the course I learnt a lot about how to succeed in the film industry and even met Daniel Gerhardt who worked on the visual effects for the film Gravity. He spoke to us about the process of visual effects, what it was like to win an Oscar and a general, but valuable, insight into what to expect from a career in the film industry.”

Rianna heard about the course from her Media tutor Denise Meller who helped her prepare her application. Denise actively encourages her students to apply for prestigious courses such as this to enhance their skills and CV. Denise said:

“The BFI programme was a terrific opportunity for Rianna to enhance her CV, increase her confidence and to learn more – not just about animation and visual effects - but also about what it’s like in a real working environment alongside industry professionals.

“A students’ chance of future work is greatly improved through experiences such as these as they are proving their proactive qualities by learning more about their desired trade outside of their normal college activities. Hearing about Rianna’s experience has made opportunities like this feel more attainable for our other students.”

The week-long BFI residential course was held over the half-term break with Rianna staying in accommodation in London with the 39 other programme students:

“It was exciting staying away from home, especially in London, there was always a lot going on and I had a great time meeting and working on productions with the people on the course, we all had similar interests and worked together well.

“The days were packed with activities. We had practical classes, talks from industry speakers and trips to the BBC studios and the Barbican cinema; we were always busy.”

Tatiana Renneberg, Education Project Manager at The Film and Video Workshop, and organiser of the animation course, believes the course has given Rianna some good direction for her future:

“It gave Rianna an overview of the animation and visual effects industry and an understanding of what roles there are available in film animation. She also took ideas of what to do next and how she can promote her own work.

“Rianna actively took on board the advice she was given and used it to improve the quality of her animated film; and by the end of the week, her confidence in animating had grown and she was keen to experiment with new techniques.”

Rianna added:

“I’ll be able to use the skills I learnt on the BFI programme to help me complete my Media course at the college and in working towards a career in animation or journalism.

“I'd definitely recommend for anyone to get involved in short courses that focus on something they are interested in doing in the future. Doing this course has given me another qualification which looks great for my CV and most importantly some experience of working with people in the industry and knowing what to expect from my future career. Overall it was a fantastic opportunity that I'll never forget.”

To find out more about our Media courses visit our website, call 01344 868600 or email

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