Brad Silby

I'm from Hull in Yorkshire, I studied BA Animation at The Surrey Institute of Art and Design, and the PG Dip Character Animation at Central Saint Martins.

I now live in West Sussex, and work at Framestore in London as a Senior Animator where I have worked on projects in commercials, TV and film.

Amongst others I have animated on Carol in Where The Wild Things Are, Trufflehunter in Narnia: Prince Caspian, and the fight between polar bears Iorek and Ragnar in The Golden Compass, for which we won the Oscar and BAFTA awards for Best VFX in a Feature Film.

Why did you decide to study at Central Saint Martins?

I found it hard finding work in animation after my degree course, so had spent a couple of years working part-time in a coffee shop, and used my free time to teach myself 3D software programs, and do an animation internship here and there.

I felt I still needed a grounding in Character Animation that would give me the ability to compete in the workplace, so I chose to study at Central Saint Martins as it has a great reputation, and the course offered what I was looking for.

What was the best bit about living and studying in London?

I can't comment on living in London as I did and still do commute every day, but the best part of studying in London at Central Saint Martins was getting the chance to meet some great people from all over the world, who had all come to achieve the same goals. This created an atmosphere of friendly competition; whilst we all wanted to do our best, we were all more than happy to help each other and share our knowledge.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

I believe I put everything into the course, arriving early and staying late, and improving/preparing work on the weekends. It was easy to work hard as it was a lot of fun.

Aim to be as good as your idols, not just the guy sitting next to you. This time is so important to your future career, you can take your foot off the pedal a little when you start work and relax on the weekends, but until then work as hard as you can. Your competition will be.

And for students about to graduate?

Talk to people at the Grad Show and try to get contacts. Send out lots of demo-reels, call first and find out the name of the best person to send it to. Deliver it in person if you can, if you get to meet them your chances of employment are higher if you can make a good first impression. The two times I was able to actually see someone when taking them a reel, are two times I got work.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

Currently I am a Senior Animator at Framestore where I have worked for the past four years, starting shortly after finishing the course at Central Saint Martins.

I recently finished animating on Carol for the upcoming Spike Jonze film, Where The Wild Things Are, which was a great experience. My route here continued while on the Character Animation course when we were taken on an 'animation pub-crawl', that included the drinking haunts of the Soho animation community, where I bumped into an animator whom I had met whilst being an intern on the film Valiant. We chatted for a while and he mentioned he was now working at Framestore. 

After the course had finished I guessed at what his e-mail address might be (I stupidly hadn't asked him for it at the time), and sent him an e-mail asking if I could come along sometime to show him my work. He not only agreed, but also got me some time with the head of 3D in Commercials, so I was able to show them my demo-reel. They liked it enough to hire me for a job they were starting in a few weeks, and I've been at the company ever since.

How has Central Saint Martins helped in your chosen career path?

My time at CSM gave me the opportunity to spend a year learning more about what I love to do. Whilst I could have stayed at home for a year and attempted to do the same, without the structure of the course that demands constant work of increasing quality from its students, and the drive that comes from working alongside others who are attempting to do the same, I think it would have taken much longer.

Visit Brad's website.