Movers & Shakers

Have a look at some profiles of PG Dip Character Animation alumni.

Sonia Pang Narasimham (2002)

"The course was an amazing launch pad for my career. Since graduating, I've never looked back."

Probably because she hasn't had time. Sonia started as a freelance animator for Nexus Productions, Picasso Pictures and others, before going on to become animation director for the Turner Kids Channel, covering the Cartoon Network, Cartoon Network Europe, Toonami, and Boomerang.

Within five years of graduating, Sonia setup Studio­Pang, which has involved directing promos and rebranding for such diverse organisations as UEFA and Human Rights Watch.

Matt West (2000)

Matt is a lead animator and production manager at the Cartoon Network, where he's worked on three series of its top­-rated show, Skatoony.

With experience at the BBC, Channel 4 and Nickelodeon, he also worked with Tiger Aspect on Charlie and Lola, a series for CBeebies based on the incredibly successful books by Lauren Child.

Just two years after graduating, Matt won the BBC Talent New Animation Competition, and has somehow found the time to write a book, Making an Animated Film: A Practical Guide, published in 2004 by Crowood Press.

Melissa Gates (1999)

Melissa's career has been wide-­ranging, covering animation for Nickelodeon, BBC, Disney, Sky and Channel 4's Modern Toss.

Her experience takes in the role of Artist in Residence in a London School for Creative Partnerships, a government-funded initiative that promotes creativity in schools. She's also taught at the University of the Creative Arts in Kent, and at a summer course at Central Saint Martins.

Her short film, Monkeylaundry, was shortlisted at the International Animation Film Festival at Annecy, and her work as an illustrator is also gaining recognition with screen prints, paintings and felt pictures included in group exhibitions in London, Germany and America.

Peter Baynton (2006)

To have your first independent project nominated for an award must be quite exciting. In Peter's case, his short film, Over The Hill, won six international awards, The McLaren Award for British Animation at the Edinburgh Festival among them.

As an animation director at Tandem Films, his infomercial about sex trafficking in Albania was shown as part of the BBC's Red Nose Day and is being translated into several languages for broadcast in Eastern Europe.

Peter worked on Skatoony, a TV series for the Cartoon Network, which was nominated for a BAFTA, and is already working on his second independent film, Save Our Bacon, based on a short story by the writer Davey Spens. Sometimes, six awards just isn't enough.

Alex Jenkins (2002) 

To say that Alex has been busy since graduating would be a bit of an understatement. Launching his career as a freelance animator, his work incorporated design, character design, and illustration, particularly for the web.

He's currently an interactive director with London-based production company Unit9. Of the many projects he's worked on, The Creative Mind for Adobe's launch of their Creative Suite software was a highlight, winning many awards including Webby Awards in three categories in 2007.

Mia Nilsson (2005)

Rather modestly, Mia claims she's lucky to have been in work consistently since graduating. Her first job was on the award­-winning Amazing Adrenalini Brothers for Pesky, and she's currently at the London-based animation studio 12foot6.

Mia's also an illustrator, and in 2008 won first prize in the Levi's Live Unbuttoned competition (obviously just luck, again). Her illustrations appear regularly in the Guardian and other publications.

Kandi, by One Eskimo, a music video she co­-directed with Linda Kalcov is now in the official selection at the International Animation Film Festival at Annecy, and she plans to make another independent short film in the near future.

Paul Timpson (2003)

Since graduating, Paul's career seems to have progressed magically. His first job was for Framestore working on Harry Potter 5 (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), after which he went on to The Golden Compass where he was involved with technical animation and simulation­-generated elements.

On The Tale of Despereaux, a 3D fully animated feature, Paul's work covered technical animation and character FX related tasks, before moving on to Shrek 4 (Shrek Forever After) for the incredibly innovative Dreamworks.

Paul's in no doubt that the course laid the groundwork for his success, reserving particular praise for his tutor Kevin Rowe.