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Top prize for talented Teesside foursome

05 March 2013


Four creative Teesside University graduates are toasting awards success after scooping a top prize at a glitzy awards ceremony.

Tom Houseman, Alex Price, Phillip Charles-Sweeting and James Burr are planning to use the prestigious prize to further boost their animation career aspirations.

The talented quartet, who all graduated last year in BA (Hons) Computer Animation, won best student animation for Odd Sok at the Regional Television Society North East and Border annual awards.

They received their prize at a star-studded ceremony attended by Vic Reeves, Joe McElderry and Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson, who is also an honorary graduate of Teesside University.

Teesside University Senior Lecturer in Animation Siobhan Fenton also won the best non-broadcast factual award for her animation short Centrefold, which aimed to put the spotlight on female genital cosmetic surgery.

Odd Sok, which formed part of the students’ final year project, was several months in the making and uses Autodesk Maya to reflect a traditional Warner Bros style of animation.

It is set in Venice and follows the legend of the Sock-Goblin – a creature who lives to steal socks in the on-going hope that one day he might acquire the perfect sock.

Phillip, 22, who is now working at Framestore in London, said: 'When we started to create the animation there was nothing set in stone – it was quite an organic experience and we just wanted to grow something.

'To win the award was fantastic – it has certainly brightened up my week. Studying at Teesside was a fantastic experience. The course really allowed us to develop as animators and as well as the expertise from the lecturers, we were able to learn from each other which really helped.'

Alex, 22, who is living in Scarborough and working on his 3D modelling portfolio, added: 'We weren’t sure what to expect from the awards and it was amazing to find out we had won.

'It is a really symbolic achievement and something extra to add to our CVs alongside our degrees.'

Justin Greetham, Senior Lecturer in Visualisation and Graphical Applications at Teesside, said: 'To win an award of this calibre speaks volumes about the standard of creativity coming from students and graduates of Teesside University.

'It is vitally important to be recognised by the industry and the prize is a reward for all their hard work, dedication and obvious talent.'

The Regional Television Society North East and Border annual awards were held at Newcastle’s Marriott Hotel on Saturday 2 March.