Tuesday January 28, 2014
Yoobee School of Design recently signed an agreement with the Beijing Film Academy, to establish a strategic partnership in education with the School of Animation. This will include sharing teaching principles and research methodologies through student and staff exchange and the development of pathways. The first group of Beijing Film Academy students arrived in Wellington this week. The nine students, who are studying in the BFA School of Animation, will spend three weeks at Yoobee’s Wellington Campus studying 2D & 3D animation as well as character development and design principles.
Yoobee staff visited the Beijing Film Academy in November 2013 to attend the Beijing Film Academy Awards and Animation Festival. Kieran Smith, Head of Animation at Yoobee, was invited to speak at the festival. Together with CEO, Ruth Cooper, they presented the awards for Best Director and Best Sound Design. “China’s film industry is exploding right now. There are a lot of big budget productions that are starting to make their way into mainstream western movie theatres. They are particularly enamoured with stereoscopic film making and one of the requirements for western films to get major distribution in China is that there has to be a 3D version”, says Kieran Smith. “It was an amazing experience. Beijing Film Academy has an impressive multimedia department, very creative. I was particularly impressed with their stop motion studio where students and teachers were building motion control rigs and other equipment for experimental shooting. I’m really excited about future projects and opportunities for collaboration for staff and students from both Beijing Film Academy and Yoobee School of Design”. Beijing Film Academy also has a relationship with Pukeko Pictures, which was founded in 2008 by Sir Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Martin Baynton of Weta Workshops. An agreement was signed in 2012 to establish the “International Animation Technology Joint Research Centre” to actively promote the development of animated projects and open up the expanding international, Chinese and film and television markets. About Beijing Film Academy and the Animation School. Founded in 1950, Beijing Film Academy is the only professional film academy in Chinese higher art education. Beijing film academy has 8 departments, 6 schools, plus one graduate student division and one basic education division, which make up 16 divisions of teaching. The Beijing Film Academy Animation School has been the alma mater of countless top talent in the fields of animation, comics, gaming and cinematic art in the country. Under the incumbent Dean, Prof. Sun Lijun, the Animation School also created China’s first and most prominent academic prize in animation, the School of Animation Awards. Every year, the school’s students create hundreds of excellent animated shorts, many of which have gone on to win numerous prizes in animation around the world. In addition, the Animation School led the way among academic institutions in the production of animated feature films in the country, and since the year 2000 have come out with commercial movies which set the highest standard for animation in China, such as “Little Soldier Zhang Ga”, “Running Merrily”, “Legend of a Rabbit” and “The Legend of Batela’er”.