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Framestore Opens Satellite Facility on University Campus


Framestore is embarking on a unique joint enterprise with Arts University College Bournemouth (AUCB) to create a “regional outpost” on campus, staffed by recent graduates, to handle visual effects preparatory work and overflow work from the renowned London-based visual effects house. The new studio launches Nov. 16.

Framestore’s Bournemouth studio is being staffed by recent graduates who will receive training to undertake preparatory work for the wider company. The outpost will act as a support satellite for overflow work, providing tracking and paint/rotoscope work for large-scale visual effects briefs, such as feature films, in Framestore’s London HQ. The studio could also be used by Framestore’s additional offices in New York and Reykjavik.

The company explained that the decision to establish a “regional outpost” was meant to ensure Framestore can remain cost-competitive in this area. But the initiative also helps bolster the UK economy, bucking the trend of outsourcing junior-end work to cheaper offshore markets, and fostering a new generation of home-grown talent.

The studio, located in the Enterprise Pavilion on the campus of AUCB, has two suites and will be home to a total of 29 visual effects artists – all properly contracted and paid. The team comprises 26 graduate recruits specializing in tracking and paint/rotoscope and three leads (Jonathan Turner, studio manager, plus two experienced talents hailing from Framestore’s London base – senior matchmover Phil Robinson, and senior paint/rotoscope artist Scott Bourne).

Framestore’s head of production for film visual effects, Matt Fox, was one of the brains behind the Bournemouth studio. He came up with idea of setting up a regional satellite when it became apparent that demand could soon exceed capacity in London and the company would need to find outsourcing facilities.

“Partnering with AUCB was the ideal solution”, explained Matt Fox. “It’s the people that are key to this business, not the technology, and as we already recruit Bournemouth graduates it seemed an ideal place to pilot this initiative. Not only does the Bournemouth studio help us stay competitive, it has the invaluable ancillary benefits of helping with all-important recruitment, training and retention. By ensuring our work stays in the U.K., we are nurturing the next generation of visual effects artists in a way that will help them to become ‘employment ready’ (and trained in Framestore workflow).”

“Our partnership with Framestore greatly enhances the ability of our university to offer quality employment opportunities to our graduates,” said professor Jeffrey Baggott, dean of media and performance at AUCB. “This groundbreaking initiative with one of Europe’s leading visual effects companies creates a new model for industry and education partnerships. It offers genuine benefits to both employers who are eager to identify and develop new talent in the creative industries and to education-seekers who want to develop meaningful and innovative relationships with industry.”

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