Bournemouth graduates celebrating Oscar glory for their work on 'Gravity'


Graduates from two Bournemouth Universities are celebrating this week after Gravity picked up seven Oscars at Sunday’s ceremony.

50 Animation and Film graduates from Bournemouth University (BU) and Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) worked on the visual effects part of the film for London-based company, Framestore.

The work undertaken by the graduates was specifically recognised as the movie claimed a technical award for Visual Effects, and also won a BAFTA in the same category last month.

Framestore, whose senior representatives collected the Oscar at the 86th Academy Awards, are world leaders in visual effects and have an outpost on the AUB campus, where some of the work was completed.

The outpost is “very important” to students' development, according to the lecturer in animation at BU, Adam Redford, who also spent six months working on the film.

“It can be a great opportunity for graduates to get their first job, and first taste of proper industry experience by working there,” Adam told The Bournemouth Rock.

”I felt really proud to have been involved in a film that won so many awards, especially for the visual effects. It’s a good feeling to know that you have had some input, however small, into something that has been received so positively by the visual effects community and the general public,” said Adam.

Talent Development Manager at Framestore, Anna Swift, picked out the graduates for special praise.

“We are so thrilled to be celebrating Gravity’s success, which is a testament to the commitment and skill of our talented staff, including Bournemouth University graduates,” said Anna.

The film, which features Hollywood stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, dominated the ceremony with six more Oscars in Editing, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Cinematography, Best Original Score and Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron.

Lars Erik Eriksen, AUB graduate and a Paint and Roto artist on the film, said that working on an award-winning film was an “amazing feeling”.

“This is something I could only have dreamed about when studying at AUB. It was the steepest learning curve I’ve ever had and such an amazing opportunity to be working on a Hollywood movie right on [the] AUB campus.”

The outpost at AUB was set up as an attempt to link students to the industry and to help “establish Bournemouth as a centre of excellence for visual effects,” according to a university spokesperson.

Another AUB graduate who worked on Gravity, Sasha Izadpanah, has also worked on other films such as The Secret life of Walter Mitty and Robocop.

He said: “The one thing I have learnt is that nothing teaches you more than experience. Get a camera, make films and make mistakes so you can discover what really works.”

The VFX Supervisor for Framestore, Tim Webber, who collected the award, said: “Visual effects and filmmaking is all about the team and there are far too many to thank properly, but I’d like to mention David Heyman, Nikki Penny, Emmanual Lubezki, all of the shooting crew, Rising Sun Pictures, and the incredible team at Framestore.”

This isn’t the first time BU graduates have been awarded an Oscar. In 2011 MA Visual Effects student, Andy Lockley, won an Academy Award for the special effects work on Inception.

There will also be plenty more opportunities for Bournemouth students and Framestore to pick up awards; they’re currently working on the latest addition to the Marvel series, Guardians of the Galaxy and new Tom Cruise blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow.