I am studying a part-time Master’s Degree in stop-motion animation (the same medium that is famous for giving life to Wallace and Gromit, Morph, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Isle of Dogs) as an adult student at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston, England. The subject of my MA study is based around the early career of stop-motion legend Ray Harryhausen , famous for his work on Jason and the Argonauts, 1981s Clash of the Titans and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, to name a few.
As part of my course, I am making a short film that is based on my 2012 award-winning storyboard entry, Wildlife on Mars , which allowed me to meet Ray himself at his London home in April of the same year. With a prototype puppet and the storyboard in hand, Ray’s enthusiasm for the project was overwhelming and he wanted to see the project produced. He even extended an invitation for me to come back to London upon its completion and view it with him.
My studies involve researching and understanding the techniques and model making methods that Ray used during his career, as well as the animation industry’s modern equivalents. He inspired countless generations since the 1940s, including film makers such as Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Stan Winston, Phil Tippett and Guillermo del Toro.
I am working hard to complete my degree with a Masters distinction and a short film that I wish to donate to the Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation in hopes it may take part in their centenary celebrations for Ray’s 100th Birthday in 2020. I have shown some of my work to the foundation trustees in recent years at events, and they have made positive comments about the project.
I also hope my degree will lead to work within the industry and teaching students; sharing the knowledge that I have gained to improve their skills, hopefully benefiting them with a greater opertunity of working in the industry.
The £1,000 raised here will be used on:
+ Two months of travel expenses, which is £159.98 (£79.99 per 4 weeks).
+ One semester’s tuition fees, which is £840.00
(The regional bus service is the cheapest option for travel)
For perspective, one year’s tuition fee for me is £2,520.00 and one year’s travel expenses (based on current prices of July 2018) would be around £1,279.84, totaling approximately £3,799.84.
The £1,000 goal, and any additional donations over this target, will be solely for my travel expenses and remaining tuition fees between 2018/2019.
The funds for travel are more urgently needed than the tuition fee as it would allow me to travel into university over the summer to continue work on the practical side of the project.
I had hoped that my small business sales at my Etsy shop 3 Arm Creations would be enough to help me to get by; however, in the past year, whilst interest and sales in my products has been great, it has not translated into a living wage.
I would be extremely grateful for any help people can offer, even if it is just the £5 minimum donation or sharing through social media to create awareness. Any support given shows me that not only do people care about my studies and my passion for paying it forward to future students of stop-motion, but also that the project I have battled to create since 2012, celebrating the work and inspiration of Ray Harryhausen, is supported through fans and followers of his legacy.
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