Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Bucks Graduate Paul Cooper Talks About His Career in Animation

Artwork by Paul Cooper
Bucks animation graduate Paul Cooper has forged a successful career in the animation industry since leaving Bucks. We asked him to talk about his work, how he has made a success of it, and what advice he can offer to our current undergraduates to make sure they get the most out of their time in High Wycombe.

Something Studios by Paul Cooper

Bucks: You set up your own animation business after leaving Bucks – what sort of work do you do?

Paul:
As a freelancer, I produce quite a wide range of animation/motion graphics work - primarily in After Effects, but I have also worked in 3D studio max/Cinema 4D for various projects. The services I can offer includes infographics/explainer videos, idents and VFX.

I have also recently started working with a film-maker, who shares a very similar lo-fi aesthetic fondness as me. We’ve started making more music videos and comedy shorts together - both of which are picking up a lot of interest. A lot of our time is spent pitching for new projects and videos, taking what both of us can offer to create some unique final videos.

Since university, I have also had a job working full time as a graphic/marketing designer for New Era, the baseball cap company - i worked there for a couple of years and decided to make the leap into full-time freelance motion graphics / animation because the enquiries and jobs were building up and that was where my heart really lay. Working in this area of the industry really helped me understand the importance of branding.
Motion Graphics by Paul Cooper
Bucks: What projects are you most proud of?

Paul:
I have a couple of projects that i’m really proud of. One of them was an animated music video I produced a few months ago for a Bucks/London based band ‘The Dead Strange’. This was probably the most satisfying After Effects based project I have completed to date. I was given a very loose brief for this, the main focal point was that it needed to be based around an illuminati/hypnotised theme.

Another project that I am massively proud of was actually a personal one, during some downtime, to develop a technique I had been wanting to focus on for a while. This was a Breaking Bad kinetic typography project, which eventually got picked up and featured by a few industry websites and ranks among a few ‘must see’ lists (for example it was featured on creativebloq: http://www.creativebloq.com/typography/examples-kinetic-typography-11121304).


Since then, this project has led to a lot of enquiries and to new commercial projects.




Bucks: How did your studies at Bucks prepare you for the world of freelance animation?

Paul:
One of the biggest takeaways for me studying at Bucks, was the importance of networking and working alongside like-minded, talented students and inspiring tutors, who would always give honest and constructive feedback that pushed me to deliver my best work possible.


One big thing that Bucks has aided me with is the confidence in developing my style of work - being able to send my work off to potential clients, or posting a new project across social media with a satisfaction that ‘this is the best that i can deliver’.
Design by Paul Cooper



Bucks: What advice would you offer to a student at Bucks who hopes to make it in the animation industry?

Paul:
Approaching as many people as possible and picking their brains for feedback on your work is invaluable - I don’t think you should be scared to take a criticism, as long as it is constructive, and you can use it to develop and create a better body of work. Also, constantly push yourself 'what can you do better?', how could you improve your current project to take it to that next level?

You can see more of Paul's work at www.something-studio.com. His Facebook page is here: 
www.facebook.com/something.design You can also follow him at Twitter! www.twitter.com/paul_something and email him at paul@something-studio.com
+ 44 (0) 7889 396 752


For more on the experience of studying at Bucks New University, come and visit us at one of our Open Days, take a virtual tour of one of our animation studios, check out what our students think of our course, and see why we're ranked in the top 12 creative universities in the UK. Find out why we're giving free laptops to all our students, and why we give all our students free access to videos at Lynda.com. Also, see what financial assistance might be available to you. Learn which is better for animation, a PC or a Mac? Get hold of a copy of a map so you can find your way around campus, and learn aboutmotion capture at Bucks.

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