The artistic flair and exceptional skills of two former UWE Bristol students have caught the eye of BBC commissioners looking to uncover the UK’s next animation hit.
BBC Children’s and Education announced three projects that will be taken forward from Ignite, an inaugural children’s animation talent search.
And, two of the projects are by UWE Bristol Animation alumni:
- Duck and Frog created by Sam Shaw, a slapstick comedy with a modern British setting and an energetic anarchic sense of humour.
- The Underglow, a 2D pre-school series created by Tanya Scott (with her co-creator Sam Morrison), full of little creatures and characters that come out to play when the sun goes down.
The projects were discovered after submitting ideas to the BBC and have been chosen following an 18-month development process. The ambition is to broadcast all three on the BBC in the future once additional investment from third parties is secured alongside the BBC’s contribution.
Sam graduated from UWE Bristol with a BA in Animation in 2014 and said: “I’m still pinching myself to check this is really happening, but mainly I’m just excited. I’ve loved every second of bringing these characters to life through Ignite and the idea I could get to keep doing that a bit longer is amazing.
“Duck and Frog is actually based on my third-year graduation film. I loved my time at UWE Bristol - the course gave me enough space to experiment and find what I wanted to do in the animation sector but was always there if I needed support and guidance technically or creatively.”
Tanya graduated in 2010 and added: “It means so much to be taken through to the final stages of BBC Ignite. So much of my own personality has gone into developing the visual style and characters of The Underglow, it is full of whimsy and weirdness – all the things I love! I'm so grateful that these elements really resonated with the commissioners and producers at the BBC. Throughout the process we have been given the support we need to retain this unique vision for the show. I think nearly everyone in animation dreams of creating a television series, and it's incredible to know we are one step closer to that dream.
“I co-created this idea with writer Sam Morrison, who got in contact with me a few years ago to ask if I'd be interested in developing an idea with him. We both moved in similar circles which connected both of us to a network associated with UWE Bristol. Despite graduating many moons ago, the network I established at the university still helps me today. It was industry events and feedback which helped me construct a successful career for myself.
“Sam Morrison and I are really excited to continue working on developing the project and we hope the world of The Underglow will expand onto screens very soon.”
Ignite was launched in 2021 as an unprecedented initiative to uncover UK animation talent to develop the next hit. The BBC called on talent from both established independent production companies, BBC in-house production and talented individuals looking for their first break and received over 1000 ideas.