Wednesday, 9 November 2011

S5S restructured

Sector5 Studios is undergoing a restructuring which will change quite a few elements of who we are and how we will work.  The idea of Sector5 Studios came to life almost 6 months ago with the company being launched in August.

However, we feel that a change needs to be made from everything we have learnt over the past 6 months. On reflection we believe it will be possible to run everything more effectively by being a collective of animators under the name of Sector5 Studios. This means we are able to work on our own projects whilst keeping our pool of talent as broad as possible for bigger contracts.

This also marks the end of this blog, whilst the animators of S5S focus on their own individual blog and identity. You can follow our blogs below:

If you enjoyed reading these blogs, you can follow my blog at:

S5S animator Matt Ayris keeps his blog regularly updated with sketches and concept art:

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Animator Spotlight: Alessandro Nicholas

As promised in a past blog update, here's the first of four spotlights on the animators of S5S. This week's spotlight is on S5S animator, Alessandro Nicholas:

Describe yourself as an animator?
"A 2d digital animator that's inspired by the traditional art of animation but trying to bring it into the digital age."
What are your thoughts on the UK animation industry?

"There's a lot of great talent in the UK and a lot of famous studios and production companies but it's extremely difficult for people to get into the industry when they're starting out. There is very limited resources to help people enter the animation industry, especially in this modern climate with budget cuts and cuts to funding that were there to help animators in the past."
Whats your thoughts on 2D in the world of animation?
"2d animation is unfortunately dying out due to the popularity of 3d animations and films. its still used often enough but unless the animation style is unique and never before seen 2d animation doesn't tend to get the recognition it should be obtaining."

What sparked your interest in animation?

"Games actually got me into animation. i love playing games and as a kid i loved to draw so the idea of being able to designs and animate my own character really sparked on my interest in animation, although in a perfect world i would preferably like to have more of a conceptual role in animations. i have always enjoyed creating characters and creatures, and having the freedom to draw whatever comes to mind, so being able to do that as my job would be a dream come true."

Having graduated earlier this year, what was your experience like as a student?

"University really helped me to understand what i wanted to do with my life and helped me get the skills I'd need to achieve those goals.  the community was great as well as the lecturer's, there was always something around making you want to push yourself harder and up your skills."

A still of his graduation film, Flake

"Developing Flake was a great way to develop my skills with 2d animation as everything i was doing was very new, and in a way i was experimenting with new techniques while trying to make the best of the software and skills i had at hand."

What advice would you give to current students?

"keep drawing, and obtain a great understanding of perspective and basic anatomy. the best skill an animator can have in their arsenal is to be able to draw a character in any position or at any perspective that the story calls for."

Sunday, 30 October 2011

FLIP Festival 2011 review

The FLIP international animation festival 2011 was held over the past three days and this weeks (slightly delayed) blog is dedicated to our experience at the annual event.

We attended on the two main days of the festival where our ringmaster sting was used to open the very first open shorts screening. What followed on Friday was an amazing line up of industry heroes such as Bill Plympton and Barry Purves. We attended Bill plympton's master class which was fascinating, as we got an insight into the process behind his work as well as his view on animation.

The ringmaster open the festival on Friday 28th during
the first open shorts screening

He shared his views on the animation industry still not accepting adult oriented animations, especially in the US where he believes they still see it as an art form and medium for children. An outside view that we also hope fades away so that more and more adult animations are accepted in society such as the dark humour of Bill Plympton's films.

Saturday was just as good with a talk from Aardman, (the legendary) Corgrove Hall and Brothers Mcleod premiering their latest film, Isle of Spagg. Two animations from S5S were shown during Open shorts 5; Caged and Overtime, that had a great response. A panel discussion on the state of 2D animation was also held near the end of the day with animation figures Charlie MacRae (Hanna Barbera) and Tori Davis ( Blue Sky, Walt Disney, DreamWorks ).

This was an interesting discussion which was set up to raise concerns for the growing lack of 2D animations. However, over the course of the discussion the concern was flipped with the recent trend of bringing 2D feature films in 3D, such as The Lion King. It was a great pivotal moment that proved that 2D animation is here to stay. It was also interesting to see that the majority of the open shorts were also stop motion which was great considering the recent perception that its a dieing form of animation.

Caged becomes an award winning animation at FLIP 2011

The Festival ended with the festival short winners and we are proud to announce that S5S animator, Ravi Maheru, won an award for short film, Caged, making us an award winning studio!

We enjoyed the festival and are looking forward to FLIP festival 2012.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Countdown to FLIP 2011 and BCU feature

FLIP international animation festival 2011 is taking place next week (Thursday-Saturday) and we're all excited about attending it. Not only do we have 2 short films from s5s animators in the open shorts screenings but our ringmaster sting has also been selected to be shown as part of FLIP.

We'll be attending the festival all weekend and we look forward to seeing everyone there. For more details on the festival visit:

We also hope you enjoyed reading our interview on animation forum west midlands. We're also pleased to announce that we have also been featured on the Birmingham City University website which features a never before seen image of the ringmaster both in 2D form and 3D form standing together. Check out the article on BCU here:

if you still haven't seen our ringmaster sting for FLIP 2011 and you're finding it hard to wait until FLIP, you can check out below:

Our entry for the Sting competition for FLIP 2011 which will be shown at FLIP next week

Friday, 14 October 2011

An interview at Animation Forum

Earlier this week we were interviewed at Animation Forum West Midlands (AFWM) by Jessica Allman, which is now available to read on the AFWM website:

We were delighted to have the opportunity to be interviewed and would like to give our thanks to the team at AFWM.

This week also saw Shorts on Walls hosted at the Lighthouse (by AFWM) on Thursday 13th October. Sector5 Studios were present as well as having animations from S5S screened (Caged and Overtime) which will be screened at FLIP festival later this month.

Friday, 7 October 2011

FLIP festival 2011 open shorts

With FLIP festival 2011 drawing closer, the open shorts list was revealed this week. We are pleased to announce that two of our animators have had their graduation films selected for the screenings.

Caged (Ravi Maheru) has been selected for Saturday's 1:30pm screenings which has had a dedicated blog post here in the past. Overtime (Gary Jones) has also been selected for the the 1:30pm screenings on the Saturday. This will be the debut screening of the animation and this weeks blog post will be dedicated to overtime.

A stressed worker is about to embark on a surreal journey
The stop motion film features an overstressed worker in her office. When the workload becomes too much she is transported to a world made of post it notes, as she encounters the the weird and wonderful.

Each post it note was animated individually on a wall over the time frame of five to six months by S5S animator, Gary, as well as fellow animators who believed in his vision and joined the production team. Actress, Sara Bracknell, was then added in post production interacting with the post it world.

"Just want to thank everyone involved with Overtime for their patience with me and their help throughout the making of the film. Wouldn't have been possible without you guys."  - Gary thanks everyone involved with the project

Meet office worker / diver
 Keep a look out for both films at FLIP festival 2011 on Saturday 29th October. We'll of course be there too.


Our Gallery is now up and running on our site and will be updated regularly with more images for you to all check out.

Friday, 30 September 2011

The ringmaster awaits you!

Our entry for the Flip 2011 Sting competition is complete and ready to watch online.

Flip Ident 2011 from Sector5 Studios on Vimeo.
Our entry for the Sting competition for FLIP 2011.
The ringmaster welcomes the viewer to the FLIP festival.

We had a lot of fun making this and we hope you had fun watching it too.