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.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Ringmaster Project Revealed

At last, it's time to reveal what the ringmaster project really is! (Drum roll please)

The screen is no longer censored as we reveal the project

As you can see from the screenshot we have been working on an entry for the FLIP sting competition that ends on October 1st. The animation is limited 10 seconds and must use at least one of the following:

  1. FLIP logo
  2. Sound files provided with the competition
  3. the word or letters of FLIP
We've ticked two of the above with the use of their logo and using the sound files they've provided. The sound files shaped the vision for our entry featuring dark, carnival themed music and so the ringmaster came to life with his mysterious cart.

The Ringmaster leads the viewer towards FLIP logo
With the animation almost complete, we'll be sure to update this blog in a few days time with the final animation uploaded and entered into the competition on Vimeo.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Animation Alliance UK and Monday Recaps

During the past week Animation Forum West Midlands wrote an article about the Animation Alliance UK; whose focus it is to restore support to independent animation professionals. They have recently sent a letter to Lord Chris Smith (Panel Chair of the independent review of Government film policy) concerning the lack of public policy, strategy and support for independent animation.

We strongly recommend supporting the AAUK by joining if you are an animation professional within the UK. To join:

If you would like to join, please visit:
If you do not have/want a google account, you can request to join via email to:
Please state your professional role, any affiliation (eg production company, university),
plus anything else relevant/notable (eg BAFTA/BAA festival nominations/wins).
We will also hold a recap feature on our Facebook page each week where all events within the past week are available in one post( in case you missed out on the S5S news and updates). This will most likely be held on a Monday, so keep a look out for the recap posts each week on Facebook. As always, thank you for the support and if you haven't already, follow us on our social sites to keep up to date or visit us at:

Friday, 9 September 2011

Enter the Ringmaster!

As teased last week we are working on a project that we'll announce very soon as it comes closer to being completed. For this week's blog post we'll leave you with another screenshot of its development:

The Ringmaster enters the scene in this mystery project...

Among other news, we have updated our show reel to match the recent make over of our official site and our social sites. The show reel now sports a new company logo animation too which you can check out below:

Showreel from Sector5 Studios on Vimeo.

Keep an eye out for the announcement of this project as we may reveal it next week.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Graduation Ceremonies and Developments

This weeks blog update will be short and slightly late so don't blink!

S5S animators attended their graduation ceremony yesterday marking the end of a university era. The ceremony was held at the Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton and overall it was a great day.

Now because this blog update is tiny, we've added a mystery development screen of a new animation we are working on. Look forward to the official reveal on this project in future blog updates. We promise, it won't be a long wait.

Work in progress render of the mystery project. Any guesses?

For those of you who will be returning to university for your new year or perhaps if you're starting this month: Good luck and enjoy it!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Bridgnorth Animation Festival review

We're breaking the rules with an extra blog update to give you our mini review on the Bridgnorth Animation Festival.

The Animation Mini Festival was held at The Majestic Cinema in Bridgnorth featuring local animations and international animations. As we mentioned in previous updates, one of our own animators had their film shown during the festival. The event had a great attendance as each animation was shown on the big screen. Local animators were also given a moment to introduce their film which was a pleasant feature of the event.

The event was introduced by James Clarke, author of Animated Films, who gave a brilliant talk on the potential that animation has as a medium to be more human than live actions films can ever be. With the ability to tackle themes and subjects in a variety of styles and moods, where even the darkest truths of our society can be presented with a completely fresh perspective in its visuals as well as the story.  It was an inspiring talk and a great way to introduce the event.

The festival was closed with the trailer of Lion King 3D and a Toy Story short (in 3D too). The festival was a great experience with inspiring talks, a great location and amazing animations. It's a festival we look forward to returning to next year and the years after.

Friday, 26 August 2011

A new look

As you will have noticed by now, the blog has a new look. In addition to the blog, our website, twitter and YouTube profiles have undergone similar changes to match the new colour scheme.

The biggest changes have been made to our official site and is still being revamped. The layout has been altered for better navigation and the animator profiles will be improved alongside a new "about" section for S5S. We now have a contact form added to our contact page to make it easier to get in touch with us directly.

To also match the new colour scheme, the show reel will undergo a slight change too with a brand new logo animation. Amongst other developments, we are now working on several projects which we'll announce at later dates.

As we announced last week, we'll be attending the Bridgnorth Animation mini festival taking place tomorrow (Saturday 27th August) at the Majestic Cinema. Caged by S5S animator, Ravi Maheru, will be screened there too. We look forward to meeting everyone there. (More details on the festival here: )

Thanks for the great support so far, if you haven't already please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and of course this blog to stay up to date on the S5S world! We'll be back next week with our weekly blog updates, also look out for a blog post dedicated to our impressions and experience of the Bridgnorth Animation festival.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Bridgnorth Music & Arts Festival 2011

The Bridgnorth Music & Arts Festival 2011 begins next week on August 26th which covers a wide range of events over the course of a week.

Sector5 Studios will also be present at the festival on the 27th to attend the Animation mini Festival. "Caged" will be shown at the event which is a short animated film by one of our own animators, Ravi Maheru.

Screenshot of Caged
 The Animation mini Festival will be held at the Majestic Cinema in Bridgnorth ( Click to see map )
on Saturday 27 August, 14:30 – 17:30.  We look forward to seeing everyone there next week.

For more details on Bridgnorth Festival, visit:


We'd also like to announce our new youtube page which you can visit at:

Friday, 12 August 2011

Meet the Animators of S5S

It's time you were introduced to the animators of Sector5:

Matt Ayris says:

"I have a great passion for traditional drawing and contemporary illustration, I also incorperate these ideas into my 2D animations. I am the director of the studio and my greatest goal is to create fresh and impressive animations."

Gary Jones says:

"I'm an animator recently graduated from the University of Wolverhampton with a strong passion for stop frame animation and using it in new and experimental ways. As well as a passion for stop frame I am also interested in many 2D and 3D animation techniques."
Ravi Maheru says:

"A huge fan of creating stories and to immerse the audience in the worlds I create. I specialise in 3D animation (Maya) and mixed media. I'm also in charge of the social media, which means that it's me speaking on this blog, twitter, facebook and so on"

Sandro Nicholas says:
"Having recently graduated from University of Wolverhampton, I specialise in digital 2D animation with a passion for conceptual art and actively learning Zbrush. My priorities in the studio are creating awareness of our brand and promoting the company"

In future blogs we'll have dedicated posts for each animator, so look forward to them.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Drawn from Life

In harmony with the official launch of Sector5 Studios, an animation related event was held in Birmingham on Wednesday. Jonathon Hodgson's 'Drawn from Life" talk (hosted by Animation Forum West Midlands) dived behind the scenes of documentary animation, "Wonderland - The Trouble With Love And Sex".

It was in-depth and a fascinating talk that presented the genre of documentary animation as a genre worth exploring further. It was also great to see Jonathon Hodgson's pervious animations and illustrations that focused on the movement rather than being an exact replication of the subject's shape.

With the talk coming to an end, the evening transformed into a networking event where we met new and familiar faces. One of the more promising networking was with Animation Forum West Midlands' - Dave Allen who suggested organising a Q&A on the AWFM website. So keep an eye out for that in the near future.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The launch of Sector5 Studios

Welcome to Sector5 Studio's official blog.

We are an up and coming animation studio that specialises in all mediums of animation, including stop motion, 2D and 3D. We are made up of four animators each with our own speciality:
- Matt Ayris
- Gary Jones
- Ravi Maheru
- Sandro Nicholas
This blog will be updated weekly with the latest S5S news! Follow us on this blog and on other social media sites:
Visit our site at:
Whatever your needs are, which ever style you desire...we've got it covered at Sector5 Studios
Blog Post by Ravi Maheru