Dorset March Last words...
PUBLISHED: 12:42 25 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:48 20 February 2013
Sofronis Efstathiou, Programme Leader of the Masters in 3D Computer Animation at Bournemouth University, counts members of the Avatar production team amongst his alumni, and would <br/><br/>love to have supper with He-Man
Sofronis Efstathiou, Programme Leader of the Masters in 3D Computer Animation at Bournemouth University, counts members of the Avatar production team amongst his alumni, and would love to have supper with He-Man
Where did you grow up and what was your earliest childhood memory?
I grew up in Croydon. One of my earliest memories was having a little steering wheel that you could stick to a box or the car seat in front and pretend you were driving. It was very cool.
Were you into animation as a child?
I liked cartoons as a child, particularly the long narrative ones such as Dogtanian, Mysterious Cities of Gold, He-Man or Transformers but I liked films even more. We used to pretend that we were scriptwriters and act out our films using all sorts of visual effects, like creating little blood explosions when we were shot, by filling a balloon with tomato ketchup, which would squirt over our white t-shirts.
How did you get into animation?
I did an Art Foundation course at St Martins in London, which opened my eyes to a variety of disciplines. I liked maths and sciences and I liked the arts, so I ended up doing a degree in Product Design at Bournemouth University. I became interested in the analysis of movement, aesthetics, narrative and character development and it was a springboard into my Masters in 3D Computer Animation. Computer animation was a natural fit, it encompassed all of the areas I enjoyed art, sciences, animation, film, games and computers. I think Im every lucky to be involved in such an industry.
So is Bournemouth University a hot-bed for UK animation talent?
Bournemouth University is the place if you want a career in animation. We have the National Centre for Computer Animation based here, and our graduates and some of our former academics are now working at places like Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) in California or Weta in New Zealand. In fact, one of our graduates Paul Kavanagh works for ILM and was the Animation Supervisor on both Star Trek and Avatar. Hes just been nominated for both a BAFTA and an Oscar for his work on Star Trek and at least 55 animation graduates from Bournemouth University helped to produce Avatar, which is outstanding.
Who, from the world of animation, would you like to have round for supper?
Glen Keane, an animator from Disney who did The Little Mermaid, hes super cool. I would also invite Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese Walt Disney, who has done fantastic stuff like Spirited Away and Howls Moving Castle, and Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two Disney originals who wrote the bible of animation. And, if I had to choose two characters, they would be the Iron Giant, who is great but doesnt say much, and He-Man. Could make for an interesting dynamic!
So what sort of things do you get up to in your free time?
Me and my wife love Dorset, its such a pretty area. We came back here from Sydney, where I was working. We love taking our two girls to the beach, taking a stroll or going to a little country pub.
How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who was fun to be with, had a good laugh and very much wanted to pass on as much knowledge as he could to people and enjoyed learning.
To find out more visit www.bournemouth.ac.uk