Clay Play with Aardman's Jim Parkyn

18 Dec 2018

5 mins
Clay Play with Aardman's Jim Parkyn

Into Film's careers programme brings professional filmmakers of all kinds directly to schools and Into Film Clubs, giving young people the opportunity to learn about film industry job roles first-hand through curriculum-linked workshops and activities. Our aim is to raise pupils' aspirations and educate them in the wide range of roles available to them in the film industry.

Recently, we were lucky enough to bring Jim Parkyn, a Model Maker at Aardman Studios, to Llanharan Primary School in Wales. Children from the school had the amazing opportunity to create their own character from Aardman's latest film - prehistoric sports adventure Early Manusing clay and cocktail sticks. Check out the video above to see Parkyn talking about his profession, how young people can follow in his footsteps, and how animation can be used in the classroom to complement the curriculum.

Jim's easy to follow instructions gave the young people a look at the different uses of engineering skills, geometry and storytelling techniques that all combine to create Aardman's many masterpieces, including Chicken Run and the Wallace & Gromit films

Through learning about the use of geometry and literacy in animation, young people were able to see a direct link between what they learn at school and how that can transfer to real world jobs in the film industry or beyond.

Alfie, a student at Brynnau Primary School said "We've been making characters from the Early Man film - we created Hognob! I found it quite difficult working the clay, but with more practice it came easier and I felt confident in creating the character."

I always wanted to be an animator and clay modeller, so this has helped me improved my skills for the future.

Alfie, a student at Brynnau Primary School

Mr Rhys Roberts, a teacher at Llanaharan Primary School, spoke about the positive effect the visit had on his students, and the potential for further classroom learning the experience generated. "It's amazing! That all the pupils here were able to create a potential walking, talking character ready for animation out of one lump of clay is truly incredible."

This is the starting point for a wealth of literacy-based work for the classroom.

Mr Rhys Roberts, Teacher at Llanaharan Primary School

"This work is hugely beneficial for me as a teacher, as this is the starting point for a wealth of literacy-based work for the classroom, from voice-over work and animation work to story writing and creating what happens to their characters in their short films. It has huge potential. As a school we'll be looking at implementing some work to celebrate Anim18 this year, so this has been fantastic."

"It has been an incredibly successful session and to see the produce they've created in such a short time has put a smile on my face and on the pupils."

For more information on our current careers offer and our downloadable resources, visit our Careers Hub.

Visit BAFTA Guru and ScreenSkills for more information on training schemes and job opportunities for young people ages 16+.

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