We recently organised a special behind-the-scenes tour of Dog Ears Animation Studio in Derry for our Animation Academy participants — giving them a unique insight into the world of professional animation production.
Taking a Walk with Dog Ears
As we stepped into Dog Ears, we were greeted by Managing Director Fionnuala Deane and Creative Director John McDaid who took us on a tour of their vibrant studio with state-of-the-art workstations… a place where imagination meets technology!
After a look around, our ears perked up as we listened in to an illustrative and inspiring presentation detailing the origins of Dog Ears as a small studio in the North West to where it is now.
From Sketches to Screen
Fionnuala and John peeled back the layers of animation, taking us through the evolution of their children’s book concept that became a fully-fledged animated series (appearing on stations like RTÉjr and Nick Jr.) and then a feature film — Puffin Rock!
Their detailed breakdown of developing narratives, crafting scenes, and the intricate process of bringing characters to life was not just educational but a vivid storytelling experience in itself.
No Small Pup!
As industry experts, they provided a meticulous look into the entire animation process, from developing narratives and drafting scenes to bringing characters to life through motion graphics and vocals. While responding to insightful questions from our participants, they also imparted terrific advice, inspiration and encouragement — allowing our young aspiring animators to better understand the working nature of local media production.
Lydia, one of our participants, summed up her experience:
“I’ve definitely learned a lot from the industry professionals and would recommend it…you also get to meet a lot of people your own age who have similar interests to you, and it’s just a great experience overall.”
We were also treated to an exclusive preview of Dog Ears' future projects. It was fascinating to see how ideas, once just a dream of a young animator, can now be shaped into promising ventures set to take the animation world by storm!
A Round of a Paws…
Our group left Dog Ears newly inspired by local talent, with the visit reaffirming their belief that, by pursuing an animation career in Northern Ireland, they are not barking up the wrong tree!
Thank you Dog Ears!
By Barry Brennan, Community Partnership Manager, Nerve Centre