Student wins top national animation prize25 January 2012
A student from Nottingham Trent University has won a top prize in an nationwide animation competition for Channel 4 and Red Bull.
Third year graphic design student Ben Hennessy won the student prize in the 'Stop-motion' category of the competition for his untitled innovative tale of a squirrel making good use of the energy drink's cans.
The animations submitted to the Red Bull Canimation competition were judged by a public vote before being put in front of a panel of top industry professionals, and the winners were announced at Empire in London's Leicester Square on last month.
Ben commented: "I wanted to use a character that relates to Red Bull as a brand and after reading that squirrels get a big adrenaline rush from dogs chasing them up trees I thought they were ideal to base my film on.
"The rest of my idea came about by taking the can apart. Looking at each section of the can I thought about what I could turn it into. When I saw the curved sheet of metal I instantly thought about skateboarding and knew that Red Bull works with skateboarders so thought it would fit in perfectly with the brand."
Ben's animation was screened on Channel 4 earlier this month, and he will be joining Aardman, of Wallace and Gromit fame, for a month long placement.
"I entered the competition as I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to work with one of the world's best animation companies and I cannot wait to be working with Aardman. I know it's going to be life changing and an amazing experience."
The inaugural Red Bull Canimation competition was a nationwide search for new creative talent, offering student and non-professional animators the chance to win internships at top animation studios Aardman, The Mill and 12foot6 among other prizes. The only rule was that the iconic blue and silver Red Bull can took centre stage.
The video can be viewed here.