Pixar hotshots share knowledge with University of Sunderland graduates

The makers of Toy Story, Monsters Inc and Finding Nemo have been providing two University of Sunderland animation graduates with the essential tools for their careers

Catherine Salkeld and Joe Sutherland
Catherine Salkeld and Joe Sutherland

The makers of Toy Story, Monsters Inc and Finding Nemo have been providing two University of Sunderland animation graduates with the essential tools for their careers.

Animation and Design graduates Catherine Salkeld, 22, and Joe Sutherland, 21, recently returned home from the USA, where they attended masterclasses from Pixar Studios, and visited both Duncan Studios and Duck Studio in California.

While across the Atlantic, the students also built contacts, presented their own showreels, shared ideas and were given critiques on their work.

Since returning, both have put their new knowledge to use after starting work at North East-based animation company Shoofly Publishing.

Sutherland is also doing freelance work for Hallmark.

“The Pixar masterclass was incredible,” Salkeld said. “The amount of information we received was immense.

“I came out of the experience with more motivation than ever to create, and have tried to bring that back into my design job now. The tutors were helpful in not just story and animation but also how to make the right impression through your work and how to make the best portfolio and showreel for the job.

“During the visit to Duck and Duncan studios the staff looked through our blogs, websites, showreels and portfolios, giving critique on all. It was a very uplifting experience and incredibly helpful.”

Sutherland added: “These were amazing opportunities and gave us real insight into a working studio in America. From the experiences we gained insightful knowledge, international recognition, strong contacts and future career possibilities.”

The trip was supported through the University of Sunderland’s Futures Fund.

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