Bond University Film and Television graduates, Cameron Edser and Michael Richards, recently won Best Student Film at the 2008 Show Me Shorts Film Festival in New Zealand for their film, Animal Instincts.
According to the Festivals’ judges, Animal Instincts, a five minute action packed animated comedy about a cow and a sheep at war for ultimate farmyard power, is guaranteed to get any audience on the edge of their seat laughing.
Working on stop-motion animation together in Adelaide since they were in primary school, Cameron and Michael produced the film on a minimal budget that came out of their own pockets.
“We set up a temporary studio in our garage, where we practically lived and worked for six months straight,” Michael said.
“Equipment, especially for such a specialised area like stop-motion animation, is very expensive. Due to our limited resources we often improvised and came up with creative, economical new ways to get professional results,” he said.
Cameron said they adopted the approach to try and make everything in the film by hand rather than buying a ready-made set and prop materials.
“We found this approach creates a more organic style, and complements the charm of stop-motion animation,” Cameron said.
“We built a miniature scale farmyard set, primarily from tools and construction materials that we brought from our home in Adelaide.
”And all of this work was squeezed into the short space of six months whilst balancing study and part time work,” he said.
After entering their year 12 art project film, The Bushman of Bunyip Billabong, into the 2005 BUFTA Awards, Cameron won himself a full tuition scholarship to study at Bond University’s leading Film and Television Centre.
The following year, both boys packed up their belongings from their hometown in Adelaide, and headed to the sunny Gold Coast to study at Bond.
That same year, Cameron and Michael won the major prize in the Nescafe Big Break Awards, and were awarded $15,000.
“We put this money to good use by purchasing the equipment we needed to complete Animal Instincts,” Michael said.
Cameron said they then decided to produce Animal Instincts as part of his graduation film from Bond University last year.
“Because of the film’s popularity, we decided we would also use the film to launch our company and careers,” Cameron said.
“Many of the Film and Television lecturers at Bond have helped us to do this.
“It's a very encouraging environment to work in as a student.
“The world-class Film and Television facilities and individual attention from the academics is critical to the success of graduates.
“I can really appreciate that now, having graduated and now attempting to do the same sort of thing without any support,” Cameron said.
“Being a student at Bond is a very encouraging situation to be in,” Michael added.
“Because Bond is relatively small, with limited numbers in the lectures and tutorials, the professors were able to give us one-on-one attention.
“It is great to have second opinions on creative projects and working to deadlines helps to keep us motivated in achieving our goals,” he said.
And the benchmark for these goals keeps getting higher.
“At the moment we are establishing our own company, GooRoo Animation,” Cameron said.
“We hope to develop this into a reputable animation studio over the next few years, continuing to produce advertisements and short films like Animal Instincts, with the intention of creating a series or feature film in the future,” he said.
For more information on GooRoo Animation please visit www.goorooanimation.com