NFTS Directing Animation Graduate and A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon Co-Director Richard Phelan returned to the school earlier this week for a Masterclass, treating students to a preview screening, insightful Q&A and chance to meet some of the puppets from the film.

Richard Phelan, Co-Director of Farmageddon

NFTS Model Making for Animation students were delighted to see some of their work on the big screen in the film, created as part of the course’s work placement with Aardman. Richard, who was longlisted this week for a prestigious BIFA Award for his work as Debut Director on Farmageddon, along with his Co-director Will Becher, brought along Shaun and some of his puppet friends, including an adorable new character called Lu-La, an alien who crash lands near Mossy Bottom Farm and needs Shaun’s help to find her lost space ship and return home.

Six NFTS student model makers, Helen Ferguson, Penelope Konstantara, Agathe Lederer, Roisin McCallum, Sophie Monks and Jake Teale, were lucky enough to take part in a work placement offered by course partners Aardman during production of the film.

Left to right: Penelope Konstantara, Helen Ferguson

Head of NFTS Model Making for Animation John Lee said:

“It was a joy to see the excitement of the students as they saw their work on screen. Farmageddon is a fabulous film, full of detail and character. It’s a real privilege for me to be able to have Aardman and Mackinnon and Saunders on board with the Model Making course here at the NFTS, they are leading experts in animated features and puppet making.”

NFTS Model Making for Animation student Helen Ferguson commented:

“The main reason I applied to the Model Making course at the NFTS was for the chance to work at Aardman. I was over the moon to get two weeks of work experience in the art department, along with two other students. (The remaining three model makers were placed within Aardman’s puppet department.) We were building and painting sets for Farmageddon. It was such a thrill to see something I'd made on the big screen at NFTS. Knowing that I made a small contribution to something that will bring joy to kids and adults alike is a real buzz."

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon is released in cinemas across the UK from Friday 18th October. The full story on Richard, Shaun and Lu-La’s visit to the NFTS will follow next week!

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