NFTS Head of Model Making, John Lee, who has worked on a wide range of films as model maker and prop maker from Star Wars: The Last Jedi to Frankenweenie, recommends an exclusive exhibition taking place this Easter of sets and puppets from his latest film, Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs.

John says: “I really recommend that anyone interested in model making or animation should visit this free behind-the-scenes exhibition, which showcases a number of the original sets and puppets, some of which I had the pleasure of working on myself. Just to see some of the puppets and sets up close will really blow your mind. The level of detail is insane on this type of film, and Wes pushes that to the absolute limit!”

On what he enjoyed most about working on Isle of Dogs, John said: “The main attraction to working on Isle of Dogs was the crew to be honest. Art Department Supervisor, Roddy Macdonald puts together a great team down at 3 Mills Studios, and most of us had worked together before on Frankenweenie, and Fantastic Mr Fox, so if you’re lucky enough to be asked, then you are in for a real treat. The work on a project like that is so nice, and because it’s stop frame animation, your work generally ends up on screen.”

“My part on Isle of Dogs was fairly short by animated feature standards, as I was lucky enough to work on it straight after Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” I worked in the art department, which was huge. We had prop and model makers, painters, and designers, so the type of work you are making is either model sets, or nice props from the film. I did a bit of both really, which is always good, as I enjoy working large or small.”

Isle of Dogs credits no fewer than seven NFTS graduates including Ralph Foster, Editor; Gillian Simpson, Digital Compositor; and Frej Bengtsson, Quentin Haberham, Steve Warne,  Adam M Watts and Laura Tofarides (animators).

The exhibition takes place between the 23rd and 31st March at The Store Studios, 180 The Strand.

If this piques your interest in working as a model maker, find out more about our new Model Making for Animation Diploma at - apply by 7th June to start in September 2018.