Miniature world offers big opportunities

Miniature world offers big opportunities

30th July 2013


A WORLD in miniature has opened up big opportunities for a gifted North East design student.

Cleveland College of Art & Design graduate Jessica Shaw’s stop frame animation set impressed visitors to the college’s end of year show so much that she has already received interest from a company offering her work in Dallas, Texas.

Jessica’s model, of the town square from her self penned script Oswald’s Midnight Adventure, took four months to create.

The intricate hand-crafted set includes, a cinema, flower shop, church, sweet shop with jars full of sweets and a cake shop with tiny tempting éclairs, doughnuts, cream slices and Belgian buns on display.

“The set got a great response at the annual degree show at Hartlepool campus,” said Jessica, 22, of Middlesbrough. “People would stop and look then just as they would go to leave they’d notice something else which would draw them back to look again.

“I got some lovely comments but was absolutely bowled over when one of my tutors told me that someone from the company Creative Interactive had seen my set and wanted to talk to me about doing some work for them in Dallas.

“It didn’t really sink in at first and I thought oh that’s ok I can drive – where’s Dallas? – then I realised they meant Dallas, Texas.”

And Jessica is hoping that her love of animation could eventually lead to a job with her favourite production company, Aardman, the TV and film producers of Wallace and Grommet.

“When I first came to CCAD I studied a foundation degree in creative film and moving image production and made a stop frame animation,” said Jessica.
“I took a real shine to it so decided to enrol on the college’s entertainment design degree course to learn how to make the sets and props as well.

“I then wanted to use all the skills I’d learnt for my final project, so as well as writing the script for Oswald’s Midnight Adventure and making the set, I also filmed a short animation sequence which I’m planning to deliver to Aardman with a hope of gaining work experience with them in the future.”

As well as making her own films, Jessica has been working behind the scenes on a new Sky 1 TV series, in Stockton-on-Tees, ‘The Town that Danced Again’, with Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity.

“I heard about the filming and wrote to the producers to see if there was any work as a runner,” added Jessica. “They got back to me offering me a position in sets and props.

“It’s been amazing getting to see how the filming comes together and watching Diversity dance – they really are incredible.

“I’ve had some fabulous opportunities since coming to CCAD, the tutors have been great, the links into the film and TV industry are incredible and the skills I have learnt mean that I can pursue the career I want wherever it takes me.”

Jessica’s model will be on public display alongside other CCAD graduate work from Cleveland College of Art & Design at Preston Hall, Stockton, from October to February 2014.

For more information on CCAD course call (01642) 288888 or log on to

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