Creating a music video for one of the world’s most successful singer songwriters would be a dream addition to any CV – but it is very much a reality for a group of talented student animators from University of Sunderland.
Luke Colling, Jared Turner, Courtney Welsh and Izzy Patchett are the creative masterminds behind the music video for Emeli Sandé’s latest single When Someone Loves You, featuring Nile Rogers.
Despite a deadline of just three weeks to turn it all round – the four Animation students pulled together as a team and rose to the challenge, delivering a vibrant 1970s disco-inspired animated video, which got a big thumbs up from both Emeli – also University of Sunderland Chancellor – and Nile.
Luke, 23, from Sunderland (Director, Editor, Compositor, Animator)
“I’m involved in the local music scene so a chance to explore my creativity in a music video was a really enjoyable experience.
“Being trusted with the undertaking of a workload like this I felt extremely validated and even more motivated than I was before.
“Having the opportunity to also work as a director felt like I’d stepped into shoes I should have been wearing all my life.
“I had a blast editing the video and haven’t been able to get the song out of my head for the last few weeks.
“A special thanks as well to my fiancé who provided the incredible dance moves and choreography that bring the video so much life and vibrancy.
“Not only has this created new job opportunities, but it has also made me more confident in my own abilities as an artist and director.
“Throughout the process I realised that the career path I want to take is that of an animation director/VFX supervisor.
“I cannot calculate the amount of value to my working life that this video has started for me.”
Jared, 20, from County Durham (3D Modeller, Sourcing Artist, Dynamics Artist, Production Designer, Animator)
“Although I had a holiday booked, I thought there is no way I could turn down an opportunity like this.
“When I found out what it entailed and the deadline being three days before I flew, it was a lot to take on and would obviously be a challenge.
“I briefly spoke with Emeli and her management team on a Zoom call to pitch our ideas for the video. Emeli was very attentive and listened intently to all our ideas.
“I like to think that this will be a big stepping stone and a great thing to have experience in.
“It may also help that Emeli Sandé and Nile Rogers are basically household names. I think given the amount I contributed to the video; my skills are definitely on show.”
Courtney, 22, from Newcastle (Concept Artist, Character Designer, Storyboard Artist, Animator)
“I am very, very grateful that I was selected to work on this project. The course is filled with a lot of very talented and creative people, so to have this opportunity was a complete honour.
“It has helped me develop more confidence in my abilities as well as identifying my role and place within the industry.
“Teamwork and collaboration were a huge part of this project, so this is something I have definitely been able to work on and develop and something the industry looks for.”
Izzy, 24, from Sunderland (Storyboard Artist, Illustrator, Animator)
“It really is incredible, especially considering the timeframe it was made in. Needless to say, I also adore the song itself. I really do live disco and funk, especially a good bassline!
“It was a valuable experience, and I’m glad to have been able to work with such a dedicated team.”
Chris McQuillan, Senior Lecturer in Animation and Games Art at the University of Sunderland, said: “What I’d really like to say to all the students involved is a huge well done.
“They’ve all shown a huge level of maturity and responsibility to push through a project that required a vast level of time to be sunk into it.
“It was through the summer holidays while off campus, with their own personal commitments alongside this and still they showed a level of unwavering determination to get it done and for that, I have a great deal of respect.”
Chris, who actively works within the animation/creative industry alongside his teaching commitments, added: “If they can all continue to show that level of drive, vigour and determination they’ll all go far, very far.
“As I keep saying to the students, that is the point they should be reaching for – the stars.”