Frequently Asked Questions

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general

Where can I watch more of Aardman’s work?

There’s a lot more to see on this site, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for then you might like to try our YouTube channel where you’ll find a visual back catalogue of favourite Aardman creations, including Wallace & Gromit , Morph and Creature Comforts. You can also watch exclusive behind-the-scenes footage.

We have dedicated YouTube channels for Shaun the Sheep and Morph, or if you fancy something a bit weird and wonderful, pop along to the Aardman Darkside channel to take a peek at our more leftfield work, including Angry Kid, A Town Called Panic and The Adventures of Jeffrey.

If you’d like to catch us on the TV we broadcast all current content – including Shaun the Sheep, Timmy Time and Wallace & Gromit – to over 150 territories across the globe, so check your TV guide and local broadcaster websites for the latest schedules. You can also download our shows on iTunes, Netflix and Lovefilm, and of course you can order our content on DVD through all good online and high street retailers, including our very own online store, www.aardstore.com

I’m fundraising for my chosen charity, can Aardman help?

We are proud supporters of the Wallace & Gromit Children’s Foundation which, through Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, has helped to raise vital funds for Bristol Children’s Hospital. We do look at other projects throughout the year, but prioritise initiatives which benefit arts education and training, or projects which bring cultural expression to local communities, especially communities which don’t normally have access to arts experiences. We can’t, unfortunately, support individuals, sporting projects or overseas work, although we do occasionally make exceptions in very special circumstances.

That said, we are always happy to hear from people involved in fundraising events that have some connection to our brands, so feel free to share your stories and photos with us on Facebook.

 

Is there a fan site I can join? Or can I follow Aardman on Facebook?

Yes! We have lots of ways you can keep updated with the latest Aardman news. We have dedicated fan sites for all our main characters which you can visit here:

www.shaunthesheep.com

www.wallaceandgromit.com

www.timmytime.tv

www.amazingmorph.com

You’ll find news, competitions, clips and much more on each of these sites. You can sign up to chat in our forums and receive monthly newsletters, too.  We’re also very active on social media – here’s where to find us:

Twitter: @shaunthesheep, @aardman

Facebook: Shaun the Sheep, Wallace & Gromit, Timmy Time, Morph, Animate It!

Google + : Shaun the Sheep, Wallace & Gromit

I’m interested in scriptwriting – can I send Aardman my scripts?

It’s our company policy not to read unsolicited scripts or story ideas from outside writers. Here are the reasons why:

  • We do not have the resources to read the hundreds of submissions we would receive if we had an “open door” policy.
  • There are also legal ramifications if a submission we receive bears a coincidental similarity to a project we produce at a later date: in any case the vast majority of Aardman’s productions are generated from in-house ideas.

The only unsolicited submissions we will look at are those by established writers that come through a recognised literary agent.

Do you run tours of the Aardman Studios?

We don’t, unfortunately. This is because we’re usually working on confidential projects that we have to keep tightly under wraps until we’re ready to release them to the public. However, you can take a virtual tour of some of our HQ’s key areas and see what a typical day is like on set or in departments including storyboarding, model making and edit. Our Wallace & Gromit DVDs also feature extensive studio tours in the special extras section.

Can I have an autograph? Or even a little doodle?

Unfortunately, we can’t accept email or written requests for autographs, doodles or sketches. As you can imagine, our animators and illustrators are super busy working on exciting new releases for you to feast your eyes on, so they really don’t have the time to send out drawings and doodles. However, we often run competitions on our Shaun the Sheep and Wallace & Gromit websites where you can win signed books and certificates. Why not take a look?

I love Creature Comforts – how do I get to be a voice of one of the animals?

Although Creature Comforts is one of our most popular series, there are currently no plans to make new episodes. In the past we’ve found our voices by sending out local researchers to find interesting and chatty people. We realise this isn’t very helpful to you right now but keep an eye on the site in case there’s news of another series.

I’d like to have a go at animating – where should I start?

A great starting point is our Animate It! software and app. Developed in partnership with software developers Kudlian, Animate It! has been designed with complete beginners in mind, helping you to create your very own stop-frame animations. It’s easy to use and the only other things you need are a web cam and some great ideas! You can trial the software for free or download the full program from the Animate It website for £19.99.

The app has been condensed for easier use on a mobile device is available for iPhone and iPad. It costs £1.99  and you can download it right here.

How do I get started in scriptwriting?

We realise that this is a discouraging policy for first time writers and doesn’t help answer the question: “How do I get started in the first place?”

We believe that if you are serious about being a writer, the chances are that you will be writing already. You will probably have written books or articles, for radio or sketches for a long-running comedy series, you may be putting on a show at the Edinburgh festival…

We recognise that it takes considerable dedication and persistence, as well as talent of course, to develop a career as a writer and find an agent: and it is at that stage of your development as a writer that Aardman will be in a position to consider your ideas.

So how do I become an ‘established’ writer? Do I need an agent?

If you’re a scriptwriter who is just starting out and finding it difficult to get your work in front of the ‘right’ people you may like to look into getting yourself an agent.  You can find a comprehensive listing of literary agents in the current Writers & Artists Yearbook (published by A&C Black and available through Amazon). This handbook also includes helpful tips on how to submit your work and useful articles by established writers about the different fields of work available.

Another key thing to bear in mind is that pursuing a scriptwriting career calls for lots of persistence and dedication – as well as talent, of course! So keep writing, find yourself an agent and continue your professional development as a writer; when you become more established we may then be able to take a look at – and consider – your ideas.

I’m doing a school project – where can I find out more about Aardman and animation?

You can read a potted history of Aardman Animations here  which explains how we came into being, a little bit about our founders and the key events that have shaped our history right up to the present day. You can also take a look at some interesting podcasts here which might be useful in your research, plus you can hear Nick Park talk about his early experiences with animation in this interview.

Does Aardman offer any animation workshops or courses I can take part in?

Each year,  in conjunction with the NFTS, Aardman runs a 12 week intensive Character Animation course aimed at post graduates, in both Stop Frame and Maya disciplines. Further details can be found here.

As well as this, our Animate It! website features helpful online tutorials from some of our animation and model making experts. On the model-making side we do offer workshops for schools and large groups on the art of clay modelling, during which an expert model maker shows you how to create clay models and animate them, as well as sharing some insider info about life at Aardman and the processes involved in making our award-winning films. You can book model making workshops on the Animate It! website.

jobs

Can I send Aardman my CV speculatively?

If we are not advertising the specific job you are interested in and you would like to make a speculative application please email your full CV with a completed CV coversheet to speculative@aardman.com (please note there is a 10MB size limit) For CGI positions please email cgimail@aardman.com

You can also post written applications to our Human Resources department at Gas Ferry Road, Bristol, BS1 6UN. Please let us know the areas of work you’re particularly interested in, perhaps with some examples of your work or details of relevant experience.

We keep speculative CVs on file for six months and will be in touch if anything suitable comes up. If you’d rather we didn’t keep your details on file or don’t want us to circulate your CV around the business, please let us know and we’ll remove your details from our system.

Can I send Aardman my showreel or portfolio?

Yes, absolutely. In fact, if you’re applying for a creative role of some sort at Aardman, we need to see some examples of work – usually in the format of a showreel or artwork – to help us appraise your talents. Please send your application and supporting materials to speculative@aardman.com or for CGI specific roles CGImail@aardman.com. Alternatively hard copies can be sent in the post at the following address:

Human Resources
Aardman Animations
Gas Ferry Road
Bristol BS1 6UN

Unfortunately we are unable to return showreels, portfolios or other materials so please do not send originals, always send copies of work.

When preparing your showreel please consider the following:

  • A showreel should ideally be between 1-3 mins in length.
  • Always present your best work first. A running order is also advisable, and if you didn’t animate all the work include a description of your contribution on the showreel.
  • If you have experience in more than one area then include relevant examples.
  • Be specific about what position you want to apply for – don’t forget to include a CV coversheet and a full CV.
  • If sending hard copies clearly mark your name and contact details on everything!

Due to the high volume of showreels we receive, it may take up to 12 weeks for the reviewing process to be complete. A delay in response doesn’t mean a lack of interest and if we think there’s a vacancy that matches your skill set, we’ll be in touch!

Creating a Showreel

Whether you have a traditional animation background or not, the most important asset for an aspiring animator is their showreel.

“Your showreel is your one chance to shine without necessarily being present. It needs to demonstrate, in a couple of minutes, the genius of years of hard work. It’s not just a compilation: it’s the unique you and your life ambitions condensed into a few minutes. It’s also the ticket to your future.”

When compiling a showreel, remember that it will probably be viewed alongside those of other animators. Be creative and original, put your best work first and make sure your reel stands out. Don’t forget when compiling your Showreel that film companies will be looking for examples of your animation skills as well, so include a segment that demonstrates walk cycles or stretch and squash moments.

Finally, before submitting your work, remember that all animation companies will have their own submission policy. This must be read in full before you send your Showreel to them.

Do you offer Internships?

We are working directly with a number of industry-led work placement & internship schemes in 2016, please see NFTS.co.uk for further details. We’re very sorry to say that we are currently unable to offer any work placements or internships to anyone not involved with those schemes.

We will occasionally have other trainee positions or work placement opportunities for applicants over the age of 18, dependent on our production schedules. We will advertise these opportunities on our website as they arise.

Unfortunately due to the huge number of enquiries we receive, we cannot reply to individual queries about work experience, internships or volunteering.

I’d love to do some work experience at Aardman – would this be possible?

As you might imagine, we get lots of requests from people wishing to do work experience or placements with us. For this reason we can’t take direct applications but we sometimes support industry-led placement and internship schemes. Our website will include information about these opportunities when they become available.

Unfortunately due to the huge number of enquiries we receive, we cannot reply to individual queries about work experience, internships or volunteering.

Considering a career in animation?

With the development of animation in all its forms and especially with the advancement of CGI, the animated film business is becoming an increasingly popular career choice. Although this makes the field highly competitive, it also provides the opportunity for those with real passion and enthusiasm to shine. Dedication is essential as jobs are limited, and anyone wanting to succeed will need to do plenty of research. Watch television, see films, go to events such as festivals and exhibitions, try to make personal contacts within the industry, and keep up to date with the relevant trade and technical press.

Although it is not essential to have completed a course at art school or film school, it is immensely helpful and desirable to employers. Very often people find their individual style during those years. For instance, Aardman’s most successful directors – including Nick Park – laid down the foundations of their career in their student days. There are a number of courses available covering most aspects of animation: more information can be found online. Animation courses can be found at www.ucas.com, seek advice about the most appropriate course for the career you are interested in.

What qualifications/skills do you need to become an animator?

You’ll need oodles of creativity, patience and a genuine interest in and love of the genre. Although you can learn on the job and teach yourself key skills, it’s becoming more and more common for new animators to have some formal training in animation, particularly as the field has become increasingly competitive and jobs are limited.

If you’re serious about a finding a job in any area of the animated film business it’s important to do lots of research: watch TV, see films and go to events such as festivals and exhibitions. It’s also a good idea to build up personal contacts in the industry and keep up-to-date with all the latest developments.

The National Careers Service has some useful background information on becoming an animator, including details of specialist industry websites where you can find out more.

If you’d like to follow in the footsteps of Nick Park and hone your skills while getting a formal qualification in animation you can find out about courses across the UK at www.ucas.com

And for general tips and advice on how to get into the animation industry, take a look at Creative England.

What’s it like working at Aardman?

We’re a dynamic and creative company, and our founders continue to play an active role in the business.  We’re involved in all sorts of projects, from creating award-winning animation feature films to educational games and apps for a variety of renowned brands. Wherever you work within our company, you’ll be part of a talented team of people who are passionate about what they do. Because we’re still quite small, you’ll get opportunities to work across different parts of the business when those opportunities arise, and we’re always keen to grow people’s talent and expertise – in fact, a lot of our most senior people started out at the bottom and are still learning years later!

Our HQ enjoys a super location in the heart of Bristol’s vibrant Harbourside, close to sights and landmarks such as the SS Great Britain, Clifton Suspension Bridge and Cabot Tower. Bristol is a great place to live and work, with a unique creative identity and vibrant energy, where you’ll find beautiful green spaces,  stunning historic buildings, great shops and some of the best places to eat and drink in the country.

Do you accept job applications from outside the UK?

In most cases we’re only able to consider job applications from those eligible to live and work in the UK. We can only apply for work permits if there are no suitable applicants in the UK or nationals of the European Economic Area & Switzerland. You can find out more about applying for a UK Visa on the Home Office website.

Are there any hints and tips I should consider when applying for a job at Aardman?

Yes! Before you fire off your application you might like to take a look at our helpful checklist below…

Do:        

• Read the full job advert, job description and person specification thoroughly and carefully before applying.
• Make sure that you meet at the very least the minimum level of skills and experience we require for a role – if you don’t, we won’t be able to consider you as competition is fierce and the very highest standards are expected at Aardman!
• Ensure that you send us what we ask for in the advert, e.g. if the advert asks you to submit a showreel in a specific format accompanied by a shot breakdown, please send it!
• Keep your information brief and to the point, think about using bullet points to help keep things concise – you’ll need to use real, demonstrable examples of your achievements!
• Check carefully the material you submit for spelling and grammar.
• Prove to us that you are motivated and know your subject – simply telling us you’re enthusiastic won’t be enough! Carry out research where necessary to expand and update your knowledge – use the internet, industry publications, watch TV and films, etc.
• Be honest about yourself and what you can bring to the company!
• Be patient please! We try to get back to every applicant in a timely manner, however, due to the huge numbers of applications we receive, and sometimes as a result of changing production schedules, it can take a while to complete the shortlisting process.

Don’t:

• Apply if you don’t meet our minimum required levels of skills and experience.
• Apply for the same job more than once.
• Apply for more than one job using the same CV Coversheet or Application Form – you need to show that your skills and experience match the specific requirements of each advertised role.
• Send a huge and elaborate CV with lots of waffle – instead keep it simple, concise, factual and think about clear but interesting presentation.
• Rely on the spell-checker alone – attention to detail is important.
• Make things up to impress us as you’ll need to be able to prove you can do what you say you can!
• Ask us for feedback on your application if you’re not invited for interview – due to the volume of applications we receive, sadly we just don’t have the time to be able to provide constructive feedback for every unsuccessful application!
• Apply if you are not already eligible to live and work in the UK, unless an advertisement specifically states otherwise, as we won’t be able to consider your application. It is only possible for us to apply for work permits if there are no suitable applicants in the UK or nationals of the EU, go to www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk for further information and the latest on new member states and eligibility.

What’s a showreel and why do I need one to become an animator?

A showreel is a compilation of the best bits of your animation and is a vital asset for any aspiring animator – it’s a way for you to show off your skills and show potential employers why they need you in their organisation! In the words of one of Aardman’s veteran animators:

Your showreel is your one chance to shine without necessarily being present. It needs to demonstrate, in a couple of minutes, the genius of years of hard work. It’s not just a compilation: it’s the unique you and your life ambitions condensed into a few minutes. It’s also the ticket to your future.”

When compiling a showreel, remember that it will probably be viewed alongside those of other animators. Be creative and original, put your best work first and make sure your reel stands out. Don’t forget when compiling your showreel that film companies will be looking for examples of your animation skills as well, so include a segment that demonstrates walk cycles or stretch and squash moments.

Finally, before submitting your work, remember that all animation companies will have their own submission policy. This must be read in full before you send your showreel to them.

What We Can Offer You

Our Ethos:

At Aardman we strive to continue producing and distributing the best character animation that we can, through imagination, independence and investment. We seek to recruit, attract and retain the right people, with the right skills, at the right time. Recruiting and retaining talented people is essential to our long-term creativity, productivity and quality… this is where you come in…

You will learn from the best there are and work in a dynamic & creative environment where the company founders are very much at the heart of the business. You’ll be part of a team of people passionate about the work we produce & you’ll be part of something amazing! Because we’re still quite small, you’ll get opportunities to work across different parts of the business when those opportunities arise & we’re always keen to grow people’s talent & expertise – in fact, a lot of our most senior people started out at the bottom & are still learning years later!

What we can offer you:

From your perspective, you get to learn from the best there are and work in a dynamic & creative environment where the company founders are very much at the heart of the business. You’ll be part of a team of people passionate about the work we produce & you’ll get to be part of something amazing! Because we’re still quite small, you’ll get opportunities to work across different parts of the business when those opportunities arise & we’re always keen to grow people’s talent & expertise – in fact, a lot of our most senior people started out at the bottom & are still learning years later!

Benefits we can offer you:

Aside from competitive remuneration packages, we offer enhanced annual leave, company sick pay, access to a pension, life assurance, subsidised gym membership, subsidised on site canteen, childcare vouchers, employee assistance programme, paternity leave, parental leave, maternity, special and compassionate leave, sabbaticals, and flexible working.

*service criteria may apply and not all benefits are applicable to every employee as a result of this.

We really respect the work/life balance – we want you to work hard & play hard too! We’re happy to grant flexible working for family commitments where we can & we’ll also offer enhanced maternity and paternity leave so you can spend time with your little ones (some service restrictions apply). We also take an appropriate approach to employment by making sure we regularly review our recruitment and employment processes in line with best practice and changing legislation. We’re interested in your views, we encourage communication and empower you to get involved across the whole company via our consultative works council.

We offer sabbatical programmes (some service restrictions apply) should you wish to take time out to do something completely different for your own personal development or undertake a charitable project.

We’re committed to the environment which is why our state of the art HQ building uses natural and sustainable materials and is as energy efficient as we can make it. You’ll find recycling is commonplace here and people will go round turning lights and switches off! There’s a bike scheme, multiple corporate gym memberships, as well as healthy canteen food on offer and weekly on site massage and yoga – because we take your health and wellbeing very seriously.

Benefits of a career with Aardman can include:

Enhanced annual leave, company sick pay scheme, access to a pension, life assurance, subsidised gym membership, subsidised on site canteen, childcare vouchers, free and confidential access to external employee assistance programme for advice on emotional, financial, legal, tax issues, paternity Leave, parental Leave, maternity, special and compassionate leave, sabbaticals, and flexible working.

*service criteria may apply and not all benefits are applicable to every employee as a result of this.

Are flexible working options available?

We really respect the work/life balance and try to accommodate flexible working arrangements if you have family commitments. We also offer enhanced maternity and paternity leave so you can spend time with your little ones (some service restrictions apply). Sabbatical programmes are also available (some service restrictions apply) which allow staff to take time out to do something completely different, whether they’re looking to undertake a charitable project or enhance their personal development.

What is Aardman's equal opportunities policy?

We seek to employ a workforce with the skills, knowledge, abilities and personality suitable for the role and the company’s business. We also want a workforce which reflects the diverse community at large because the company values the individual contribution of people irrespective of sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, race, colour, ethnic or national origin.

About Bristol

Located in the South West of England, the vibrant city of Bristol is one of its most popular, attractive & historic cities with a very special energy; a blend of historic & new, city & coast & town & countryside.   Bristol offers a range of things to do & see – from the historic SS Great Britain & Clifton Suspension Bridge to the many museums & theatres & plenty of shopping opportunities!.  The city centre & waterfront area has been undergoing extensive redevelopment & inward investment.  The historic city of Bath is a short drive or train journey away & from Bristol it takes about 30 minutes to reach the sea!

Bristol’s culture is unique; it has a creative & vibrant energy & has a host of green open spaces if you want to get away from it all.  The city is choc full of cafes, bars, restaurants to suit all tastes & is great for walking, cycling, theatre & festivals – from the world famous Animated Encounters to the annual Balloon Fiesta & Festival of the Sea .

For thrill seekers, there’s an unrivalled choice of adventures, activities & sports in Bristol & the surrounding sea.  After dark, the city has a busy nightlife with stylish bars & pubs, restaurants, clubs & live music venues in which to party the night away!

rights

Where can I buy Aardman merchandise?

You can buy a variety of official Aardman merchandise through our online shop, www.aardstore.com, which ships internationally and features a great range of memorabilia and gift ideas for all ages, as well as books, DVDs and limited edition figurines.

If you are looking specifically for Gromit Unleashed merchandise you can visit the Gromit Unleashed website where you’ll find a wide variety of items inspired by the Gromit Unleashed trail, including replica mini Gromit figurines. There is also a Gromit Unleashed shop located on the top floor of The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol  BS34 5DG. All proceeds from the sale of Gromit Unleashed merchandise go to Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital charity, so it’s a great way to donate to a brilliant cause!

Where can I watch Aardman programs?

We broadcast all current content including Shaun the Sheep, Timmy Time and Wallace & Gromit to over 150 territories worldwide so check your TV guides and local broadcaster websites for the latest schedules.
Our TV shows are also available to download on iTunes, Netflix and Lovefilm and of course you can order all our content on DVD through the usual online channels or to purchase in the high street.
Or you can of course watch us on our official YouTube channel

How can I contact Aardman Rights?

You can contact us about licensing, distribution, or with any other enquiry at rights@aardman.com

I’d like to use an image or video from one of Aardman’s properties – who do I need to contact?

If you are interested in licensing an image or clip featuring Aardman content or characters please contact the licensing team for details here: permissions@aardman.com

Add clips to the playlist by clicking the stars