news • 9 August 2023

Escape and the Rookies go up in the World

Profile picture of Saint Walker

Written by Saint John Walker

Dean/Director of Industry Engagement

As you may know we’re always in The Rookies charts but what you probably don’t know is we’re working with The Rookies to make two videos to persuade school-leavers and young people all over the world to learn animation, games and visual effects! For one of these we made the most of what summer sun we could find to shoot our '3D Fundamentals' video on and around the South Bank shores of the Thames, around the famous London Eye. We thought we’d give you a sneak peek of what we got up to!  

Our friends at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic, the Star Wars people) thought this was a cool idea too, so they were generous enough to lend us concept artist Bimpe Alliu for the day as our presenter. The idea of this project is to show how anyone can learn 3D, through building their own version of the London Eye in 3D software (or an alternative local attraction in their own city) and then animate it- for free. 

We all concentrated hard to capture the footage we needed from inside our especially commissioned pod as we only had 30 minutes for one revolution and weren’t sure we’d have enough time. However, Bimpe proved to be a one-take wonder, not fluffing her lines at all. The peak height of the wheel is 134 metres, and it travels at a sedate 26 centimetres a second (that’s about 0.6 miles per hour) so there was in fact plenty of time to shoot extra footage. We also learnt some random facts – for example, there are 32 pods, one for each borough of London.   

Other locations were also chosen across the South Bank of the Thames and were great fun, and our tutors, photographer Michael Hunter and animator Marc Stevenson, also had walk on parts to explain key concepts. The script was written by Saint Walker and Mark Spevick, whilst Ahmed Aden was our cinematographer and Will Hughes was second unit and autocue. 

After the shoot we all celebrated by having a Snog- that is, the frozen yoghurt franchise on the South Bank - what did you think we meant? Miraculously not a spot of rain. 

Both Escape and the Rookies are hoping this video will go part of the way to inspire young people to consider taking the first steps to becoming a 3D Artist or Animator. We hope they have as much fun learning as we had making the film. 

The videos made with The Rookies will be released later in the year – watch this space!