2013 is quickly rolling to a close, and that means many things. On one hand, we have to say goodbye to a fantastic group of young adults whom we have seen grow not only in skill and ability, but also as people, over what we’re sure most of our students would call a challenging, but rewarding, three years.

On the other hand, it also means we get to showcase the culmination of those three years, in the form of our third-year students’ work. This year was a particularly strong year in terms of student output, with seven out of seven of our third year films making it from early conceptualisation, through development, and all the way to showcase standard. This is a rare achievement, and one we are extremely proud of.

If you haven’t checked out our third year final work, then head on over to our last blog post that looks at each short in detail.

Today we’re looking at one student film in particular, and it’s a piece which deserves special recognition not only for its high production standards, but also for making a massive splash online. We’re talking about Big Game, which within 48 hours of being posted (in 1080p) on Vimeo, received over 100 000 views — a number that’s still climbing.

Big Game has captured the attention of various local and international publications, and even received a shout out from Autodesk Maya — not bad for a student production! Oh, and let’s not forget how it stormed the front page of Reddit.com, where it was met with overwhelmingly positive comments — an incredible achievement in its own right.

If you’d like to find out more about how Big Game was made, then head on over to one of the project’s creators, Jarrod Hasenjager’s, Behance profile.

We managed to catch up with one of Big Game’s character designers Sarah Scrimgeour, who has been left feeling incredibly positive, albeit a little bit overwhelmed, and sufficiently exhausted after a long, hard year of almost non-stop work.

“One of our biggest challenges was getting the group dynamic right. Before third year, we had each only really worked alone, so this was our first group project. Naturally there were hiccups, but in the end we all managed to pull together, largely thanks to Jarrod (Hasenjager), who was an excellent mediator. Having said that, it didn’t take us too long to find our flow.”

Unsurprisingly, the film’s reception was a lot bigger than Scrimgeour expected. “The Vimeo launch was a lot bigger than any of us could have imagined. The strategy was to get as many views as possible, and Vimeo has a massive film-making community, so it was a natural fit. We sent the video out to a couple of blogs and got a fantastic response, but it was the Reddit attention that really lit the fuse.”

2013 marks another great year for The Animation School graduates, and we couldn’t be prouder of the work that’s been produced. Here’s to 2014!

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