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5 MINUTES WITH... Rosalind Burr
We continue our series of interviews with those at he coalface of our industry, because every day should be Animation Day! In this interview we also meet another custodian of our aspiring talents, a teacher who is nurturing a new generation of our animation, digital content, vfx, gaming and illustration community.
City Varsity Animation
Rosalind Burr is a British animator that started her education in fine art sculpture and acting and educationally has surmounted to date in an advanced diploma in character
animation from Central St Martin’s London in which she gained a distinction in
Maya character animation. She believes her background in acting and figurative
anatomy gives her the edge when it comes to character animation.
Rosalind working career has been diverse in animation ranging from kids cartoon 2d series work to more adult titles for Sony PlayStation. Along the way Rosalind used motion capture while working on Hollywood blockbuster films Troy and King Arthur.
Rosalind has lived and worked in the London, Hamburg and Tokyo but now considers South Africa her new home. Rosalind has been teaching in RSA for 5 years, most recently at the University of Stellenbosch and the Stellenbosch Academy of design and photography. Rosalind is currently the Head of department of animation for CityVarsity Cape Town.
1. What are you currently up to? Are there any exciting projects ongoing?
At CityVarsity we are always working on improving our product to produce quality students who are academically sound and employable. At present I’m working on curriculum development (thanks to those who came to our industry indaba on 19th October).
We have exciting times coming up in the animation department, not only do we have departments in Cape Town and Newtown in Jo'burg but we’re opening in Durban next year which is all very exciting. Also it’s very likely that in the next couple of years we’re going to
be offering the animation diploma as a part time course as well as full time.
We are also looking to start a full time degree in animation soon. As we know
animation is so diverse. It requires so many more skilled people to further
develop the industry this country. I’m delighted that I can be a part of this
process by offering such a variety of education/skills options to suit all
2. Who or what inspires you?
ooOOOOooh that’s an interesting one, I love it when people just go with their passion. You can always see when people are doing what they love - it’s the look of focus and wonder on their faces, so absorbed and oblivious to the rest of the world, that is so beautiful.
3. What’s your best project/work to date?
I loved my time at Sony there such a great company to work for and their teams are so dedicated and talented. Yes it is a buzz to walk into any shop around the world and see your work on the shelf. I think though that at this moment my best work (and this will sound corny) is my students. Unless you’re an educator its tricky to explain what pride you feel
on seeing a student, young or old, and watching them grow in confidence as they
realise they can not only do this crazy thing called animation but they can
actually do it well. It’s a great feeling J
4. Anything new going on? Or in the pipeline?
As I mentioned before we’re really keen on extending learning opportunities to more people. I’m also interested in is creating more learning opportunities inside my department as well. In very proud of my staff- they really are a fantastic group and it is wonderful when I see them taking their own steps towards growing creatively. They have recently been producing
short films (Malcolm Howroyd’s Idiom was shown at the out the box festival),
festivals entries (Malcolm’s and Malan de Kock’s work at the upcoming Wavescape
film festival), competitions (Pierre Bezuidenhout’s entries for the Nokia
colour your phone competition) and freelance work (Richard Ramsbottom’s games
App designs). It just adds such nice diversity and extra energy to the
5. When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
I’m a simple creature; I love my home life with my wonderful boyfriend Andre and my gorgeous dachshunds Monty and Lelu. And for vices it’s the beach, Banoffee ice-cream, and Burlesque dancing. Not a bad life really ;)
6. Finally, what tips or advice could you give to other creatives, just starting out or to the more experienced creatives needing a bit of encouragement?
If you can do something for hours straight with a smile on your face and not know where the time went you’re probably doing the right job. If you’re just starting out forget false pride and take any job within your area of expertise and just do it well.
Be pleasant and hardworking and you’ll go far. If you’re already in the industry, again be friendly to everyone (high or low), the best managers I’ve ever worked with have had faith in their staff, lavish in praise and are humble in their own achievements (thank
you Michelle Young for teaching me thisJ).