Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the finale to the global film phenomenon, clinched a BAFTA this year for Special Visual Effects. The award was achieved against stiff competition, including Steven Spielberg’s current box office hit, War Horse.
Teesside University is part of the BAFTA triumph, as 17 graduates from its School of Computing worked on the Potter finale, in a variety of creative roles.
These include Visualisation graduate Dan Zelcs, who is a Lead Rigger with the Moving Picture Company (MPC). His role involves working with the modelling team to model characters. A skeleton is then created which is used as a puppet for the animators to bring back to life.
Dan worked as Lead Rigger for the last three Harry Potter films, leading the rigging team through the finale’s battles. Dan also helped to bring Nagini, Lord Voldemort's pet python, to life, and was also heavily involved in realising the death of Voldemort.
Dan was a guest speaker last week at Animex, the University’s annual international festival of animation and computer games, which has just marked its 13th year. Dan said: “What is really satisfying is when you see the finished result on the screen. At times it feels like a regular job but at other times I have to pinch myself that I’m involved.”
Chris Williams, Director of Animex, said: “I remember teaching Dan and it's no surprise that he rose to such a senior position in one of the UK's leading and most respected studios. Dan's achievements show that if you're prepared to work hard and take advantage of the opportunities the animation and visual effects courses here at Teesside provide, you can go on and become a prominent figure in the industry.”
Dr Simon Stobart, Dean of the School of Computing, said: “To learn that a total of 17 graduates from the School of Computing at Teesside University contributed to the success these films which culminated with winning a BAFTA for visual effects is tremendous news. Our staff and students here at the University work very hard to ensure that the quality of the work they accomplish is of the highest international standards. Dan is a great ambassador for the School and I wish him every success for the future.”
Teesside University’s School of Computingwww.tees.ac.uk/ug/games
Teesside University’s Careers service www.tees.ac.uk/depts/careers/