May the Fourth be With You - The Cecils 2017

This year's annual celebration of student excellence, that lavish and much anticipated event known as The Cecils, took place on May the Fourth and, as you would expect on such a significant date, our guests arrived in costumed splendour from all corners of the galaxy... not our galaxy of course... but a galaxy far far away.

After the traditional throwing of sweets (by some really odd looking people)...

... the the evening kicked off with an epic battle between the forces of good and evil when our host Obi-wan Hayes (Jedi master and animation legend) was challenged for the right to compere the show by the evil, yet powerful, Darth Joule (Sith Lord and esteemed course leader).  The audience gasped and recoiled in fear as the combatants drew their light sabres.

The tension mounted... and mounted....and mounted... but sadly Obi-wan had misplaced the charger for his light sabre two Christmases ago and so it failed to fully extend... and that was that.

As is often the case at these high profile celebrity events there was a small but contained student protest, but this passed off peacefully... aw bless.

Before the main event the audience were treated to a screening of this year's third year films, masterfully prepared complete with Star Wars title credits by our very own inter-galactic technician Julian Wright. This year's third year films included:

The Big Top
Merlin the Mallard
Over the Road
Dino Diner
Business Dog
Cold Case
Our Daughter is a Necromancer

This year's guest judge for the Best Dressed Guest award was the newest recruit to the School of Film and Television's technical team, Senior Technician Laurie Bowles. As usual the competition was fierce  (and this year a couple of the contestants had weapons) but Laurie rose to the challenge with great fortitude and the first prize was awarded to Cecilia Hay for her inventive and endearing BB-8 costume.

The ceremony then moved on to the Animation & VFX Awards for Excellence. Our coveted mini-Cecil medallions were awarded to 16 of our brightest and best. Nominations were made by both staff and students and the awards covered everything from technical skills to those who had spread happiness and joy to their fellow students.

The Rising Stars of Animation & VFX: Valeria Gestro, Natasha Dawson, Luke O'Sullivan
The Da Vinci Award for Drawing from Life: Simona Cojocariu
The Best Role Model Award: Prawta Annez
The Beyond the Call of Duty Award: Ryan Orgill
The Most Friendly Student Ever Award: Luke Platt
The Harvard Award for Superlative Writing: Kristian Southerton
The Dali Lama Awards for Nurturing Team Happiness & Harmony: Pippa Humphrey & Becky Moritz.
Best Concept Art & Background Designs: Piers Buffey
The Award for Masterful Modeling: Chris Hunt
The Award for Quality Rigging: Joe Chalmers
Best Producer - Skills with Email: Cecilia Hay
Best Producer - Skills with Spreadsheets: Nathan Edwards
The Award for Creative Compositing: Ashley Howard

These were followed by our Cecil awards for this year's 3 Angels of Animation:

The Angel of Animation Year 1: Amanda Chin

The Angel of Animation Year 2: Eric Lin

The Angel of Animation Year 3: Alice Seatherton

This year we also gave a special director's award to a student who, from the very beginning of the first year, stood out as having some quite amazing animation and drawing skills, coupled with an addiction to hard work and long hours, and doing at least 50% more than was asked of her. But it was Elitsa's achievements in animation direction that won her multiple nominations from staff and students. We felt that she deserved something special, so we made her this fabulous animation director's award.

Special Award for Animation Direction: Elitsa Nedyalkova

The final award of the evening was, of course, the magnificent Skull D'Or, upon which are engraved the names of some of our finest graduates. This year the Skull' D'Or went to a student who has become the "go to" person for other students. If you have a rendering problem... "ask George". If your movie won't export... "Oh I'll just go and ask George." Or if your film is a total disaster and you need it fixing then... "just ask George!" So the award went to...

La La Land... oh no... sorry... I mean George!

The 2017 Student Award for Animation & VFX excellence,
Le Skull D'Or: George Quelch

Congratulations to all of our winners this year, and to all of our students for their amazing achievements and triumphs.

And of course a special congratulations to all of our third year students who will be making their way out into the world to add their names to the end credits of many a fine production.

 May the Fourth be With You.

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