Move Summit to celebrate Scotland's animation industry

It's been described as Scotland's 'overlooked' creative industry, despite working on some of the best-known films and video games of recent years.

Commercial annimators work across several Scottish business sectors including advertising, architecture and video games design. Picture: Wikicommons
Commercial annimators work across several Scottish business sectors including advertising, architecture and video games design. Picture: Wikicommons

Now commercial animators from across the country are preparing to gather for the sector’s first ever conference, Move Summit, which takes place in Edinburgh on February 23.

Organisers aim to celebrate the best in Scotland’s animation industry, support emerging talent and showcase the latest technologies and techniques from the cutting edge of the animation world.

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It is not known exactly how many animators are employed in Scotland but the number is thought to run into four figures - spread across studios working in advertising, architecture, film production and video games design.

Creative Scotland, one of the backers of Move, have commissioned a review of the animation sector north of the border which is due to be published next month.

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A 2012 industry study found that while more than half of UK-based animators work in London, just five per cent were in Scotland.

Denis Mallon, one of Move’s co-organisers, believes the real number is much higher. He hopes the event will connect those in the industry and encourage them to celebrate their work.

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“Animators tend not to be extroverts,” he told Scotland on Sunday. “But they are a hugely important part of the creative industries and deserve to be recognised as such.

“We want to celebrate the scene. There’s a lot of incredible work being produced in Scotland. Perhaps what’s needed is something like this to pull us all together.”

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Keynote speakers at the event include representatives from acclaimed studios such as Red Knuckles, 59 Productions and MPC - the BAFTA award-winning company behind the incredible visual effects in 2016 remake of The Jungle Book (2016)

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In a world exclusive, Move Summit will also feature a clip from the new animated short film Nothing To Declare. The production was part financed by the Scottish Film Talent Network, in partnership with Creative Scotland and the BFI Network, and brings together multiple Scottish creatives including animation studios Once Were Farmers and Interference Pattern, writer Frank Quitely and former Mogwai guitarist John Cummings.

In addition, Move Summit will feature a closing party involving installations, performances and technology from the cutting edge of animation, projection and virtual reality.

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Tom Bryant, managing director of Interference Pattern, and one of the organisers of Move, said: “We are absolutely amazed and completely overwhelmed to have such an incredible range of creative talent joining us for our first ever conference

“We have world class, award-winning studios, pioneering independent creators, cutting edge technologies and brand new, world exclusive content.

“We couldn’t be happier. We hope this shows the sheer scale of the animation sector in Scotland and is just the start of a new annual event in the animation calendar.”

Ross Mckenzie, screen officer at Creative Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the inaugural Move Summit, which showcases the wealth of talent, the range of expertise and facilities and the world class content available within Scotland’s animation sector.

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“This is a unique event for Scotland and we have every confidence Move Summit will be successful in offering a platform for developing industry networks, strengthening our animation sector and demonstrating what Scotland has to offer.”