Big payoff for small business

A SMALL business category has been included in the State Arts Sponsorship Awards this year in recognition of the hard work and support small businesses provide the arts community.

Animation Works caught the judges’ attention this year for its sponsorship of the Film and Television Institute in Fremantle.

Animation Works head of development Ross Hutchens said that, through contact with the FTI, he became aware of its aim to establish an animation school – the Centre for Advanced Digital Screen Animation [CASDA].

Animation Works’ sponsorship of the establishment of CASDA was in the form of 18 animation work stations valued at $2,000 each, access to complex animation software and a mentoring program.

“We were looking for animators and we had brought a lot of gear with us from Melbourne that we didn’t have any need for in our current productions,” Mr Hutchens said.

“We were looking for a way to help the FTI get the school off the ground. The short-term gain was that we were immediately seen as part of the local production school. We also see it as part of our duty as good corporate citizens.”

The partnership also presents a long-term benefit for Animation Works.

Through the mentoring arrangement within CASDA, AnimationWorks is helping develop a pool of industry ready talent.

“This sponsorship is one of the larger ones for us; it came about in a more opportunistic way,” Mr Hutchens said.

The FTI has also been instrumental in establishing a relationship between Fremantle TAFE e-Tech Centre and Animation Works.

Animation Works has already employed CASDA mentors for the $12 million Quads project. The partnership will continue into the next financial year with stage two of CASDA’s development the advanced interactive games and traditional and digital puppetry training course.

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