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Cuts risk to animation classes for youngsters
ANIMATION sessions run by Kidlington Parish Council to teach youngsters movie-making skills are under threat.
The council fears it cannot continue to subsidise the sessions it has run for the past four years.
The video and computer-based course has taught youngsters skills like stop motion animation, film-making and special effects.
But declining use is now putting the £10 to £15 sessions – held in school holidays at its Exeter Hall, Oxford Road base – at risk.
The council bought equipment with £3,500 from the now defunct South East England Development Agency.
But, of the £13,000 it takes to run the course with a qualified trainer per year, just £4,500 has been recouped in fees.
Parish councillor Chris Pack said: “If we don’t get the punters then we don’t get the money and we can’t afford to put more of them on.
“It is like anything else, we do need to fill these places.”
In 2010/11 about 50 youngsters – mostly aged 12 and 13 – took part.
Mr Pack said: “They have been very successful and working out really well until recently.
“For whatever reason, because we have a charge, and they are not cheap, in these sort of times parents feel it is too much to pay.
“We need to think about how we approach these for the future – maybe to concentrate on a couple of workshops in a year but promote them in a way that makes them really attractive.”
Yet he said: “We can’t charge any less because we need the services of a trainer. It is skilled stuff and they don’t come cheap.
“The video production schools are very much in demand. They are doing something they would never have any other chance to do.”
Trainer Clinton Osborne , who runs Banbury firm Animation Station, uses software like iStopMotion, iMovie and Adobe master at the sessions. Techniques include the use of blue screens to add computer generated backgrounds into scenes and game design. He said: “I don’t think there is anything else like it. If a child wants to learn about team building it is a really good, creative task.”
The animation industry can also be a lucrative career option for youngsters, he said.
The next session is on Wednesday, October 30, for 10 to 15-year-olds. Book tickets on 01865 373691 or 01865 372143.
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