Oscar proves elusive for UCA graduate
A television audience of nearly two billion saw a graduate of the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) miss out on an Oscar during last night's glittering ceremony in Hollywood.
Grant Orchard, who graduated from BA (Hons) Animation at UCA Farnham in 1995, was nominated for Best Animated Short at the 84th Academy Awards for his film A Morning Stroll, which won a BAFTA in the same category two weeks ago.
If Grant had won, he would have become the fifth UCA graduate to win an Oscar.
Grant Orchard, who is 39 and from Ealing, said: "The whole Oscar experience has been amazing - I've not experienced anything like it before.
"The level on interest takes you by surprise and it doesn't relent – it's very hard not to be swept along by it.
"I got to meet some incredible people, made some good contacts, been to great parties and I even got to meet some of my animation heroes."
A Morning Stroll tells the story of a New Yorker's early morning encounter with a chicken. It was produced by Sue Goffe and made at Studio AKA in London during down-time.
Grant added: "It's been a brilliant but exhausting experience. We were invited to speak at various events, including a special Q&A at the Academy's cinema in Beverly Hills which was a highlight.
"We've learned lots to take back from London from the meetings we had at Disney, Dreamworks and Fox, where we even got to speak to The Simpsons animators including their creator, Matt Groening.
"After seeing the size of the studios, we know we can't compete with Hollywood but there are certain ways of working that we can apply and possibly some new forms of investment."
UCA has produced four Oscar winners to date. UCA Farnham alumni Suzie Templeton (2008), Michael Dudok de Wit (2001) and Daniel Greaves (1992) all won Academy Awards for Best Animated Short Film, while UCA Canterbury alumnus, Arnold Schwartzman OBE RDI, won Best Documentary Feature in 1982.
Grant, who is about to return to UCA as a visiting lecturer, is grateful for what he learned during his time at UCA.
"The Animation course at UCA Farnham was a brilliant platform. Narrative, narrative, narrative as we used to get taught, still stays with me today," he added.
BA (Hons) Animation course leader, Lesley Adams, said: "Everyone on the Animation Course is very proud of Grant for getting so far at this year's Academy Awards – he's an inspiration to all of our students.
"We are looking forward to welcoming him back to UCA in a matter of days when he will be giving a special lecture. We're all looking forward to hearing about his adventures in Hollywood and hopefully he'll bring his BAFTA Award along with his amazing film for us to see."
For more information contact:
David Reilly, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01252 892939