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Animation industry expert and script-writing guru conduct storytelling master class

29 November 2016

Matthew Luhn and Hazel Marshall at GCU for the master class.

Matthew Luhn and Hazel Marshall at GCU for the master class.

Students from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) benefited from the experience of animation giants Pixar as part of a two-day story and scripting master class event.

Matthew Luhn, who has more than 20 years’ experience creating stories and characters at Pixar Animation Studios, visited GCU as a guest lecturer on Saturday, December 3.

Participants of the event, which was organised by GCU in coordination with Creative Loop, then heard from former BBC radio producer Hazel Marshall, who, for the past decade, has been designing and delivering popular story and script courses to industry.

Students attending the event came from GCU’s creative programmes and the MA TV Fiction Writing programme, which has the Skillset Creative Tick accreditation.

Matthew, who has worked on animation feature films including the Toy Story trilogy, Finding Nemo, and Cars, focused on areas such as how to successfully transfer written ideas into visual beat boards and images, and how to create new characters and successful arcs for memorable characters.

Hazel focused on the differences between writing for drama and factual programmes, how to craft a scene, and how to write good dialogue.

Day two of the event took the form of a hands-on writers’ workshop, hosted by Matthew and Hazel at BBC Scotland in Glasgow.

GCU’s Digital Design Technologies’ module leader Simon Haslett said: “It’s terrific for GCU to collaborate with other organisations such as Creative Loop to share a common goal of developing up-to-date skills for the creative media sector. Together we can grow the talent base for the modern Scottish animation, film, TV and media industries.”

Dr Catriona Miller, Senior Lecturer on GCU’s MA TV Fiction Writing programme, said: “Our TV scriptwriters and media professionals of the future were very excited at the prospect of hearing from experts who have worked in both the UK and America. In the increasingly globalised world of broadcasting, bringing this international perspective our students is vital.”