Set in the ‘Unseen University’ of Sir Terry Pratchett’s ‘Discworld’, ‘The Duel’ is a new animated short film produced by the Animation Hub, a collaboration between the Irish School of Animation (ISA) at Ballyfermot College of Further Education (BCFE), Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the Irish animation studio, Giant Animation Studios. The short film was launched at a special world premiere screening at the Science Gallery in Trinity on October 16th.
World-renowned fantasy and science fiction novelist, and Adjunct Professor of English at Trinity College Dublin, Sir Terry Pratchett was hands-on engaged with the production, working with both institutions and the team from Giant Animation Studios. The short film has blended fantasy and reality, with notable Irish landmarks set amongst the unreal environments of this animated adventure.
Commenting on his involvement in the project, Sir Terry Pratchett said: “’The Duel’ is something new from something old – ‘Discworld’ was borrowed by the students in the Animation Hub to produce a wholly new adventure. It’s wonderful to see this type of project supported and made real – and we had a lot of fun while we were at it.”
The animation programme lead from BFCE and Animation Hub producer Gareth Lee said: “It’s fantastic to finally reach the stage where we can officially launch ‘The Duel’. It’s been a long and interesting road. The most rewarding aspect for me has been the educational outcomes of the initiative. The students, in particular, learned a great deal from working closely with the Giant Animation team, who creatively spearheaded the project from the outset.”
Professor David Lloyd, Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Australia, formerly of Trinity and an executive producer of the film said: “Having ‘The Duel’ premiere in Dublin is a fitting conclusion to a great collaboration that has blended both teaching and practice, combining originality and creativity, while providing students with a unique opportunity to work alongside one of the world’s most prolific and popular authors.”
Ussher Assistant Professor in Creative Technologies, Rachel McDonnell of the School of Computer Science and Statistics said: “Trinity College Dublin’s association with Sir Terry Pratchett goes back to 2008. This project has blended fantasy and reality and industry and academic endeavour. The result is a showcase for Irish animation talent – both established and emerging – and demonstrates the vibrancy of the creative arts in this country today.”
The aim of the collaboration was to develop the skills and talents of students from both TCD and BCFE in the areas of animation, music composition, motion capture and acting (The Lir Academy), by integrating them into a live production in order to create a high quality animated short under the guidance of Giant Animation Studios.
Managing Director of Giant Animation Studios, Daniel Spencer, said: “It was great to work with Sir Terry Pratchett on ‘The Duel’. It was also important that we were able to harness and nurture so much upcoming talent as students moved in and out of the pipeline for this production.”
‘The Duel’ was supported through funding from the Irish Film Board, Trinity College Dublin, Giant Animation Studios and Ballyfermot College of Further Education.