Animation Filmmaker comes to Falmouth

Thursday 8 November 2018
John Stevenson

Animation students welcomed Kung Fu Panda director, John Stevenson, to Falmouth this week to talk about his experiences in the film industry.

Stevenson, whose career spans 40 years and includes credits on The Muppet Show, Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, talked to students about the inspiration behind Kung Fu Panda, and how he made a success out of a film that 'nobody thought would work'.

Describing protagonist Po as a "goofball, in front of a beautiful setting", Stevenson replaced another director when he took on the project; one which he told students nobody really believed in. However, a long-time fan of Kung Fu and Wuxia movies, the filmmaker knew exactly what direction he wanted to take the film in – which went on to be a huge success.

As well as offering an insight into his incredible career, he also gave final year Animation & Visual Effects students feedback on their films in progress.

Senior Lecturer, Derek Hayes, said: "Having been a Head of Story at Dreamworks and worked as a storyboard artist for many years, Stevenson knows a thing or two about how to tell a story, so it was a great privilege for final year Animation VFX students to get feedback on their films in progress, and they gained an enormous amount from the process."