RCA Graduate Diaries: Aaron Lampert

  • Aaron Lampert at work in a Facial Recognition workshop
  • Still from the graduation film Tourbot Skippy, by Aaron Lampert
  • Still from the graduation film Tourbot Skippy, by Aaron Lampert

Animation graduate (2011) Aaron Lampert tells us how he's hit the ground running after graduation with projects including music videos and animation work on a feature film, plus his efforts to balance purely commercial and creative work.

Aaron Lampert at work in a Facial Recognition workshop

How did the final show go for you?
It went really well. I made some good contacts at the private view and got rid of lots of cards. I’ve had quite a few emails from people. It’s still quite early days but there’ve been some quite promising things.

Did you get stressed out in the run-up to the show? 
I guess it is stressful – it feels like there’s quite a lot riding on it so I guess everybody wants to do as well as they can, so there was a lot of organising and a lot of things to think about.

Looking back at your two years at the Royal College, how do you feel about it now?
I definitely miss it now – the environment, the people, the creative freedom you have there… I did quite a bit of freelance animation and sound design before I did the RCA course and it definitely opened my eyes to different ways of working and lots of new possibilities and different directions I could take my work in that I hadn’t really considered before. I felt there were so many interesting opportunities to take advantage of at the RCA. There was almost too much to take in, I feel like I could do with an extra couple of years! Definitely my ideas about my work and animation in general have changed a lot since I started the course: just thinking outside of the commercial environment and thinking about the work for its own sake, also being in an environment with students from other disciplines who are all passionate about what they do, a completely different environment to being in the working world. I got the chance to try lots of new techniques and things at college. I think I’m willing to experiment a bit more now than I was before. The next film I’m going to make is going to be with marionettes, which I’ve never done before.

Still from the graduation film Tourbot Skippy, by Aaron Lampert

What are your plans for the next few months?
Right now I’m doing animation work with Trunk Animation on a 90-minute feature film based on the life of Graham Chapman from Monty Python. It’s based on his autobiography and it’s in stereoscopic 3D. I’ve been doing that for four weeks now and it’s been fun. After that I’m going to be starting on a music video for a rapper called Prolyphic, who’s based in Providence, Rhode Island, and a DJ/producer called Buddy Peace who’s based here in the UK. This is the project with marionettes.

How did that come about?
Buddy Peace is a friend. I make music and I made a video for one of my own tracks last year. After seeing that they approached me and asked me if I could do a video for their album. I’m also currently sending my RCA graduate film out to festivals – I’m editing a trailer together to put up online and trying to promote it.

What’s your strategy for the next few months, or will you take things as they come?
I’m trying to figure out a good balance between commercial work to pay the bills and continuing my personal work. I don’t think I’ve quite found that balance yet but that’s what I’m aiming for, to be able to support myself and keep on with my own self-initiated projects. I’d definitely like to do more music videos, I’m interested in any projects where I can work with image and sound together. I’d really like to score a feature film. I like to keep variety in the projects that I work on, I’m up for trying new things to keep it interesting.

How are you coping with the transition from studying to working independently?
I’ve been working for about four weeks now so I think I’ve almost got used to it again. But when I first came out it was quite a strange feeling. It was quite disorientating to begin with. Obviously the show was quite a big event and a lot of focus went onto that, and then being out in the real world again is quite disorientating but quite exciting at the same time – suddenly getting back into working on live projects and I think that the course has opened doors to a lot of interesting opportunities.  I quite fancied a little break after the show, but I got offered a job starting pretty much the day that we finished so I took that because it seemed like fun and I needed the money. I’m trying to ride the wave of having graduated from the course as well, I don’t want to lose my trajectory – I’m just trying to kind of get stuck into it really.

Still from the graduation film Tourbot Skippy, by Aaron Lampert