Kingsley Rothwell

Kingsley Rothwell

BA, Animation & Digital Arts '14

How has the School of Cinematic Arts changed your view of animation? Being accepted into the SCA has been one of the most pivotal events thus far in my career. Previously, I perceived the process of animation as being simply labor-intensive and time-consuming. However, after hands-on classroom experience, I have gained a greater appreciation for the art, the work the animators produce and the skills they possess. I now recognize that animation is extremely varied, ranging from traditional, hand-drawn animation to live-action shots with 3D elements.

What advice do you have for prospective students looking at applying to your program? First off, have a deep passion for something: animation, visual effects or whatever you prefer. Take the time and really explore yourself, find out who you want to become and what you want to get across; then express it in your admissions essay. Once you have everything on paper, walk away and come back to it after some time. You will be surprised with how much more you have to add or take from it. Be yourself and don’t be afraid to address issues that interest you, even if you feel they may be taboo--be bold!

How has the School of Cinematic Arts prepared you so far for a career in animation? In only two semesters, I have gained an amazing amount of confidence in my discipline, experimented with various forms of traditional and digital animation and acquired experience in a field that I am extremely interested in: visual effects. Numerous SCA professors also work in the industry simultaneously, providing an invaluable resource for hands-on knowledge and professional connections.

What have been the biggest challenges for you at USC? While transferring during my sophomore year was slightly overwhelming, it ultimately proved to be an amazing experience. Time management was one of the biggest obstacles at first, but once I addressed this, everything seemed to flow smoothly. Most recently, however, the death of my very close brother has been an even greater challenge. This has been met with tremendous support from both faculty and my fellow colleagues, making me feel like they are my second family.

What in your past has given you inspiration or a unique point of view, which you bring to USC? Several factors contribute to my unique perspective.  Having grown up in rural Ireland provides me with a different view of the world and how I approach my work.  In addition, having entered the SCA as an older student than most, I can draw upon my life experience from the working world and my personal life. I build upon these experiences to try to create pieces that have deep meaning for me and, hopefully, for those that view my work.

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