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Meet the DMU graduate who's become a double Oscar winner with Big Hero 6

A De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduate has spoken of his delight after becoming a double Oscar winner with the world’s most famous animation studio.

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Ben Frost is Lead FX (effects) Artist for Walt Disney Animation Studios and last year he was part of the team to win the best animated film Oscar with the worldwide smash Frozen.

Last month Ben and the team made it a double after Disney’s latest blockbuster, Big Hero 6, took the Academy Award.

Ben, who graduated from DMU with a BA in Multimedia Design in 2005, took time out from his busy schedule in Los Angeles to speak to the DMU news team about what it feels like to be an Oscar winner, how his time at DMU helped him get where he is, and also offer advice to students about how to handle the challenges of entering the world of work.

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BEN-FROST-WITH-OSCAR

DMU: So how does it feel to have worked on two Oscar-winning features for Disney?

Ben: “It feels great, and hopefully this is just the start of many more successes to come”

DMU: What is it like to be a Lead FX Artist at the world’s most famous animation studio?

Ben: “I feel privileged to be able to contribute to the films produced at Walt Disney Animation Studios. We are on a real roll at the moment, after Frozen, and now Big Hero 6.
“Both have been incredibly well received, and the Academy Awards have been the icing on the cake.
“From an FX stand point, the industry has increased its demand both for quality, and quantity of a multitude of fix works. We're adding FX into shots that only a few years ago wouldn't be considered to need FX. This allows us to really bring an environment to life, making it more "real". Allowing the audience to believe what they are seeing, and become immersed in the story. The increase in scope does bring new challenges, but that’s the fun part."

DMU: What was your time like at DMU?

Ben: “I had a great time at DMU. I completed the Art Foundation program, and also a BA in Multimedia Design, both of which contributed to my career path.
“I think the vast topics I was able to cover allowed me to make informed decisions about where I wanted to go, because there were times I was unsure. The ability to experience many subjects really allowed me to find out what I enjoyed.
“My advice to anyone is to take the time to experience as many areas of study that interest you.
“You'll learn from each one, and they all accumulate to your decision making and roundness as an individual whatever profession you enter.”

DMU: What advice would you give to students preparing to enter the world of work?

Ben: “It's hard and not everyone gets to where they think they want to be straight away!
“It takes time, but there is no rush. It can be frustrating to not get your ideal job straight out of university...but it's easy to forget that you have another 30 years or so of work ahead of you to achieve your goals!
“Don't be afraid to work for a while, take a break, learn some more, or change direction. It's a long road, but if you’re persistent, and set some short-term goals, you'll get somewhere that maybe you didn't think you could get to.”

DMU: Thanks Ben. Finally, any news on your next project?

Ben: Yeah, it's called Zootopia and it will be released on March 4, 2016. You can read more about it here


Posted on Tuesday 31st March 2015

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