Discover Southern Europe, Issue 3, April 2019

Page 32

Discover Southern Europe  |  Private International Schools in France

The place where your favourite cartoons are brought to life Next time you turn on your TV to watch a cartoon, or head to the cinema to watch an animated film, pay attention to the credits: chances are there will be at least a few alumni from the world-famous animation department at French visual arts school Gobelins. TEXT: DEBORAH CICUREL  |  PHOTOS: GOBELINS


or over 50 years, Gobelins has stood at the forefront of image creation and is part of the Paris Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry. One thousand students are enrolled every year, including 500 apprentices and many trainees in further education. The school offers courses in photography, printed communication and plurimedia, animation, graphic design, motion design, interactive design and game design. Gobelins, which has campuses in both Paris and Annecy, was at one time the only school in the world teaching animation. The animation department was set up in 1974, and teaches the subject intensively, covering everything from character design,

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production and storytelling to directing, film design and animation techniques, in a range of courses, from two-week summer programmes to four-year masters degrees. The school trains students rigorously for their future careers, teaching them creative, technical and professional skills. As well as learning the mechanics of animation in detail, the school trains people practically to get into the industry and places a strong emphasis on teamwork. Gobelins is extremely well-regarded when it comes to recruiting new character animators. Unlike film directors, story boarders and art directors, only one of whom is usually required for a project, the needs of

this particular industry require a crew of animators on the animation profile. “Many of the studios we speak to say that they get a lot of applicants for animation jobs, but that they simply don’t have the specific level of animation that Gobelins provides students, which is to be able to bring spirit and life to the characters,” says Moira Marguin, head of Gobelins’ animation department. “We make sure that all our students have an extremely high level when it comes to character animation.” The school has an international outlook, with students from all over the world – from Asia, North America and South America to the Middle East, Europe and Africa – competing for places on its highly-regarded programmes. Three years ago, Gobelins introduced animation classes on long-term programmes in both English and French, paving the way for international students without a grasp of French to apply for the courses. Prior to this, prospective Gobelins