Budding animators are getting in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven are getting a unique opportunity this summer with a Kiama family owned startup.
More than 125 primary-school aged children have already enrolled in a stop motion animation workshop experience during the school holidays.
Rockshelf Productions animation studio launched Rockshelf Academy in October.
The aim of the startup is to empower kids around the Illawarra to create and tell their own stories, through the magic of stop motion animation.
Rockshelf Academy workshops are being run by sisters and co-founders Fran Wood and Viv Jennings.
Mrs Jennings’ husband Phil Jennings is an animation director and works behind the scenes to equip the children with the latest in stop motion animation technology.
“We’re very fortunate to have the exact skill set needed to give Illawarra Shoalhaven kids a new option in school holiday care and entertainment,” Mrs Wood said.
“Viv’s an early childhood teacher and I am an animation writer/producer and volunteer ethics teacher.
“The idea for Rockshelf Academy came about because we were searching for school holiday activities for our own kids, at the same time we had people asking us if we did animation with students.”
After the launch in Kiama in October more than 70 children participated in four six-hour stop motion animation workshops over four days using Lego, clay, art and paper.
Then 40 children participated in Rockshelf Academy’s sold out Christmas workshops
They founders knew they were onto a successful initiative so the plan was made to expand Rockshelf Academy’s workshop program into Shellharbour and Nowra during January.
“We’re really excited to give over 300 Illawarra Shoalhaven kids the opportunity to design, animate and share their own creations in a range of mediums this Summer,” Mrs Wood said.
“It’s amazing what kids can create, with a little encouragement and cutting-edge technology.
“The beauty of our workshops is they’re age and ability friendly.
“Parents can book their five and 12 year olds into the same workshop, knowing they’ll be well cared for and have a super creative fun filled day in air conditioned comfort”.
The Lego, clay, art, toymation and crazy cooking stop motion animation workshops will run from 9am to 3pm from January 7 to 25 in Kiama, Shellharbour and Nowra. Registrations are required for the workshops on Rockshelf Academy’s Facebook page.
Mrs Wood said the initial business Rockshelf Productions creates animated content for Illawarra businesses and clients around Australia.
And example of its work was the Parisian graphics at the 2018 Illawarra Business Awards.
And during Term 4 the Rockshelf Academy startup piloted in-school services with ASPECT South Coast School and Big Fat Smile.
Mrs Wood said in Term 1, 2019 school services will be piloted at Minnamurra Public School and with children who are home schooled.
She said 127 tickets have already been sold for the school holiday program.
“We're also in the process of applying to be a NSW Government Creative Kids Activity Provider so parents can use their new $100 Creative Kids Voucher with us,” she said.