Meet Paul Fletcher, Senior Lecturer in Animation at the University of Melbourne

Paul Fletcher. By Giulia McGauran.
Paul Fletcher. By Giulia McGauran.

Paul Fletcher is a Senior Lecturer in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Animation) program at the Victorian College of the Arts. Here, he tells us about the course and what it involves.

Hi Paul, can you tell us a bit about the course?
The BFA Animation course at the VCA is a three-year degree in all things Animation with an option of extending at any time in to a fourth-year Honours degree in Animation and Research.

The course is about learning by doing, exploring, experimenting, writing developing and producing high-quality animation projects. You can expect to make at least one film each year that is written directed and animated according to your own vision and interests, with the support  of your peers, staff and visiting artists and alumni.

Strings_Documentation NiteArt Freedom As / Liquid Architecture at the Grainger Museum - P.Fletcher/A.Lyons from Paul Fletcher on Vimeo.

Each year you also explore and practice new and emerging aspects of animation exercises and self-led research and development that will let you explore interests in areas as diverse as motion graphics, visual effects, experimental and abstract animation, projection art, science visualisation and many more.

Your animation skills and expression will be developed through a supportive studio based experience of peers and close connections with industry leaders. We have numerous connections with studios, business and community production facilities providing opportunities for networking and potential career opportunities.

Watch The Drive to Work, originally created for Zagreb Animafest 2017 Museum window projection- Awarded "Best site specific animation”.

Could you describe a typical Animation student at the VCA?
Individuals who are  motivated to express their creativity and imagination using animation as one of their main artistic and entrepreneurial fields of exploration.

What sort of careers/ pathways can students expect to go into?
Graduates of the course develop many specific animation skills but just as importantly develop a realistic sense of their own distinctive creative potential. This includes much needed flexibility, adaptability, creative problem solving  skills to tackle a wide range of business and artistic challenges.

Graduates can expect to be generating new opportunities and career pathways that may not have previously even existed alongside being able to seek out and fit right into working collaboratively and independently in existing small to large creative teams, and studios.

Watch The Circular Horizon, a collaboration between Paul Fletcher and VCA Associate Director in Cross Disciplinary Practice Richard Frankland.

In a few sentences can you tell us about who you are and what you stand for?
I stand for the creative potential of every person, the need for imagination, the transformative positive power of joy and play. I feel it is important to constantly develop new perspectives and possibilities through experimentation and invention.

Animation for me has a synthesising role for instance bringing music, movement and narrative into a new poetic form. Animation for me is equally at home in the world’s finest art galleries, entertainment and education and businesses on screens or projections of all forms, shapes, sizes and locations.

RandomThoughts from Paul Fletcher on Vimeo.

Is there a philosophy or piece of advice that has held you in good stead throughout your career?
I wish there had been ... but I probably wouldn't have listened anyway!

In your opinion, what’s the best thing about working at the VCA?
The students and the work, the variety and chance for continued reinvention. The collaboration and interaction with art disciplines across the VCA and the completely unfamiliar disciplines of, for instance, Health, Science and other disciplines across the wider University. Working closely with other creative, dedicated Animation professionals, friends and colleagues, such as my long-standing co-cordinator Robert Stephenson, Rosi Osman, Christie Widiarto, Ian Milne, Malcolm Turner, Richard Frankland, Tiriki Onus, and many more.