Ian House is a Senior Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Animation Production Course at AUB, where his principle concern is development within the Computer Animation Pathway. Previously, Ian has been professionally engaged within the transformative industries of film and television since his graduation from the NCCA at Bournemouth University. During this time, he has witnessed an explosion of animation and visual effects, which has shaped his fondness for the most infectious and rewarding of specialties, existing as it does, at the intersection of film, art and computer science.
Ian’s career has encompassed the creation of award winning animation for broadcast television as well as visual effects for the big and the small screen. He has worked as a Technical Director, charged with the integration of Computer Generated Imagery into some of the biggest and arguably best blockbusting films of the last two decades. His work at the world renowned studios of Industrial Light and Magic and Weta Digital include contributions to “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”, “The Hulk” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” to name but a few. At the Moving Picture Company, in London, Ian was the Lead Lighting and Development Artist, realizing Professor Lupin’s alter ego within the wizarding world of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”.
Ian has also enjoyed a formidable career as a Lighting Artist at Pixar Animation Studios in California. His time at Pixar spanned the creation of all Disney Pixar’s modern classics from “Cars” to “Cars 2”, including “Ratatouille”, “Walle”, “Up” and “Toy Story 3”.
His understanding of Feature Animation has undeniably been shaped by the best in the business. He has witnessed the transition and favour of the Computer Animation Sector into the leading filmmaking platform that it now represents. He notes however, that even with maturity, the industry continues to face the undeniable high stakes of financial success, each and every time it challenges the mutability of the audience.
Ian returned to the UK in 2011 looking for a change of creative direction and an opportunity to broaden his skill set. He took the opportunity to write and illustrate his own children’s book “Crockery Farm”, choosing to direct his audience with format as well as illustration and words. In an ‘e-publishing’ landscape, Ian embraces the challenge to justify a need for ‘real-world’ tactility through design and manufacture.
Ian recently returned to academia to ratify his enthusiasm for storytelling. He has subsequently been awarded a Masters Degree from Bath Spa University in Scriptwriting. Ian uses this knowledge to inform and guide narrative structure at AUB, where his role enables him the freedom to pull together his experiences, as well as to develop them further:
“Story and character are at the heart of every good piece of animation and as filmmakers we must strive to support them both with our quality of imagination and creative endurance.”
Ian maintains that animation production is an expanding field of study, where the dreaming of tomorrow’s applications and technologies is for the morality and mindfulness of today’s students. In this respect, it is our changing world, which makes animation such an exciting subject within which to invest.
Presentation: Visual Story Telling as part of Zlin Animation Week at Tomas Bata University, Czech Republic, 2016.
1998 Alice Through the Looking Glass, Technical Director
2000 Cinderella, Technical Director
2001 The Mummy Returns, Technical Director
2002 Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones, Technical Director
2002 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Technical Director
2003 Hulk, Technical Director
2003 Pirates of the Caribbean, Technical Director
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Lead Technical Director
2006-8 Cars, Ratatouille, Walle, Technical Director Lighting
2009-11 Up, Toy Story 3, Cars 2, Technical Director Lighting
- Visual Effects Society (2007–2017)
Artist statement: How do you inspire those who interface through touch? How do you inspire them to plug in to a screen? How do you show the tactility of light? How do you reveal the computer as a vehicle for animation and prove that it is as fibrous with feeling or as familiar as sketchbooks and canvases? How do you convince the craftsmen and women, that all it takes is a little knowledge to understand and a little leap to be touched by magic?
The computer is a tool not an obstacle. If it holds what you want, it will help you achieve that goal. It is a medium in its own right, as malleable as clay as definitive as oil. It is a texture, expansive enough to compliment any artistic choice or endeavour. It is a world waiting to be manipulated.
Printing pixels into a physical form, shapes the concealed into the real world. It bridges the gap – it shatters the screen. But, does it inspire with the magic of a flip-book or the child’s toy? Will it help adapt the animator’s perception of computer technology?
Modern movie making continually stitches together the seams of the virtual and the real inside the computer. It blurs the boundaries and incorporates the real into the unreal.
Alternatively, making the virtual become physical, brings it into our own inhabited world. The boundaries remain distinct and crisp. Suddenly the harsh scrutiny of day is playing upon these virtual beings, characters and artefacts – the light of life now supports them. Now, you can reach out and touch them and when they move, they are right beside us and their very soul is brought into being. It is this very magic, of being alive, that is waiting to be harnessed.
Magic as inspiration. It is the study of how we might catch it, hold it and use it to show the way.