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Chance to make pitch to elite.

X-factor style auditions, in front of an elite industry panel, are being offered to trainee animators.

For many who dream of careers as professional animators the most difficult skill to master can be finding funding for projects.

To get the backing they need animators often have to appear before potential funders, pitch their ideas and hope they have done enough to convince money men to plough cash into their project.

Experts at previous Animex events have given invaluable advice on how to pitch a project. But this year organisers have opted to run a mock pitch event, like the auditions on TV show The X Factor, so students can get a taste of what is involved.

There, animators can try their hand at pitching anything - adverts, films, TV shows, computer games - before a panel of industry experts.

On the panel will be Curtis Jobling, who designed Bob the Builder, Stephen Gould, who commissions new series for TV channel Fox Kids Europe, and Rochelle Lewis, who is a recruiter for the company that makes Rugrats.

They will judge the quality of the pitches and give students pointers on their techniques.

"People can pitch an idea in front of someone who knows how to consider pitches and with experience," said Chris Williams, animation head at Teesside University.

"There is a real opportunity here to get professional guidance and advice on a tricky skill from people who know what they're looking for," said Chris.

"This is a unique opportunity, no other animation festival offers opportunities like this and because of that we're not just limiting this chance to Teesside."

Eight pitching slots are available and to qualify for the chance hopefuls will first have to impress panel judge Curtis Jobling with a written summary of their pitch.

* Anyone interested in taking part in the pitch should write to Animex, c/o University of Teesside, Middlesbrough, Tees Valley, TS1 3BA.
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Title Annotation:News Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Nov 4, 2004
Words:316
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