My schooling life began at Linuwel in the Kindergarten. Linuwel School’s strong emphasis on the integration of visual art, dance, drama and music along with the way in which stories were used to shape and teach students has nurtured in me a true appreciation for the power of storytelling. Thus, when I graduated from the Yurt (now the preschool) in 2006, I felt well on my way to pursuing a career in the Animation Industry. For as long as I can remember, I seem to have always had an interest in animation, initially being fascinated by the wonder of flipbooks. However, as a child I had also taken ballet lessons, and have recently noticed some parallels to this and my appreciation of and natural strength in timing and movement. Such a discovery has no doubt bought much delight to my ballet teacher!
My education at Linuwel also encouraged in me an eagerness to discover new things, and gave me a passion for science, which I never knew I had! My high school teacher’s astronomy lectures in the middle of the Australian outback come to mind. Sitting by the campfire with nothing but the massive expanse of the universe over our heads was one of the most humbling experiences of my schooling life. In my final year at Linuwel we were required to complete a major project, and naturally I chose to base my work on animation. Up until then I had only done 2D animation, consisting of simple flipbooks and the like. This was all about to change when I began modelling characters out of plasticine, recording voice-overs, and taking many thousands of digital photos. Stop motion animation is truly a labour of love with the first short film I produced ultimately resulting in my enrolment and acceptance into an Animation course at Enmore TAFE in Sydney. I completed my TAFE course and worked on an independent project called “The PM Files”, a web based animated comedy series addressing the modern day politics of Australia. This, by the way, has another ex Linuwel student involved – Joe Stuart- who has done all of the voice-overs for the project.
Other notable projects I have worked on include major films such as, Spider – Man Homecoming (2017) and Thor: Ragnarock (2017). The work on these films was incredibly challenging but still loads of fun! My most recent project, has been in the production of a new movie for Netflix, Outlaw King , the untold, true story of Robert The Bruce who transformed from defeated nobleman, to reluctant King, to outlaw hero over the course of an extraordinary year.
When I reflect upon the experience of my education at Linuwel School, it becomes increasingly apparent to me that an effective education isn’t so much about the things you learn, but more about the way in which you are taught it. Linuwel didn’t tell me what to think but how to think and there’s nothing more valuable than that.
You can explore more of Benjamin’s work on his website ~