Here you should find everything you need to know about both our bfi stop frame animation camp and the art department camp: including what we’ll be getting up to during the week, bursary information and importantly… what mealtimes are like!

If you have more questions, please email: and we will be happy to help

Every day is different! Before the camp, there will be an online introduction to the course, during which you’ll find out more about what’s in store for the week and meet the course leaders.

The whole week is really hands-on. We start with a full day of trying out new techniques. Everyone gets to try out seven techniques, including pixelation, lip-syncing, working with a wireframe armature and sand animation.

Over the next five days, you will work in a team of five to develop ideas and design characters, devise short scripts, make models and sets before shooting and animating

At the end of the week, we go to the Cube Cinema in Bristol to watch our finished work.
During the week, there will be talks with practising professionals who will give you an understanding of their careers and how they started out in the industry.

We spend one evening discussing progression routes – helping you to think about your own next steps to join the animation industry.  We will also visit the UWE School of Animation to see what an undergraduate course is like, and take a tour around the world famous Aardman Animations Studios so that you can see what it is like to work in a professional stop motion animation studio!

During the day, we’ll be based at Boomsatsuma‘s Skyline Park Studios – a film and television studio set up by Boom Satsuma for students to learn about the art department. Here, you’ll work in teams to create designs for a brief based on a real HETV script. You’ll learn key skills in software like Sketch Up and Photoshop as well as creating designs, props and dressing for your own real set.  We’ll film your group’s creations with actors performing and we’ll share it with an invited audience at a celebration event at the Cube Cinema.

When we’re not in the main studio, there will be workshops and talks from leading industry professionals such as Production Designer Sarah Hauldren (Gosford Park, Elizabeth, The Spanish Princess and The Pirates) and Prop and Modelmaker Laurens Nockels from Mangostone (Star Wars, Assassins Creed, Beauty & The Beast, and The Nutcracker).

We will visit the University of Cardiff’s Film and TV Design Course and explore a working film studio, props house and model-making studio.

During the week, there will be talks with practising professionals who will give you an understanding of their careers and how they started out in the industry.

The camps are open to everyone, regardless of where they live in the UK. We’ll agree personal travel arrangements with everyone before the camp to ensure they can get to Bristol safely.
You can come by train, plane to Bristol airport, coach or get a lift to the station. Once you arrive in Bristol, you will be met by course leaders who will walk with you to the accommodation – only 10 minutes away!

Your travel costs aren’t included in course fees, but we do have a special bursary fund to ensure that cost of travel is not a barrier to taking part (see below).

Once you have been allocated a place you can apply for a bursary to cover your fee, your travel expenses, child care or any part of these. There are two bursary schemes with different ways of calculating if you are eligible based on household income. It is important that no student, wherever they live, should feel excluded because they can’t afford the costs. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions about this.

We always receive more applications than the 25 places we have for each camp. We’re looking for participants who are seriously considering taking definite steps towards a career in this industry. Whether you’re experimenting with stop-motion on TikTok, have made a short film on your own or with friends, taken relevant art and design courses, or doing work experience, we understand that everyone is at different stages of their journey and not everyone has access to the same opportunities. The most important thing is to get creative and show us what makes you tick!

Unfortunately, the BFI Residential Camps are only available for those not in full-time higher education, and you must be aged 16-19 on the first day of the course. If you want to chat to us further about eligibility, please get in touch with the team at Calling The Shots. via

We are very grateful to Boom Satsuma for lending us their fantastic workspaces to teach the course this year. Boom Satsuma is a creative training provider in Bristol with a range of highly regarded college and university courses that reflect the ever-growing opportunities across the creative industries


Check out their courses here.

Once the course finishes, we will have a follow up meeting a few weeks later. Calling the Shots will keep in touch via What’s App/email for at least 6 months and provide you with a range of opportunities. These opportunities can include festival dates, training schemes, placements, bursaries, competitions, networking events and more. The BFI are particularly interested in our camp alumni’s professional development and you will have the chance to apply for the BAFTA Mentoring Scheme, Next Steps and Future Skills programmes.

There are lots of options for a career in animation! From working as a 3D animator to working alongside an art department, to being a production coordinator, a storyboard artists and being a writer, a career in animation can take many forms. Once inside the industry, you can expect to have an exciting and varied career.

Watch David Sproxton (co-founder of Aardman Animations) talk about careers in the animation industry.

There has never been a busier time for drama filming in the UK thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+, as well as the BBC and Channel 4 and there is a big demand for people interested in roles behind the scenes. There are a huge range of jobs and career paths in the art department, including art director, prop artist, set dresser, storyboarding artist and production designer. The course will link your learning to career paths so you understand how you might progress.

There will be a full schedule of activities and you will have some busy evenings, but there will be time to relax! Some evenings, your team may choose to work on your project but we’ll also put on film screenings and career talks. The final evening is spent at The Cube Cinema in Bristol to share experiences, watch films and celebrate your success on the course.

Rules at the camp are incredibly important to Calling the Shots and the BFI. They are enforced to protect all participants. A significant proportion of students will be under 18, therefore we have a strict no-alcohol rule in the YHA. Students will be allocated rooms before arrival and will not be allowed to move between rooms after a certain time in the evening. Needless to say, we have a zero-tolerance to bullying, anti-social behaviour, sexism, racism, transphobia or drugs.

Breakfast opens at 07.30 and closes at 8.30, and some of you will be travelling to your studio workspace. Usually, you will need to be awake about 07.30.

As you will be sharing a room, there will need to be an agreed time to be in your rooms. Usually, this is around 10.30 to be in your and then 11.30 for the lights to be out and no more noise.

We will make space and time for anyone who would like to pray during the camp and have respect for all spiritual needs.

We actively encourage applications from everyone and should your application be successful, we will have a conversation about how we can adjust the course to suit your needs. The YHA has accessible rooms and lift access to 4 out of 5 floors. Should you need a carer present during your time at the camp, we can discuss how this would work.

The YHA chefs can cater for most dietary requirements and they are very used to catering for young people. Once you have been accepted onto the course, you will receive a catering form, so that the chefs can plan for your needs.

Smoking and vaping is not permitted in any part of the YHA. There will be a designated, supervised space provided.

All staff have been trained in child protection and hold a current DBS certification. (A check that they have not had a serious criminal conviction). There will always be at least four members of staff (men and women) staying on-site providing care and security. We work in small teams with one member of staff attached to each production team and a number student mentors responsible for learning culture. Our course leaders, Jeremy and Kari, are responsible for the overall well being of everyone on site.