Created: Wednesday, 4th December, 2013 - 16:57

Legendary actor Brian Blessed visited the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) at Farnham today (16 July 2013) to record his part in a new film being produced by UCA and Slurpy Studios.

The Star Wars and Flash Gordon star is the first big-name to sign up to the CGI Animated adaptation of Giles Paley-Phillips' award-winning children's book The Fearsome Beastie.

Brian Blessed, who will play The Fearsome Beastie, said: "I'm always on the look-out for original projects and as soon as I read the book and started thinking about Beastie, I knew that I had to be involved.

"I think children's animation is having a fantastic resurgence and I'm proud to be a part of this animation.

"I think it is absolutely fantastic that his film is being co-produced by the University because, when I was a pupil, I was told by teachers not to dream but these guys are going against that and being ambitious which is the right things to do."

The Fearsome Beastie, which will be released next summer,is a co-production between UCA and Slurpy Studios.

 It will be co-directed by Slurpy Studios' Katie Steed and UCA Farnham MA Animation student Jon Hunt.

Katie Steed said: "We are very excited about bringing The Fearsome Beastie to life.

"Brian Blessed was our only choice for the role of The Fearsome Beastie so we're delighted to have him on board and to get the project underway."

The short film is part of an ambitious project by Jon Hunt who was looking to adapt a children's book for his MA film and got talking to UCA graduate and sessional lecturer, Katie.

Jon said: "It just so happened that Slurpy Studios had been offered The Fearsome Beastie but couldn't secure funding for the project so I suggested that I could try to get a team together from UCA and incorporate the film into my studies and get it made.

"I can't quite believe how big the film has become. I knew it was an ambitious project when we secured the rights to an award-winning children's book, but since we've targeted voice artists and got an actor of Brian's calibre on board, it has really snowballed, which is super exciting."

 The co-production for will be mutually beneficial for UCA and Slurpy Studios, who hope the film will go onto the festival circuit and be released on DVD.

Katie added: "Since I graduated from UCA Farnham in 2007, I have wanted to make films but we've been really successful with the advertisements we've made that we don't have the time or resources to make them.

"This project will help us launch into film and let people know that we make films as well as commercials."

UCA Farnham's Animation courses are well known for producing award-winning graduates: three alumni have gone on to win Oscars and many more have won BAFTAs and other international accolades.

Chris Butler was nominated for an Academy Award for ParaNorman in March 2013 and last year Grant Orchard was also an Oscar nominee for his BAFTA-winning animated short, A Morning Stroll.

For more information contact:

David Reilly, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01252 892939

Twitter: @UniCreativeArts

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