12th Dec 2022
This term, Abingdon & Witney College welcomed Danny Clark, College Alumni, and former student of the Art Foundation Course to lead an inspiring talk for all students in the Faculty of Creative Industries. The College were delighted to welcome Danny back to hear how he has progressed from being a student into a successful Art Director currenting working on the latest season Netflix’s The Witcher.
Danny’s talk was part of a new ‘Masterclass Series’ that the Creatives Industries Faculty have coordinated to invite industry professionals in to help raise aspirations of current students. Abingdon & Witney College works hard to establish strong industry partnerships which nurture and enrich its students. This extracurricular series epitomises all that the College does to help each, and every student become aware of the vast range of opportunities which are available to them upon completing their course.
Danny was taught at the College by current Art and Design tutors Lewis Saunders, Paul Kilsby, and Emma Baldwin and he studied for his Art Foundation alongside Gary Annells, who now also tutors for Abingdon & Witney College. After receiving a Distinction from the College, Danny went on to study Television and Film at University, receiving a 1st Class BA Honours Degree. He began his career as a Junior Draughtsman, working on Tarzan and In the Heart of the Sea before working as a draughtsman for the Wonder Woman Films. He has since worked on productions such as Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, and The Little Mermaid.
Danny shared with the students work from his favourite project, 1917, the 2019 World War I film famous for being shot in a single-take style. This was Danny’s first role as a First Assistant Art Director, and he passionately shared with the students the fine craftsmanship which was required. Like all his sets, Danny sharing his stunningly complex hand drawn plan and elevation drawings and how these transformed into grand finished sets.
Finally, Danny opened the talk up for questions from the students, who sought advice on finding work experience, adapting to the freelanced lifestyle, and navigating challenges in the sector such as male domination and difficult work environments. Danny shared how he knew this career was the one for him, sharing the extent of its high reward for those who are “adaptive and always open to advise and learning”.
Following his visit, Scott Gray, Head of Creative Industries shared the following after Danny’s visit:
“We were thrilled to have Danny return to the College, our ex-students are a valuable resource to the College, and we are always delighted to welcome them back. They give a brilliant insight into how to get into what can be a very competitive industry. It was great to have Danny back to give a talk, he certainly epitomises all the College works for to encourage students to ‘Be You. Be Extraordinary’”
If you would like to learn more about ‘Be You. Be Extraordinary.’ and the accomplishments of our Alumni, please click here. More about ‘Be You. Be Extraordinary.’ can be found on our website and social media.