Alumni William Laban shares post-graduate success

The Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries are proud to share the success of BA (Hons) Animation alumnus, William Laban. Will graduated from the University of Portsmouth in 2012, since then he’s won awards for his work including the 2016 John Lewis Christmas advert – ‘Buster the Boxer‘.

Will’s Story

Why did you choose to study at the University of Portsmouth?

I guess I chose to study at Portsmouth because it was on the coast and I had always wanted to be by the sea, funnily enough, I never went in it the whole 3 years I was there! But also due to the courses they had to offer in the CCI building. There’s such a wide variety to choose from. The creative facilities catered for every different practice you may want to dapple in, that was so helpful when trying to figure out what you enjoy. Plus the course gave you the right amount of time and support to experiment with different artistic techniques, which is something you just wouldn’t get with online courses.


What were the highlights of your course?

Getting to meet other like-minded people who just wanted to make something cool and have fun doing it. Having lecturers with real industry experience was also a huge highlight, knowing they had worked on huge feature films I had watched, and games I had played, was exciting to learn from.

How has your qualification helped you to get a job/progress your career?

Having a degree helped me get a foot in the door in such a competitive industry. It trains you to get into the right mindset for the work you will want to undertake and the best way to go about it.

Are you working on any collaborative projects?

I’ve just finished working on a commercial directed by Ridley Scott for Hennessy which came out the other week. It’s titled ‘The seven worlds’. It’s a great bit of fun that takes you on a visual journey through all these different planets. I’ve also just wrapped up working on a live-action trailer with a lot of cool CG creatures in, but can’t say much more until it’s out next month…Should be quite a good one though!

Have you won any awards or been nominated or shortlisted? 

I was lucky enough to win a couple of awards a few years ago for a John Lewis Christmas advert, it was Called ‘Buster the Boxer’ I won a VES Award (Visual Effects Society) for Best VFX in a commercial and also a Gold British Arrow for Best CG in a commercial. I think this recent advert for a Hennessy is also of the right calibre to enter into a few awards so fingers crossed for the team… It’s a great way to highlight the technical process and depth of detail in the work.

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