Chloe Rodham is a freelance animator based in Newcastle. She graduated in animation from the University of the Creative Arts, Farnham, in 2010. She works out of a small studio based in her family’s joinery business premises. She works on her own, collaborating with composers and others when she can. As well as personal projects, she undertakes a wide range of corporate work, including animating logos and stings. She also makes music videos and theatre projections, storyboarding and concept work and illustration and design. She has also made short educational films for organisations such as the Labour Party and web episodes on food and farming issues.
She gets most of her work through personal recommendation and from North East based companies who find her via internet searches. Even though clients often never meet her clients face to face, people still seem to like working with someone in their area. She has also found about jobs via Twitter and from email listings and sites such as.
Her personal work is unfunded and made in the gaps between her paid projects. Some animation and music video commissions offer the opportunity to make paid work in her own style and she particularly enjoys these collaborative opportunities.Chloe’s student film Sprinkles won Best Animated Film at Screentest, the National Student Film Festival. She was a winner of the British Animation Awards Sting and the Red Bull Canimation competitions. Her music video for De Votchka’s 100 Other Lovers was selected to be part of the BBC Music Video Festival 2011 and one of only 12 screened nationally on all BBC Big Screens.
STATE OF PLAY
The transition from student to professional is a difficult one. There are many unpaid internships that she has been unable to afford to do, which seem part of a culture of expecting people to make work for free.
She uses social media to share and exchange ideas, to find work and opportunities, and to gain help and inspiration, though the demand for content can be exhausting and damaging: work which has taken a lot of time and expertise to create can seem throwaway and disposable.
Competitions can help bridge the gap between student and professional practice and have been a good way for her to raise her profile, but she sympathises with those who put a lot of effort in and don’t get recognised, and there isn’t very much that you can do with a competition entry afterwards if it doesn’t win. A better way to run competitions would be to call for responses to a brief, with the prize being a budget to actually make the film.
Chloe is now looking for development funding and mentoring support to build up the business side of her animation work.
“The hardest part for me in animation has been learning the business side of things. I am confident creatively, but turning my ideas into a viable business has been quite a challenge.”
“Working in stop motion always involves a little compromise. I don’t think I can charge clients for all of the time it takes to make my work, so I take on commercial projects which take less time to bring in the money to support the rest.”
“I advise others to get their work shown – to everyone – as many people as you possibly can. Only by showing your work and meeting people, do people get to know about what you do.”
Image: Chloe Rodham – The London Lites,
Solitary Thinker, produced for The Common Tongues (2013)