North-East start-up bringing Peter Pan spectacular to life
The magical world of Peter Pan and Neverland is being brought to life at Wembley and Birmingham Arenas thanks to the animation skills of a start-up founded by Teesside University graduates.
Blue Lint Studios was founded earlier this year by Phil Cornforth and Stuart Whitlock with the help of the DigitalCity initiative.
Within days of setting up the company it had won a contract to handle all the animation for Peter Pan – An Arena Spectacular which is being shown at Wembley and Birmingham Arenas in December.
The show, which stars comedian Bradley Walsh and former EastEnders and Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp, recreates JM Barrie’s masterpiece with a cast of more than 100 performers including BMX riders, stuntmen and trapeze artists.
Three giant stadium-sized screens form the backdrop to a 60 foot wide stage and all the animation and graphics on the screens are being produced by Phil and Stuart at Blue Lint.
The pair have several years’ experience working with animation companies across the North-East and Phil decided it was time to set up his on his own after the company he was working for went out of business.
‘Two days after being made redundant I spoke to Jon Conway, the producer of the Peter Pan show, who I had done some work for in the past, and following a meeting shortly after we agreed to form a partnership,’ he said.
‘This is a really exciting project to work on. Our animations form the basis of the show and help tell the story. The first thing the audience sees is one of our fly-throughs and it helps set the scene.
‘Ever since being at University I’ve always wanted to work for myself.
‘I like having my own vision for the business and how things should be done, which you can’t always do if you’re working for someone else.’
Blue Lint was given assistance by the DigitalCity Fellowship scheme, which is based at Teesside University and provides financial and mentoring support to entrepreneurs when they launch their business.
Phil added: ‘I’d heard about DigitalCity and the work it was doing when I was at University.
‘Without the support we received we wouldn’t have been able to have got going.
‘It’s not just the funding but also the networking and other forms of support. We’ve had lots of assistance with how to approach clients and also with things like our social media and website.’
Laura Woods, Director of The Forge, Teesside University’s business hub, said: ‘We are delighted to have been able to give Phil and Stuart the support they needed to get their business off the ground.
‘The Peter Pan arena show promises to be a spectacular event and it’s fantastic that it will be Tees Valley-based expertise which will be helping to bring it to life.’