Meet the Crew

Gemma J. Roberts :: Writer, Director, Designer, 2D Animator and Editor
Gemma is a 2D illustrator and animator with a passion for all things drawn. She graduated in 2012 with a First in BA (Hons) Animation at the University of Wales, Newport and loves to tell stories with engaging characters by mixing digital and traditional mediums. Coming from a home-educated background, her aim making her graduation film, Acorns, was to present the nostalgia of her childhood and the trials of growing up using the charms of character animation and visual storytelling without dialogue. She is currently working in London on Channel 4's sequel to The Snowman, dubbed The Snowman and the Snowdog (Christmas 2012). You can visit her website at

Ben Rusch :: Musician, Composer
Ben is a songwriter and musician who works in Berlin (Germany) and London (UK). He has released 28 full-length albums worth of Pop, Folk, Rock, Neoclassical music and anything in-between. He also releases instrumental music under the pseudonym Jasmine Branch. Ben contributed his musical talents to write and record an original piano score for Acorns, even under logistic restrictions and tight deadlines his work served the film and the story first. You can visit his website at

Eleanor Roberts :: Lead Digital Colourist and Clean-up Artist
Currently home-educated, Eleanor spends much of her time drawing personal artwork and commissions in Sai to expand her portfolio to sell posters and merchandise at anime conventions. When she is not drawing, she teaches herself how to read and write Japanese and cares for the two loves in her life: her two rabbits, Eddie and Ebony. Her involvement in the production of Acorns was invaluable when the turnaround for finished coloured shots became more demanding, as she is a fast and reliable team member. She coloured over a quarter of the film, earning her the lead colourist role. You can visit her website at

Emily Jayne Roberts :: Digital Colourist and Clean-up Artist
Emily graduated college with a BTEC National Diploma in Media Production at Yale College, Wrexham with overall grade of DDD (23 Distinctions) equivalent to three A-Level A grades. She is an upbeat, helpful & friendly person with bounds of creativity and motivation to tackle any editing or design job. She is always up for a laugh and a cuppa tea! Emily was home educated up until the age of 16 which gave her plenty of time to develop her creative design skills. She utilised her Photoshop talents to clean-up and colour the hand-drawn frames of Acorns while also completing her first year of Documentary Film and Television at the University of Wales, Newport. You can visit her website at

Alex Huxley :: Post-Production Assistant
Graduated from Yale College, Wrexham (2007-2009), Alex is currently studying a BA (Hons) in Film & Video at the University of Wales, Newport (2009-2012), with aims to work professionally as a video editor for the British film and television industry. In his spare time he enjoys writing and performing his own music. Although from a live-action background, Alex contributed much of his time to individually scanning every frame of Acorns and assisting with the editing process in Adobe Premiere. You can visit his website at

Nadine El Kheshen :: Digital Colourist and Clean-Up Artist
Nadine is a 1st year MA animation student at the University of Wales, Newport, about to embark on her second and final year. She is dedicated and hard-working, showing talent for both 2D drawn and CGI (Maya) disciplines. Coming originally from Cairo, Egypt, she came a long way to study in Wales and puts everything into the work and being a valuable part of the team.

Cassie Austin :: Digital Colourist and Clean-Up Artist
Cassie is a 2nd year animation student at the University of Wales, Newport. She is from Holywell in North Wales. She came down to Newport to study foundation art, where she discovered her love for animation. Her specialism is 3D stop motion, and her main interest is model making. In her final year, she aims to create her final film about her home town in 3D stop motion. Even though her specialism is stop motion, she still enjoys traditional drawn animation, and spent equal care and skill in colouring for 'Acorns'. You can visit her website at: 

Gemma Ursell :: Digital Colourist and Clean-Up Artist
Gemma is a BA (Hons) Animation graduate of the University of Wales, Newport, studying in the same year as Director, Gemma Roberts. She is very creative and dedicated in her work and proved an excellent colourist and clean-up artist when deadlines were tight, even taking time away from making her own graduation film to assist on Acorns. Gemma was an essential part of making this film possible and in addition, is a humble, funny and very friendly person to be around.

Kojo Acquaah Harrison :: Digital Colourist and Clean-Up Artist
Kojo is a 1st year BA (Hons) Animation student at the University of Wales, Newport, soon to begin his second year. Kojo first assisted on Acorns drawing 'boil' animation on the Spirit and helping with some in-betweening. However, as animation continued, it was more time-consuming to prepare scenes, so Kojo moved onto colouring where he showed a great attention to detail and produced final coloured frames in Photoshop quickly and efficiently. In his spare time, Kojo draws and colours his own artwork, including quite a collection of Pokémon!

Ying Sun :: Digital Colourist and Clean-Up Artist
Ying Sun "Cerys" is a 1st year MA animation student at the University of Wales, Newport, and is about to begin on her second and final year. Despite difficulties with language barriers, Ying Sun was a dedicated colourist and did her work to a very high and consistent standard in addition to the work on her own course. She coloured scenes wherever she could and paid lots of care to get them looking right.