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SFX expert behind Dr Who and Gravity joins the University of Bolton


Neill Gorton, the man behind Dr Who’s alien and monster prosthetics has joined the University of Bolton as a visiting professor for its special effects courses.

While Gorton’s Dr Who credits will take the headlines this week, he’s worked on some of the biggest films of recent years, not least The Hobbit, Gravity and Saving Private Ryan.

Neill Gorton Neill Gorton

He’s a founder and co-director of Millennium FX, an internationally renowned prosthetic and make-up studio, responsible for monsters from Sontorans to Cybermen, since Dr Who returned to the BBC in 2005. His team has been working on the landmark 50th anniversary episode, which debuts on Saturday.

“It goes without saying that from an industry perspective, Neill Gorton is one of the, if not the leading specialists in his field,” said Simon Wiggins, programme leader for the BDes (Hons) in special effects development.

“In addition to this though, he has been instrumental in the development of new approaches, techniques and materials for use within the industry. Many of these have revolutionised the way in which we now work, which in turn has led to him becoming one of the leading employers throughout Europe. Having him work with our students is a massive coup for University and our students will really benefit from his input.”

He set up Gorton Studio 10 years ago to teach SFX professionals from beginners to experts and it’s now regarded as Europe’s most authentic screen prosthetics school.

“I’m very excited about this role and am really looking forward to getting stuck in with the students and staff at the University,” he said.

The University offers two SFX courses: a BDes in special effects for film and television, which focuses on physical effects, such as make-up and prosthetics, props and in-camera asset generation. There’s also the BSc in visual effects for film and television, which looks at CGI and post production techniques.

Alumni have worked on films such as Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel and Thor: The Dark World. 

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