Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dick Arnall

Following Robert Breer's morning screening was a wonderful tribute in memory of Dick Arnall, who sadly died in February this year. It centred around a screening of films, each one meaty and provocative in it's own way. The films were nominated and introduced by people who knew Dick, including his wife, the wonderful Finnish animator Marjut Rimminen. Other contributions came from Gillian Lacey, Robert Bradbrook, Gareth Evans, festival director Adam Pugh and Jane Pilling. They each had a story to tell and all together painted a picture of Dick that made those who knew him smile and feel a little bit sad and those that didn't know him wish they had.
The films themselves were almost all extraordinary and in the context of the screening, there was a conduicive air of concentration in the cinema. They included Jerzy Kucia's Przez Pole (Across the Field) from 1992, Patrick Bokanowski's La Plage from 1991 and Santiago Alvarez's film LBJ (1967)

Tommorrow I head off for a day trip to Bradford for the first day of BAF.
Robert Breer at Aurora

Here is a picture of David Curtis talking to Robert Breer on Saturday afternoon.

I only had one day at Aurora, but it was full to the brim with good things. Robert Breer had been there for the whole festival. He's very hard of hearing, but it just meant that no-one could interrupt one of his great stories and if a long winded question came his way, he just chose a word and ran with it. It was encouraging to listen to a person so contented with work and life who has made a film every year for 40 years. We saw a programme of his later films in the morning, this included LMNO, Bang, Swiss Army Knife with Rats and Pigeons and What goes up.
The films have no narrative continuity, but a definate shape and structure and I enjoyed trying to think of them more as paintings with a few basic elements that arrive from front to back and in layers, which you can piece together, not necessarily there and then but later as well. David Curtis asked him how he went about starting a film, to which he answered that he enjoyed feelings of a heightened sensibility, looking forward to something that's unpredictable and not knowing the outcome. The only thing that he knew was that he would avoid suggestions of narrative and continuity, not only to emphasise the plastic nature of the work but also because our daily experiences are fragmented in that way.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pojd'te Pane

November is unofficially my month of animation, and thanks to a tip off from Shelly, Simon and their three small friends from Hackney, we had an outing to see some Pojar films at the Riverside together.
We watch Pojd'te Pane once a week here at home, we take it like a tonic, but seeing the bears in a cinema with a audience of Czech under fives was truly joyous and revealing. We could see the selotape and the fluff here and there and owing to the peals of laughter, I could tell there's a funny joke about the way that Mister and Mister speak to each other. There were also two other films, both with a message about pets: don't overfeed your dog, it will turn into an elephant and don't leave your cats on their own with your paints out. At the end there was a disco in the bar but by then we'd peaked for sure.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Jan Lenica

There's a rare chance to see a film by the wonderful animator Jan Lenica.
UBU ET LA GRANDE GIDOUILLE, directed by Jan Lenica in 1979, is going to show at Cine Lumiere, 17 Queensberry Place,
London SW7 2DT on 7th November at 9pm.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Old Man has won a book

He's won best animation at the Flip festival in Wolverhampton and the prize is Paul Wells's new book on scriptwriting. I'm very pleased. I couldn't go up again yesterday because I was doing a workshop in Bracknell but I would have loved another trip to Wolverhampton. Thank you Flip.
Thanks to The Old Man (film) I'm getting out a bit. Last week I went to participate in Drawing in the Digital, a symposium organised by Ross Winning from the School of Art & Design at Wolverhampton University. I left my pen at home so most of my thoughts will be from memory. The symposium intended to assess the impact of digital technology on animation today via the musings of Paul Wells, Erica Russell, Dew Harrison, Tim Webb and me. Sadly Alys Hawkins couldnt' make it at the last minute, I would liked to have met her and seen her films in the cinema. Paul was first, and really whooped everyone up, I remember that he was great but I was straight after him and the pen was at home, so I remember nothing of his presentation, except 'Roof sex', one of the Twisted films of the PES collective. I presented my work and talked about wet watercolour, paper and brushes. Dew Harrison brought up the subject of artists and digital media in the context of PVA Labculture. Tim Webb made Mr Price with a computer and is senior tutor in animation at the RCA. He suggested that digital technology had some disadvantages in the production process: putting off decisions, and movement for the sake of it. At the Royal College of Art, they make the same number of stop frame animation films as they did 12 years ago. (I imagine that's unusual). He talked about the Hungarian animator Peter Foldes 1974 film Hunger, and showed The (also wonderful) Wolfman by Tim Hope. After lunch, the very dynamic Erica Russell gave us some insight into her background and practice. She made the Oscar nominated Feet of Song in 1988. Liam Scanlan has the longest CV I've ever seen and told us that with a little determination, you could be in charge of about a hundred render farms on a Star Wars set.

Clive Walley, Paul Wells, Erica Russell and Liam Scanlan on the Flip stage.

There was alot of chat over the day about the physical aspects of animation, and can it be replicated, will the tools improve, will it be missed etc. The anxiety seemed inevitable because the panel were older, mostly working with traditional tools, and were conscious of talking to an audience of students who seemed comfortable with moving between traditional and digital techniques.

The day was rounded off by a screening of Clive Walley's films. Sadly I had to jump on a train and only saw Prelude, which was smashing. I had a lovely day, it was brilliant to meet so many great animators all at once and the Flip festival is very much worth a visit.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

and Dok Leipzig too

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

November - festival month

I'm having a busy time trying to fit the November festivals into my busy schedule:
The Children's Film Festival at the Barbican.
I'm going to be participating in a symposium at Flip called 'Drawing in the Digital', and doing flip book and claymation workshops at the Children's Film Festival. I can squeeze in a day trip to BAF but for FIKE and Aurora I'm going to need a time machine or a helicopter.
It would be worth it because Robert Breer is showing work at Aurora and he's magnificent, both the films and the man.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The circus

Thanks to my mum, we had a family outing to Billy Smart's circus.

My partner sat on the end of the row, and here is a picture of him doing a graceful cartwheel in the ring.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The wonders of ichthysaurus and plesiosaurus

I found a panorama button on the camera that Nina lent me a few years ago, so I put it to use at the Natural History Museum this afternoon.

I did quite a few drawings too and they might come on my next blog entry.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Old Man's festival journey

Thanks to the generosity of Samantha Moore, my festival spreadsheet problems were solved in an instant. She kindly sent the template for her film The Beloved Ones and I have just been adapting that. I remember from our EI course that if you press shift, apple and 3 you get a screenshot. I think that's about all the electronic imaging I can remember.

The Old Man is doing very well and so far he has been to Edinburgh, London International Animation Festival and Canary Wharf. This week he was in Ottawa and in the next couple of months there are trips to Leipzig DokFest, Aurora in Norwich, BAF and Flip in Wolverhampton. The British Council have accepted my application to help with the submissions too, which is good, because at the moment I don't have any studio time, even if I could open that door.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I havn't been in there for ages

I don't think it's going to be very easy to go in the bog studio the next time I want to. There is a pile up of tax related paperness, origami paperness, bills, material for bunting, plastic bags and secondhand files from Nina which I hope to use one day.
I would take a photo, but I don't think I could squeeze through the door.
Last night of LIAF

Here I was in the Curzon last night with Nag Vladermersky, Mait Laas and Priit Tender from Eesti Joonis Films in Estonia. Crouched on the floor is the splendid globe-trotting LIAF co director Malcom Turner.

At the Best of the Fest they showed Jeu by George Schwizgebel, The Lecture by Clint Cure, Birdcalls by Malcom Sutherland, The adventures of John and John by Will Bishop Stevens, my Old, Old, Very Old Man, the aforementioned Carnivore Reflux and The Tale of How, Urban Tale by Florence Miahilhe, the winner of the grand prize: Everything will be OK by Don Hertzfeld, Moloch by Marcin Pazera and winner of British Best film: Time is Running Out by Mark Reisbig.

Time is Running Out is a strange and inventive film, the action takes place within a continous circular pan, coupled with a frame that slowly decreases in size and sound that becomes gradually more layered. It's like being hypnotised, assaulted and slowly crushed all at once. Don Hertzfeld did something similar with his sound, which was also used to reflect the chaotic inner world of protagonist Bill. Sometimes it wasn't possible to hear his voiceover at all for the sounds of headbutting, crisp munching, vacuum cleaning and key dropping that went on. It was good to see Urban Tale again. It was shown in Zagreb and perhaps I didn't quite appreciate how gutsy it is. It's also hard to see how the tale ties together on first viewing, because the oil on glass technique can get a bit murky and it's hard to see who's who. I did like it though and I think other people did too.
The Tale of John and John was pretty glorious. I've been reading about it at www.wrongboy.com. It was mostly glorious because of the joy-of-it-all that some films have.

On the subject of joy-of-it-all, I was very lucky yesterday not only because The Old Man was awarded best of programme 4 by the audience and the jury, but also because I bought a little green supereight viewer on a key ring from Mark Pawson at the Vyner Street Festival.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Long shorts

LIAF is here. I missed the beginning because of our splendid trip to Orkney but managed to get to the Curzon for International Prog 5 and 6 (the long shorts). The long shorts programme is a good idea, you get just 6 films, easier on the brain than the 14 in Prog 5.

From the long shorts I enjoyed Pekka Korhonen's Siberian Express, because it was funny, and dark and a little bit sexy.
There were quite alot depictions of women as large breasted animals over the course of the evening, one of whom was the lovely hairy Ramona pictured here, not enough to form a worrying trend but I will be monitoring this! It was good to watch Everything will be OK by Don Hertzfeldt, it is the American cousin of Who I am and What I want by David Shrigley and Chris Shepherd. The film was very masterful but a little too knowing, in my mind not quite match for the genius that was 'Rejected'. In Prog 5 Sarah's Tale by Svetlana Filipova was wonderful. The tale is told with a very light touch, the gentle, scruffy drawings and even the subtitles visited every corner of the screen and she kept our eyes busy with very elegant, musical changes of proportion and perspective.

Certainly not subtle or elegant but complete and unusual was Soldier by David Peros-Bonnot from Croatia in which a statue of a soldier runs amok. The filmmaker intended it to be "A symbolic story about a product of society that gets out of control". What struck me as being more interesting was the use of model animation in a story about statues that come alive.
The White Wolf by Pierre-Luc Granjon was the last film in the session and it was magical but really blunt and I enjoyed it very much. Especially the way the wolfs' severed head rolled down the hill. Carnivore Reflux by The People's Republic of Animation and The Tale of How by The Blackheart Gang were stunning to watch but in my mind they both suffered a conflict between the words and the image. The other Moment of Note was a CG horror film in which a blood smeared naked lady with no nipples ran petrified through a forest.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Two animation-related podcasts that I've enjoyed


and Don Hertzfeld's journal

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Shelly's resonance night was the animation highlight of the summer so far. I havn't been out too much it's true but it WAS really good. She chose some beautiful films, alot of them I hadn't seen before. The dotty Panique Au Village (http://www.paniqueauvillage.com/Public/index_after.html) by St├ęphane Aubier and Vincent Patar was very popular, as was John Paul Harney's film Brand Spanking, which is a piece of writing genius. Come on John-Paul, write something else.
Vladimir Leschiov's new film Lost in Snow is wonderful, I think I prefer it to Insomnia. The white of the snow and the movement of the ice provide an opportunity for some lovely playful scenes, although it has a grave feeling to it, just like Insomnia. The Magic Gloves by Ben and John Harmer is a great story and cleverly made, I didn't anticipate such a sick ending. I can imagine it as a series, though that little mouse with his goofy teeth would have to come back to life.

A nice man named Michael Garrad introduced the films and told some revolting jokes, it created a proper focus. Previously I had reservations about the Roxy as a screening venue, I think there was a hen party in on the Phil Mulloy night, but it was tremendous. I hope Shelly can do it again.

Canadian Premiere

I was overjoyed to hear that my Old Man is nestled in amongst some amazing films at the Ottawa International Animation Festival in the narrative short competition. I would have really liked to have gone, to see how he looked in the middle of that lot but we're going to be quite busy in September. I went to OIAF in 2004 as I was making Sawney Beane in Montreal, I think it was my first international film festival, I thought there would be 40 people there and we could all go to the pub between screenings, but no, everyone likes animation, there were THOUSANDS of people there, enough to form a MOB.
For the filmmakers it's downright terrifying sitting in Cinema 1 feeling the mood of that Mob over six minutes thirty eight seconds.
I read that last year an audience member stood up and shouted 'This Film is Shit' and walked out.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The festival premiere...

..of the very old man is on 17th August at 2pm at the Edinburgh International Film Fest in the programme called McLaren 1. Thanks Edinburgh. All the films that I have made have premiered in the Filmhouse Cinema 1, it's a special place for me.
After that the film is going to be shown at the wonderful London International Animation Festival sometime between the 21st and 26th August. LIAF is at the Curzon Soho, so it is also special because I can cycle there.
Shelly's animation night is coming up..

can you come along?


I've been doing a lot of workshops recently. My friend Emily is half of Lumina (http://www.lumina-arts.org.uk/intro.html) they have been working with the Thames Festival to deliver workshops in primary schools. It involves making millions of lovely pom pom's out of carrier bags, then carrying them home on the tube. I've been leaning heavily on journey planner. You can see the pom pom's assembled into a magnificent dome over the weekend of the 15th September at the Thames Festival.
Today I was working for the Film and Video Workshop in a secondary school delivering a talk and an animation taster for Skillset. What was truly wonderful about the talk with Kevin Griffiths and Susan Beattie was that they brought a womble and the original monkey, (Johnny Vegas's little friend). The monkey was very silky inside, I didn't hold the womble.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Paolo Uccello's St George and The Dragon

I just wonder if that little dragon's big mum is waiting in the cave.

Tycho Brahe

This is the famous Danish Astronomer and Alchemist Tycho Brahe. You can't tell on this stamp but he wore a copper nose, his first one was cut off in a duel with Manderup Parsbjerg.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Second hand find

Last week I bought three books that came from the library of the late Angela Carter. Looking at the spines gave a sense of her interests, from the history of gastronomy to literary criticism via Pliny and Dada as you can see . It's sad that the collection is being dispersed but I can also imagine that other people feel just as delighted as I do to be able to treasure something of hers. There are lots of Angela Carter's own books in my own collection which I always mean to read again because the first time maybe 20 years ago, I found some of them too surreal, and fantastical, and I can admit that I thought her female protagonists embarassing and bold. I'm sure I'll get on just fine with them now.

Great prospects

I have moved into a new studio.

Finally I have room for visitors.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The dog's whiskers

This is an image taken from a sketchbook that belonged to a distant relative named Katharine Grimston. They were made in around 1840. This one of the dogs is an afterthought in the book, a moment where she forgot herself. The other drawings are quite detailed pen and wash drawings and they relate to an opera that I can't identify without Dad's help and some scenes from 'Up Stairs & Down Stairs'.
This is the herione Lady Honoria.

I have also been reading about Mary Anning, who was also active in the 1840's, but she gets out of the drawing room, and scrambles all over the coast around Lyme Regis, she dosn't concern herself with all those floppy men. I think there will be more about her later. Over the summer I'll get on with writing a new film and somehow I feel I'll take a leap forwards into the 19th century. Maybe when I'm a whiskery octegenarian I'll make a film about 21st century Hackney.

Monday, May 14, 2007


It's been raining for three days now, so from the comfort of the sofa I have been reading Will Becher's diary of being animator in residence on the A-I-R scheme: http://www.maninmidair.co.uk/html/about.htm. It's very funny, I especially like the references to school children constantly knocking on the glass, can it really be that bad?!
Last week I also downloaded a podcast of Michael Dudok de Wit and Gili Dolev talking at the National Museum of Scotland last month in conjunction with the Pixar event. It started off slowly, and it's not so interesting to look at, but with Catriona Black's encouragement they both made some pertinant points about storytelling and ideas.


I have begun the task of sending the Old Man to festivals. I havn't done this before and feeling overwhelmed by the task I've done what every sensible person would do, make a comprehensive spreadsheet using excel. In the time it's taken I could have entered EIFF, OLAF, LIAF, KROK, BAF, FAFF and Encounters. Orange is REJECTED, blue is ACCEPTED, there are three shades of blue, pale blue for competition, ultramarine for international panorama and cobalt for video booth only. Is there a market for this template?

I'm also trying to get acquainted with Movie Flipper, a lovely piece of free software to make movies into flip books. I am doing a drop in activity making flip books this weekend at the Barbican for their Animate the world festival.
Phil Mulloy at the Roxy Bar and Screen.
It was great to see Phil Mulloy's film's shown at the Roxy in Borough last Wednesday. He showed quite a few shorts and then all 80 mins of The Christies, which is fantastic, and bold. I think I'm right in saying that the whole film is comprised of 40 frames, and simple ones at that. The film is about the Christies, their social workers, the house painter. There's quite alot of chat about Tesco's. They speak in computer voices.

The Christies

Phil Mulloy's films are gutsy and graphic, they can more than hold their own in a bar setting, but on the whole I'm not quite sure what I think about the Roxy Bar and Screen as a venue. They are showing a season of animate! filmmakers, around once a month, attended by the filmmakers and with a question and answer afterwards. It's a great idea, its just somehow it's not easy to ask a question and you'd be hard pushed to concentrate if it was busy. I'd like to go to some more sessions, Chris Shepherd is coming up in July and on the 18th July, Shelly is going to host a screening there to raise money for Resonance FM which will be a great night. There will be more details on that later.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Hotel de Pinhey

This is Hotel de Pinhey being projected at Space last week. The six minute film was made up of chalk drawings and photographs animated on a blackboard under the rostrum camera, it became an imperious piece of work when the portraits became life size. The animation was to have a loose theme of user experiences of the mental health system, but for many reasons it was hard for people to articulate their thoughts from within the system itself. So the work is a series of self portraits. The animation was made on the Pinhey ward in St Clement's Hospital over ten afternoons, and then Jocasta Lucas, who was the second artist commissioned, worked with the same group to make the sound. It was chance and luck that Jo liked the animation enough to work with it, and the work is much better for being able to hear the voices and thoughts and layers of music and sounds to make sense of the portraits. Douglas Nicholson was the third artist, by the time he started work in January, the Pinhey Ward on St Clement's had closed and so he had to follow the group to their new location. It was a good project to work on thanks to Space and all the artists.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Today I'm going to Birmingham to take part in an inspiration session. Although I've been picked to inspire, I have a feeling its going to be an exciting day.

Not least because of it's five am start. Can I really hear a cuckoo or am I just tired?
St Clements

Tonight it's the opening of two collaborative animations that I have been working on since October. Hotel de Pinhey was made in collaboration with Jocasta Lucas and an artist's group at St Clement's Psychiatric Hospital, and BowHaven, was made with a mental health user group in Bow. There's going to be free Russian beer which makes some people itchy, and three performances.

Our Premiere night

I've got a photograph to put here (sweet relief) to give an impression of the premiere last night at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green. a bigger venue than last year and a bigger crowd too.
Our old man was fourth in line of seven films. Simon Dye noticed that there was coincidentally a broad theme of home. It was really good to see the other projects, the production values were high and they were all compelling. The film Home stood out to me as being a little bit different, moving in a quirky way. Broken was very accomplished, I expect the director is going to make many more films. Tree was beautiful and Hinterland was a dark film, with a very particular atmosphere. In the context of those films it seemed as if The Old, Old, Very Old Man played the role of an animated breather. I couldn't really tell how it went down, I was holding my own breathe abit. I think it was fine. Here we are just beforehand:

Wendy, Shelly, Simon Dye (who worked on the sound effects) and Kathrein my lovely producer

and another one with me in it. (plus my bag and coat)

LET me out please.

I can almost tidy up the bathroom and leave but when I said that we had finished, it was another lie, we have forgotton the ERDF title card.

Monday, April 16, 2007

It's done!

It's hard to believe but the old man is in the bag and on a beta tape at the film fund office.
Last wednesday I went to Marek's studio which is in Beak Street. He had made some changes to the whites to bring them all into line, we spent an hour putting the sound on, a clock, some new titles and laying it off to miniDv. Kathrein made a Beta tape and took it to the Brady Arts Centre on Friday. Its a beautiful moment, though now I've got a cold, isn't it always the way?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Momentary momentum

The area of animated film is a bit trendy, not momentarily I hope. The Parasol Unit on Wharf Road is showing Momentary Momentum, a celebration of lines, and drawing and motion. The show has a great many inviting and thoughtful works, both installations and as part of two programmes. It was a bit like breakfast in a Hotel in Europe, I'd like to revisit to make sure I didnt miss anything. One work that stood out was 8 Possible Beginnings or The Creation of African-America, a Moving Picutre by Kara E. Walker. I remember seeing Kara Walker's gallery shadow projections a long time ago, and it was certainly striking, but seeing her work in moving pictures, where she is in evidence operating the puppets and speaking the parts, her explorations of lust, fear and dominance become very potent.

The finished sound

I am really grateful to Fonic for their considerable help at short notice. They've made it look easy too. It being a low budget film, I think I had imagined that it would be enough to make or locate sound effects to match what was on screen, (although the sound on my previous films have been considerably more than this) but when it was assembled and played through proper speakers it just didnt match the picture. Partly because the sounds, including the voices, weren't sitting in their proper location, also the introduction of atmos, is if anything more important on this film because there are no backgrounds in most of the shots, just funny lines here and there. Thanks again to Fonic.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

There was a celebration of Dick Arnall at the Curzon last weekend. What a lovely man he was, but what a life to celebrate too. So many great films and many many friends. The celebration was a little bit sad but inspiring too.

Scrap the last post

We're not quite going to make the deadline after all.
At Fonic, I was able to listen to the film in a proper environment with Barnaby and his practiced ears and brain, the holes in our sound were immediately evident and its clear we need to do a quite a bit more work on the sound effects before we mix.

All is not lost, we'll get it done with a bit of time and help and by the way the picture looks good after a grade and some extra work from Simon P. on FCP and we have a premiere date which is the 23rd April.

Friday, March 16, 2007


The deadline is the 30th March and we are on target to finish on time, but with everyone working around their other jobs, it's going to be tight. Kathrein is keeping everyone on track and I am just looking and listening to things whenever I'm not at a playgroup. Marek has done a grade, which I'm sure will make a big difference. Even once I had the hang of the white balance, the variation in tile white was significant. Tim's has finished and the music fits really well.
I am hoping that Fonic will be able to help us with our sound mix. They are very good, and their work is subtle and funny. I would like to be subtle and funny too.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The last shot

Sunday, February 25, 2007

mumble mumble

I thought I would be twiddling my thumbs while Tim and Simon got on with the sound but actually the lip sync will keep me busy. The lip sync in Sawney Beane was random and misleading in parts, partly because I'm not a patient person but also because I was in the final stages of pregnancy and I was struggling to sit still and concentrate. Anyway, this time I'm going to give it a pop, there's a good page on it in Paul Well's Fundamentals of Animation, and I've got a couple of days, so how hard can it be?

The other awardees

The deadline is 5pm on 30th March. I wonder if we will be the only Hackney and Tower Hamlets Film Fund production team skidding in to the Brady Arts Centre at 4.55pm? I think there are 6 or 7 films in production and I'm really looking forward to seeing them all in April. I've enjoyed a regular cup of tea with one of the other awardees: Suzi Ewing, who has finished her film 'Hinterland', judging by her previous films, I'm sure it will be really splendid. At the early stages of my production I was also really pleased to have a drink with Phil Dale and his producer Liz Chan. Phil is best known as an animator but he and Liz have been making 'Tree' (or maybe the name has changed) in live action. I have really enjoyed reading Phil's blog about the ups and downs of his production process. (http://www.tree.gb.com/)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Scrap the last post

I'm going back in.
Mark has finished a second assembly and identified a few areas where improvements could be made to the sense of the story by swapping the order of events. I think there are three shots in all, that's two more mondays then I'll stop.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Back away from the rostrum

I think I had my last day animating this week. There are a few shots that I would like to do again if I could but it's time to stop now. My tile is quite scratched and my brushes are now looking as if they have done 15 minutes worth of wrestling with that shellac ink.
We have also moved onto the sound, so I really have to stop so that there is something concrete for Tim and Simon to work on. I'm really pleased that Simon Dye is going to help out with the sound design, Simon is also DeXter Bentley and I am a fan of his show on Resonance FM which is called Hello Goodbye (12pm on Saturdays). Tim Olden has been working on the music already, he is also very busy with Nina and Karen's new film Living with the Tudors. You can read about Tim on their website: http://www.somewhere.org.uk/Tim. He is quite brilliant in many ways.
The last few shots and Edward's Voice Record went to Orkney in the post and it arrived within 24 hours! Mark is going to do another assembly as soon as he can.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Fantastic Mr Fox

The voice record went well. It's always hard to tell until it's chopped up in the timeline against the picture. It was the fastest one yet with only around half an hour to record all four characters. I was really fortunate to have been able to ask Edward Fox to do it, and he needed hardly any pointers, which was lucky because a) I was too nervous and b) my microphone wasn't active.
I didn't get a photo because his chair was a bit low in the booth.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

First Assembly

Mark has sent the edit down by Royal Mail on a miniDv tape. I have got an ftp site but not all parties are able to use it without complications, so it lies empty at the moment. Mark is really good. I liked the first assembly very much and so did Shelly, she chuckled alot, (I gave her a portugese cake before she saw it). It's a different film to the one I thought I was making at the beginning and it's come out very funny in parts, largely due to the addition of a swarm of buzzing flies attendant at the Old Man's autopsy. The film is around 6"30' without the titles, Mark has taken off a whole minute. I note that I thought it would be 3"0' at the beginning of the production. What a pro!

Next is the voice record, then just a little bit more animation..there are a few shots that could be better before everything goes back in the post to Burray for another pass.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Is it true that however long you have to make a film, it would always be a scrabble at the end? Things are speeding up here to my great alarm. Mark Jenkins (see previous post) has broken away from his reflections on the beaches of Burray. What a pal he is. He has set up his avid and the first swipe at the edit is on it's way down via the Royal Mail. I'm going to review it tommorrow with the help of my animator friend Shelly Wain and finalise the voice script for the voice record on 9th Feb.
I have a wonderful actor to record on friday, I just hope I don't goof up my part in the proceedings. Kathrein is swanning off to Berlin for the film festival but is skillfully paving the way for the voice record before she goes. I'm still animating on Mondays. Shortly someone is going to have to do the kind thing and snap my squirrel hair brushes in half and lock the bathroom door.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mark Jenkins - editor

Here he is!
There are a few things that Mark wants to do before setting up his avid and editing the film, recover from the move, explore the beaches of Orkney, make a hen house, build a darkroom for Bec. Don't worry Mark, there's no hurry.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Daddy.

Shelly and I went to Canada House to a screening and reception related to the Norman McLaren screenings at the NFT. I would earnestly recommend going to some of the screenings, they finish at the end of January. On this evening, Boogie Doodle and Neighbours were screened and whoops of joy were heard not only at the end of each film but during too. Go.
Dressed Fleas, Tring

Tiny things are amazing arn't they?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Some progress

The christmas break gave me a chance to stand back from my creative endeavours, plus a little plumbing review of the bathroom studio made me tidy up a bit and I found a handy envelope labelled 'script writing'. It spurred me on to address the structure and characters motivations again. In short I've made some more animation for myself to do in the two days that Ive set aside to animate. Saturday the 6th and Monday the 8th. Don't ring then ok.