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.