Friday, December 10, 2010

To Paris and Back

With grateful thanks to my parents-in-law for keeping our home life together, we were able to skip merrily off to the Festival of Different and Experimental Films in Paris,  there was time to go to the Pompidou centre to see the wopping Mondrian de Stijl exhibition, the Cluny Museum and many cafes of course.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Other things

I'm really enjoying the more thought-provoking posts on A P Engine at the moment, read Adam Pugh if you can, I wonder if he's grown a full beard and writes in a shed. It's Great stuff. Samantha Moore has also written a very elegant piece on Animated Documentaries, she makes a very welcome addition to the discourse around animation. It's really good to read some longer articles, a nice antidote to the all the tweet tweeting.

First Light Green Light

Emily Tracy & I are really pleased to announce that we have been awarded a First Light Young Film Fund Pilot Grant to work with pupils at Gayhurst Community School. We are going to be making an experimental animated film based on a film from the BFI archive. You can see Coughs and Sneezes here. It's a little sadistic but very funny.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dead Peter and the mob

I've managed to make a re start on Frombald again. I've remembered what I was doing and why I like the story so much. I'm sure I'll be able to enlarge upon that later. For the meantime here is what I've been up to today. I've been printing onto 35mm with rubber stamps that I'm carving by hand, and colouring with watercolour. The shots will be comprised of little loops, this method will make the work necessarily spare in both line and motion, it's an exciting restriction.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Monster, Yuck on Head & Pirate Hobbs

Yesterday at the LCFF we made flipbooks using live action and drawing. Here are my three examples before I bound them, totally trumped by the very brilliant books from the workshop participants. I used Istopmotion to capture and print the live action images and I found some very handy self adhesive book cloth from Shepherd's to cover the stapled edge.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Tigers, Fangs and Shamans

Today I've put my KT Tunstall animations on my Youtube channel and I've also managed to put them on my website without breaking it, so you can watch them easily and issue rude comments if you like.

London Animation Club

Last night Kim and I went to the marvellous monthly London Animation Club, beautifully run by Martin Pickles. People come along and show work in progress, finished and polished work and archive animations too and the mixture works very well. It's spurred me on a bit.


I've been busy making invitations for a family party.

2 Autumns

It feels as if we're having a second autumn doesn't it?

Happy Halloween

Actually this is exactly what my studio looks like at the moment.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Last week I went to Salisbury Cathedral and enjoyed the little model of the cathedral being constructed. I'd always wondered how and now I know.

Puffin, Tadpole & Platypus

I made 3 little monoprints for my brother and Harry.

I havn't added many postings recently, I'm sorry if you looked and there was nothing new here. I blame Damages, plus a little bit of plot maintenance, and a few workshops at the Barbican and NPG.

Here we are eating all the tomatoes before they get home.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Little two page animations

This week pupils at Gayhurst Community School made some lovely two page animations on an abstract theme with Emily Tracy and me.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Big news flash!

If you have a low spell at your desk you can see the aforementioned 'The Making of a Tiger Suit' on the Scottish Sun website today. Two of the animations are in the documentary and two are at the end.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

K T Tunstall

I'm excited to announce that four little animations that I was commissioned to make are included in 'The Making of a Tiger Suit', a documentary made to accompany the delux version of K T Tunstall's new album Tiger Suit out in the UK on Monday. I think people are already whistling along to (Still a) Wierdo. It was just about my first foray into the grubby world of commercial work and it was great, thanks to the extremely nice KT. Bring it on I say. Give me a call P Diddy I'll flush the loo once more. Spellbound is ready.

Friday, September 10, 2010

LIAF cont...

I didn't want to miss out on noting down some other favourites from the festival this year.. One was Silas Money's RCA film Self Service in which flashing frames of supermarket food stuffs create a narrative that doesn't quite travel a linear path, it was vital and intuitively made, no fuss. The whole of the British Showcase was strong this year, Tramdeutung, Matter Fisher, Txt Island, The Eagleman's Stag and Zbigniev's Cupboard were all especially impressive. It's exciting to think that there are so many new British filmmaker's setting sail.

The Direct to Film showcase was a little bit disappointing, the works often lacked structure and some really missed a trick by not screening a film print. Apart from the crazy Dialogues by Ulo Pikkov, I liked Judith Poirier's Dialogue, sound and image made with letraset, but it couldn't live up to the extraordinary Dresden Dynamo made by Lis Rhodes in 1971. Admittedly all the competition films were butted up against Steven Woloshen's mini retrospective and the historical classics, and this undoubtedly gave them a disadvantageous context.

Steven's films are both masterful and playful, and really joyful to watch. He really works with his sound tracks, which are mostly grand or jazzy and suit projection in the cinema extremely well. Steven is also a generous filmmaker and spread's the word about cameraless film wherever he travels. His book Recipes for Reconstruction can be bought directly from him, and I would advise it if you're interested in doing some experiments with celluloid. Like me. It was brilliant to see the historical classics in the cinema, all 5 of them, but especially Caroline Leaf's Two Sisters from 1991. I think you could learn everything there is to know about animation from Caroline Leaf's wonderful body of work.
More later I hope.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Best of the Fest LIAF

I've made it through my first film festival juror experience, I enjoyed it alot because of the very lovely other jury members (see previous post), Nag and Malcom, the quality of the films and the nice red wine at the Renoir. I'm sure it's on the LIAF www but we gave our Best of the Fest prize to Angry Man by Anita Killi and Best British Film to Joseph Pierce's film Family Portrait.
Below are some blurry photographs in which you can see us conveying our results to Nag and splendid Malcom Turner, Nag and Malcom on the sofa, and Linda McCarthy on the microphone introducing her film The Grand Easter Egg Hunt amongst the other filmmakers in the British Animation programme. Have a look at Linda's animations, she makes puppets with ceramic parts, animating them using the replacement technique.
We all liked the two films mentioned above very much of course, but there were many other excellent films in the competition programme too, films from Estonia, the NFB and the RCA largely dominating. So we gave some honourable mentions too. Runaway by Cordell Barker has completely exquisite comic timing, to the frame. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen for a second and I could watch it 10 more times with ease. I'm a huge fan of Tad's Nest by Petra Freeman, I enjoy it every time I see it, it's so eerie and I love the way the scale changes, and the scuttling noises (amongst other things). Ines Sedan's The Man who Slept was another thought provoking wopper from the NFB, a really good, engaging narrative with a lovely ending. Bellies by Phillippe Grammaticopolous, was a wonderful follow up to his earlier film The Regulator (2005), the same spare white environment representing a moment of judgement or epiphany and this is a film that judges and punishes big fat capitalists with tiny hands. I've run out of time today, but I have a few more personal favourites to mention.

Thursday, September 02, 2010


This week, as previously mentioned, I'm attending all the competitive programmes at LIAF with my fellow jurors, seen below in the midst of a dry and serious debate. You can see the great animator Laurie Hill, Film London's Anna Faithfull and the festival's special guest from Canada, Steven Woloshen. This year's programme seems very strong so far, and I'm really enjoying seeing so many films in one go, and having the chance to discuss them in fine company. Discretion prevents me from mentioning topics of our debate at this juncture, perhaps you could get a ticket for Best of the Fest (quickly) and you'll be able to find out what we thought.

Pleasure Gardens

Friday, August 27, 2010


I enjoy painting portraits of pets for friends and family (only) and I was very pleased with my portrait of Toby for my mother in law, until George showed me his one, rustled up in a matter of minutes, so full of beans.


The London International Animation Festival starts today - hooray! I shall wash and find my raincoat and set off there forthwith. I am lucky this year because I am on duty as a juror and I think that means watching almost all the programmes and a free cobra beer. I'm sure I'll have a bit to say about it all afterwards.
We're home again, a bit dusty and tired. What a trip we had!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Alpujarra's

I wanted to make a tidy connection between my holiday and an earlier post because some of the scenes from Harryhausen's The 7th Voyage of Sinbad were filmed at the Alhambra but I havn't been nearly cool enough to think straight. The Sinbad production was permitted to use the palace grounds in the daylight hours and the volume of tourists meant all interior shots had to be filmed at night.

Anyway for the family members following our progress in Spain (and for others please forgive this interlude) we took to the open road and spent the day in the mountains.

Alhambra Museum

A water trough at the Alhambra Museum showing the common royal motif of ferocious lions attacking their prey.

I think we are going every day Hazel!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tunnels and rills

at Generalife today

Come on! I want an ice cream (me)