Man Does Not Live by Animation Alone (apparently)

junk wood sculpture by Miki Z and Fin, saltwell park
Need to get out more... some fresh-air sculpture at Gateshead Family Sculpture Day ... with (good friend and art colleague) Miki Z. Sculptures made of scrap wood and based on "art" (?). So this was loosely based an a Keith Hering print .

They hold this every year in my local park and it's always teaming with people making dens, giraffes and aeroplanes...seriously good fun.  Also its very liberating to work on an art project that has been classified as "play".


Grunting and Sniffling Noises

Malcolm ponders cake and trousers
2013 saw the completion (FINALLY) of  Eeny Meeny Miney Malcolm, using a style of drawing inspired by memories of linocut (Brighton Printworks in the 80s, and BAA Corsham in the 70s) - a development of what I started in Box.  Malcolm was also an experiment in using split screen to show two simultaneous stories (Sliding Doors with cake)... but also in using non-dialogue people noises. Thanks to my patient colleagues and friends for wasting considerable time squealing, grunting, laughing and sniffling into microphones. And this is (only one of the reasons) why I love my job


Split-Screens & Flying Machines

Box: split screen animation
wimbledon shorts festival laurelsBox was an experimental film in terms of the drawing style - loosely based on lino-cut and subtraction rather than addition as a drawing method. It also uses split screen/ changing screen size as part of the narrative... an idea I carried over from the PhD days and experiments with projected interactive works (Just don't! galleries won't touch them with a bargepole, and most of them don't even have a bargepole.)

Box was selected for both Wimbledon Short Film Festival, and Bradford Animation Festival. yay! and they give you a badge to prove it. One day I hope to combine visiting a film festival with showing at it and actually gauge some audience reaction to the work.


News - but not Documentary

Heat: Guardian Witness project
Best news of 2013: Heat being selected for and then chosen as winner of the first Guardian Witness one-minute film competition. I made this film to fit a theme, which is often a good challenge for generating ideas. I also made it from scratch in two weeks to meet the deadline, which sounds like a long time for one minute but trust me...it was hard work getting all the images, and the foley recorded and mixed down. Time deadlines are also a good challenge (even if you do have to take the gigantic PC set-up to your Mum's when you visit so you can finish it off...)


Colin the Dog and his Travelling Blog

Colin (the dog) dreams of the Northern Lights
2013 was also the year Colin the dog went on his adventures North...in an animation created in response to a specific festival theme. They didn't want it, but ultimately Sheffield university did.  North was selected for Leamington Underground Cinema festival 2013 , and for " North:Mapping Cinematic Norths " conference, Sheffield May 2013 Working to a theme is always an interesting challenge...worth taking up even if  the individual festival you are aiming for is a longshot. Colin was inspired a little by Gromit, and by good friends Darry & Bob's incomparable beagle, Carter. (take inspiration from anywhere you can get it). This animation was an experiment in doing it - i.e. the narrative arc/ character development - by the book... and in limiting the colour palette (black white green)


Animated Documentary

Life with Sheds: the eggman and the shed
A new experiment -  a linear documentary Life with Sheds based on the ideas collected for an interactive piece "The Worldwide Shed". I asked for a narrator who could do a cross between Sir David Attenborough and David Tenant's Doctor Who. I got the incomparable Ronan Paterson, who sounds like both, with a touch of Bunny Guinness.
This is a first attempt at animated documentary, which is an interesting genre. Lots of films I have seen use a narrator/ storyteller, which always makes the images seem less important...illustrations for a text rather than a text itself. So  I don't think its going to be my preferred method of working. Also, this is definitely my last attempt at lipsynching a boiled egg.