When I was studying animation at Southampton, Bob Godfrey used to come down to teach once a week. I knew Bob’s name from the TV series “Roobarb and Custard”, which aired on BBC1 when I was about eight, and later learnt that he was a legendary creator of animated shorts, mostly slightly risque ones that were generally shown in front of ‘Carry On’ films. Bob was the embodiment of the ‘less is more’ school of animation – if you can make your point , or tell your story, just as effectively with fewer or simpler drawings, then do it that way. Don’t make work for yourself. Bob saw a film I’d made in my first semester called “Advice for Hamsters” and gave me his card. Once I’d finished studying he gave me my first job, on a satirical series called “Margaret Thatcher: Where Am I Now?”, written by Steve Bell. One of the key lessons I took from Bob was the importance – and delicacy – of timing. I’d animate a scene that needed to be funny, but for some reason wasn’t quite working. He’d check it, play it a few times, then tell me to add or remove a few frames – often only two or three – then suddenly the scene would be funny. As well as being a legendary animator, Bob was a legendary character. I’ve tried to capture some of that in a little tribute film. Here’s a trailer. The film itself in currently being submitted to festivals, so I can’t show the whole thing yet.
Thursday, 12 May 2016
My friend Sam Wooldridge bought me this Lego kit for my birthday, somehow knowing exactly what I needed in my life. Whatever I'm doing, I'm constantly thinking "How can I turn this into animation, ideally without raking years to do it?" Obviously the solution here was to shoot a time-lapse of me building the kit, and adding a bit of stop-motion animation to the end.
Wednesday, 4 May 2016
It seems that whenever the BBC make a documentary about polar exploration, they hire a narrator who doesn't know how to pronounce 'Antarctic'. Today they've gone a step further and hired someone who can't spell it either. I just thought I'd help them out a bit....
Monday, 4 April 2016
My first job in TV animation was with Bob Godfrey, a legend in the industry, best know to my generation and younger for "Roobarb and Custard", though he'd been working for almost 50 years before I knew him. I prepared an earlier version of this film for a tribute evening at the Bradford Animation Festival two years ago, and recently remade and expanded it. I'm currently submitting it to festivals which means I can't put the whole film online, but here's a trailer.
Monday, 28 March 2016
Sunday, 28 February 2016
Partly to develop my own film education, I've been doing a film review blog in which I cover one film a year for the whole history of cinema, beginning with the films of the Lumiere brothers in 1985.
It's been progressing slowly for a few months because my DVD/Blu-ray collection has been accumulating films from the 1920s and I'm watching them all as I go, which means I'm almost doing the blog in real time at the moment. So instead of one film, my 1925 entry covers ten, though mostly quite briefly. Hopefully I'll pick up speed again when I get into the sound period.