Thursday, 4 December 2014

What is Animation?

I recently stumbled upon an interview with Bob Godfrey by Martin Pickles in Cartoon Brew and I realised how similar my philosophy of animation is to his. I truly admire Disney style 2D animation and I am in awe at the expertise of the nine old men, but I do love the simplicity of quirky non realistic animation. I love the work of Ivan Maximov and Michaela Pavlatova to name a few.

In the interview (which took place at Godfrey's Acme Studio in the East End of London in 2006), Godfrey said:
“Well animation is not live action, I think that says it. Anything that is not live action which is actuality but is drawn is animation. And the thing about animation is that there are absolutely no rules. I mean these schools that are springing up all over the place ‘How to Walk, ‘How to Run,’ based on live action. How a live action man runs, how a live action person walks, you know, people in animation don’t have to walk, I mean they don’t even have to have legs, they can go up in the air.
“In animation you can do absolutely everything and I said I think that the only two restrictions are your bank balance and your mind. And, well, your imagination that you can grow, you know, providing the budget will allow you to. And when people are confronted with this absolute freedom they tend to freak out, they tend to say ‘We want limitations, we want gravity.’ Basically, there is no gravity in animation, animation is free, it can fly, it can go anywhere. And I don’t think enough people realize this, they’re too earth bound. It’s not earth bound, it’s fantasy.”

Sunday, 17 August 2014

How to stop procrastinating

I have just read an article in Ideas Tap on how to stop procrastinating. I try to warn my students about the daemon procrastination, but I always have to admit that I can also succumb to it at times! There is a good piece of advice in the article (written by Stephanie Soh), from writer Simon Whaley about breaking things down into smaller chunks and this advice is true of any piece of creative work and also for essay writing:

Break it down“Often we procrastinate because the job that needs doing is too big, or feels like a lot of work,” says Simon Whaley. “The trick is to break it down into more manageable, bite-size chunks.” He uses the example of writing a short story to illustrate this technique: “If you sit down to write a 5,000-word story then the task will overwhelm you. You will procrastinate because you’ll be trying to write the perfect first word, followed by the perfect first sentence, followed by the perfect first paragraph. Perfection is created during editing, but you can’t edit a blank page – you need to write something. Break down the task: think about a plot, or the basic premise. Don’t think, ‘I have 30 minutes, I’d better write the first 500-words.’ Just think, ‘What's my story about?’ You can worry about characters and writing your story for the next session.”
Another bit of good advice is to write down the consequences of procrastination, when you see this written down, you will feel the need to crack on with things sooner! It is so true that procrastinators will put work off until the point of pain, it is only when it is so last minute that we finally take action!

Realise the consequencesWe all know that good things happen when we meet deadlines, finish early and generally get things done. So why do we go to such lengths of put off our work? Michael Heppell believes that “People will do more to avoid pain than they will to gain pleasure. They’ll put work off until the point of pain, and that’s when they’ll suddenly take action.” What we need to do is make ourselves fully aware of the negative consequences of procrastination: “Write a list of the benefits of getting busy with what you want to do, but also a list of the pain if you don’t do it,” advises Michael. “And don’t just note one or two things, write down 10 or 15 things: what people might think about you, what it might cost you, your stress levels, your health, what it might mean to your relationship, having to stay behind at work... Big things, little things, get them all on. And by capturing it on paper, you’ll be much more inclined to do something, rather than just think about it.”

Saturday, 7 June 2014

New animations I am looking forward to seeing

Animation Magazine listed new animations coming out this year in their article, The Animated Movie Dossier & this is my pick from the list (

When Marnie Was There

When Marnie Was There
Studio Ghibli | July 19 (Japan)
Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Writers: Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Keiko Niwa, Masashi Ando
Story: Set on the Norfolk, England, seaside, this ethereal tale centers on friendless Anna, whose life changes when she meets a mysterious girl named Marnie among the sand dunes. When Marnie vanishes and a new family moves into her house, Anna learns that her friend was not all that she seemed.

The Boxtrolls

The Boxtrolls

The Boxtrolls
LAIKA, Focus Features | Sept. 26
Directors: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi
Writer: Irena Brignull, based on Here Be Monsters, by Alan Snow
Cast: Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning, Ben Kingsley, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, Jared Harris, Toni Collette
Story: Set in a Victorian-inspired world where social status and wealth revolve around the stinkiest of cheeses, a young orphaned boy is raised by underground trash collectors known as Boxtrolls who are feared by the citizens of the upper world. When a social-climbing villain sets out to exterminate the monsters, the boy risks everything to save his misunderstood friends.

The Book of Life

The Book of Life

The Book of Life
Reel FX, Fox | Oct. 17
Director: Jorge Gutierrez
Writer: Jorge Gutierrez
Cast: Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Christina Applegate
Story: Manolo, a young man torn between his family’s expectations and his heart’s desires, embarks on an incredible journey through three fantastical worlds to face his greatest fears before deciding on his life’s path. Additional voices provided by Ice Cube, Ron Perlman, Cheech Marin, Placido Domingo, Danny Trejo and more.

Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart

Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart

Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
EuropaCorp, France 3, Ile de France, Canal+, CineCinema, Walking the Dog, Ufilm | 2014
Directors: Mathias Malzieu, Stephane Berla
Writer: Mathias Malzieu, based on the graphic novel and album by Dionysus
Cast: Orlando Seale, Stephane Cornicard, Sophia Ellis, Samantha Barks
Story: Jack’s story begins when he is born in Scotland in 1874, on the coldest day of the year. When his young heart stops beating, a clever midwife replaces it with a mechanical one allowing him to live. However, Jack must avoid strong emotion, which might disrupt his heart’s delicate machinery.

Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea
Cartoon Saloon | 2014 (Ireland)
Director: Tomm Moore
Writer: Will Collins
Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan, David Rawle
Story: Inspired by Irish folk legend, the film centers on the last of the Seal-Children, Saoirse and her brother Ben who embark on a fantastic journey across a fading world of ancient legend and magic in an attempt to return to their home by the sea. GKIDS has acquired U.S. release rights.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Adobe Generation Video course is finished

I was so pleased that I took the time to complete the Adobe Generation video course. I cannot recommend these free online courses enough. I love it that they have an expert on each week to talk about their work - some of them are so inspirational! The tutors are great too, they are friendly and down to earth and there is plenty of banter throughout the lesson. I will miss going online every week.

I was over the moon to get a mention from our tutor Adam:

Here is the link to the different courses: - the latest one that has just started is Game Design :)

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Adobe Generation video course

I am currently doing the Adobe Generation video course. I'm hoping to improve my skills with Premiere because I haven't used it much. I used Final Cut to create the end of year shows, but have not felt comfortable with using Premiere, so hopefully, I will start to improve with this course! So far it has been good. I love the professionals that they have in each week - Alan Stocklakes films were so inspiring! 

I am behind with the weekly tasks due to work commitments, so I need to get cracking in this weeks & last weeks task. I need to film someone leaving or arriving for last week and do a storyboard for a film about the opening scene from a book. I've been frantically looking through books to find an interesting scene..... Not found it yet!!