Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Duchy Parade Film's Cinema of Horror, distributed by the British Film Council has special Halloween screenings!

In the South, you can see it at Horror UK!

In Yorkshire at Hebdon Bridge:

FRIDAY 30TH OCTOBER, TRADES CLUB, screening at 9pm

And in Huddersfield at:

SATURDAY 31ST OCTOBER, LAWRENCE BATLEY THEATRE, rolling screening thru night.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Anim8ed training at NRM

It’s been my pleasure to train learning staff at the National Railway Museum for Anim8ed this week. Over the next couple of months I’m working with the learning department to develop, pilot and support the training for a bespoke education outreach programme that will see the National Railway Museum work with primary schools in York to bring to life their collections using animation as an enabler for learning. I worked closely with the NRM last year with Anim8ed Stories but this is the first time I’ve been responsible for training museum staff, all of whom are so incredibly talented and inspiring to work with. They made my time with them a delight. This week we workshoped the chosen programme and I’m looking forward to working with them again after half term when we take it out to schools for a pilot run! Anim8ed is a DCMS funded programme with the National Media Museum.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The co-op film fest and the Attack of the Killer Naan

I was delighted to be invited back for the 3rd year at the Co-op Young Peoples festival yesterday, giving my Animation Unearthed talk to a room full of young fillmmakers as well as a couple of flipbook workshops. I had the pleasure to screen a sneak peek of the 4mations digital short, "The Astonomers Sun" which is looking very promising. For an extra bit of razzmatazz, I animated a simple candle flame in front of the audience, and composited it with a painted background to demonstrate some basic principles of traditional fx animation. Despite several seamless rehearsals, the software froze mid way through my demo for a heart stopping moment but I got there! Hopefully it added to the talk and not just my nerves!

I've attached a movie of some of the great flipbooks some of the Young people made in my workshops during the day. Awesome stuff.

It was great to see Clinton Osborne who traveled up from the Animation Station in Banbury for the festival. After the fun of the festival we sampled the wonder that is a Bradford Curry. The size of Omar's Naan bread has become an urban legend in Oxforshire, thanks to Clinton. If all of that wasn't enough for one day, we went to see the hugely entertaining Star Treck in Imax. Days don't get any better than that!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Guest DOP

We were honoured to have a special guest at the Astronomers Sun studio last Wednesday. Director of Photography Alistair Mckenzie, who brings 20 years experience in live action cinematography, including Duchy Parade Films 35mm cinema short, “Wilfred”. He loves animation and even turned down a DOP job at Cosgrove Hall! He kindly offered to spend a day looking at the film’s most complex lighting set-ups with Simon and Jess.

Alister’s says, “We talked a lot about the ways that I approach a live action set and how I split lighting the background with the foreground subject. These rules can easily be translated into lighting a miniature. We also talked about how the lighting of a scene is governed by the light that we have least control of ... in my case that is the ambient light of a location, in their specific case it is governed by the light of the LEDs which have a limited maximum brightness. We also looked at when having a light source in shot (The Orrary) it is also essential to have supplementary lights to mimic the effect of the light on the rest of the set.

They certainly have taken on an ambitious storyboard for their first film, but the results so far look great and I can't wait to see the finished film.”

Further information about the art of cinematography from Alistair Mckenzie can be found on the Duchy Parade Film’s website here.