Friday, January 28, 2011

Amazing new young peoples film workshop starting in Goole

If you have every thought you would like to make a film - a real film - and you live in the Goole area, this is for you!

We are NOW seeking young people aged 13 – 18 who are budding actors, film-makers, writers, animators, researchers, technicians, musicians and costume designers to make the film. Over the next 2 months, four films are planned to be shot using Super8 film cameras, supervised by professional filmmakers from across Yorkshire and beyond. The challenge - to submit to one of the toughest and most exciting film festivals in the world - Straight 8, and be considered for screenings in London and Cannes!
The first films I ever made were with a Super 8 camera. Learning to use film gives young people the chance to use the technology that founded the film industry. The flickering projector takes us right back to the magic and dream of cinema. The particular challenge - and the skill in this competition, comes from creating and editing a film in camera. We have no second changes. No take twos. No chance to ‘fix it in edit!’ Our young filmmakers are going to be taught skills and the techniques not normally taught outside film school. We have an incredibly talented team of people from the four corners of the film industry from writers and directors to actors, editors, composers and costume designers, who will all be sharing their knowledge with these young people. What we are doing is totally unique. We are creating a mini film school for budding filmmakers. It’s going to be incredibly exciting and will push our young people to realise their creative potential.

Visit the new Goole Straight 8 blog to find out more!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Free CPD animation training, 1st Feb at the National Media Musuem

Thanks to Estelle Baker and everyone from the museum development service for Hampshire at the Isle of Wight Museum. I've just come back from a wonderful week training teachers and museum educators animation skills as part of the British Library Campaign Make an Impact training days.

For those of you in the Yorkshire region who may like animation CPD training a little closer to home, I am delivering a a FREE CPD programme at the National Media Museum in Bradford on Tue 1st February, 9.30am-3.45pm. At the moment there are 5 places left and places go on a first come first served basis.

Due to government cuts, I’ve been told this will sadly be the last CPD day that the National Media Museum offer for the foreseeable future, and I’m eager we sell out this event. I’ve taught this programme around the UK, from York to Hull to the Isle of Wright to amazing feedback.

During this 1 day course teachers will learn about how to use animation as a creative learning tool in the classroom.

This course aims to:

1. Demystify the process of using animation in the classroom

2. Identify the links between animation and the national curriculum

3. Discuss the practice of using animation in the classroom

4. Gain practical experience of using animation as a tool for learning

The CPD day is being run as part of the anim8ed learning programme, Supported by DCMS and DCFS through the Strategic Commissioning programme.
To book places, contact the School Services Officer, Di Carey on 0844 856 3799, or email

For an example of one of our previous training days at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull click here
To find out more about anim8ed and for fee animation resources visit the webstie:

Monday, January 03, 2011

Shaun Goes Potty

It's wonderful to finally see Shaun Goes Potty transform from story sketches into full animation. I worked as a story artist on this episode from Shaun the Sheep, which was an amazing experience. In terms of story issues, this was a difficult episode to work on with a huge script crammed to bursting with just too many good ideas!

One of those was a dream sequence of Bitzer being a legendary pool champ, which was a lot of fun to board, but in the end was rightly cut to give Shaun and Bitzer more screen time together.

I remember looking at this episode in story reel form with the director, Chris Sadler and an editor and it came to aprox10 minutes. At which point we asked - what is the story really about. The resulting changes, which many story artists and great minds worked on, see the various location shifts changes to one which allows screen time to concentrate on the entertainment of a terrific concept. I had a ball, to pardon the pun, working out some of the visual humour of Shaun and Bitzer challenging each other to a game of pool. Catch it now on the BBC iplayer!