Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Carbon Cycle Caper

The animated film, "Carbon Cycle Caper", which I produced, storyboarded and directed for the Science Museum, has launched on the Science Museum website! The animation supports a teacher’s pack that enables schools to play the game.

I had a ball working on this film, which is designed to have the look and feel a homemade cartoon. There were two exciting sides to Carbon Cycle Caper. First was the innovative concept - creating a short animated film to promote a major new schools activity for the Science Museum that would visually explain to teachers how to run the game in schools nationwide. The second was the way we set up a production team to create a film to the high production quality needed on a tight production schedule, within a relatively small budget.
As I was working part time as a tutor for Sunderland University, it seemed to me that forming a team mixing a professional crew and students could be a possible great solution to this, providing real world production experience for a group of our star students and also giving us access to equipment and studio space at the University.

Student animator, Frazer Barrington working on Kate Youngs beautiful set.

Combining teams of seasoned professionals and new talent is something I have seen work extremely well in the past, not least as co-producer on 4mations Digital short film “The Astronomers Sun”. For “Carbon Cycle Caper” I was able to reunite some of our professional crew with a handpicked group of student animators. This included lighting cameraman, Alistair McKenzie, editor Adam Kirk and Sound Designer Dave Aston from the Digital Audio Company. In addition to this we employed a wonderfully talented young artist, Kate Young, a recent graduate at the University of Sunderland to take first bat on the films art direction and design and build the set.

The animation team at Sunderland Univeristy team with some of the cast characters- From left to right
Robert Lawson, Bianca Pollio, Dominic Shaw, Aaron Warters, Frazer Barrington

Animation studnet Dominic Shaw was my props character man - and boy what a job he had! His deask became which became an asortmant of frankenstein collections, wtih canibalised miniture plastic body parts of the 50+ chidrlens models we needed to create. Dom was responisible for all of these and the many impossible challenges I gave him during production. 

A lot of the charm and style of the film, came from having no movement at all in the characters. When we did need body movement, such as picking up the 'atoms', Dom created replaceable characters for each movement.

Below - a still from the film of the energentic split screen game.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Independent

Interesting article about animation careers in the postgraduate section of the independent by Russ Thorne which I contributed some musings for. You can read it online here.