They Both Explode now on Vimeo

A year and many festival screenings after its premier at Animated Exeter, my short film They Both Explode is now available for all to see on Vimeo. To see it in lovely HD, click here

The film was made mostly out of card and found objects and shot using a primitive multiplane system made from a desk, some picture-frames and an old pillow case. I used Dragon software and a second hand Lumix FZ50 camera. It was all done ‘in camera’ so there is no compositing or anything; what you see is what the camera saw, lying on the floor, looking up through panes of glass with lights shining down on it.

Inspiring auteur animators of now

Three animations by three animators who are making great work in the world exactly right now.

1) Kirsten Lepore – Bottle

Bottle is ambitious, funny and moving.┬áKirsten Lepore knows when to be slow which is a costly, time-consuming kind of knowledge when animating in this way, at this scale and outdoors. She uses the medium of stop motion animation in perhaps the strongest way possible. The materials photographed are intrinsic the stories. Without the sand and the snow in Bottle, or the cakes and the veg in her earlier film Sweet Dreams the stories wouldn’t and couldn’t exist. I’m happy they do exist.

2) David O’Reilly – The External World

David O’Reilly shows how stylistically blinkered and bland most of the computer animation in the world is. He’s often puerile, sometimes offensive and frequently hilarious. There is a subtlety and a clarity of vision here too and that’s where his work passes from rendered schoolboy doodle into genius. He happily draws attention to the fact that this is computer animation while the rest of us are desperately trying to stop things from looking ‘computery’. Computer animators can sometimes be drawn into thinking that authenticity is a matter of successfully faking other mediums. Not O’Reilly. At times he’s like Chuck Jones showing the pencil of the animator in Duck Amuck or Brecht flooding the theatre stage and the audience with light.

3) Mikey Please -The Eagleman Stag

Mikey Please likes things to be white. Not black and white, just white. The Eagleman Stag has great humour seeping through the lead character’s despair. The choices that have been made with the materials and colours (or lack of) cement his world together and highlight his attitude to that world. Look out for the tactile drawing – a beautiful visual idea sprung from the self-imposed restrictions set by the film maker.

Sharks Took The Rest animation

Never Alone by Shira Sela

I did some animation for the Sharks Took The Rest record launch tomorrow night (Friday 11th Nov) in Newcastle. It’s based on this illustration by Shira Sela. I’ll be taking an evening off from Bradford Animation Festival to go to the gig which sounds like it will be amazing. If you want to see said animation, you should go too.