26 April 2010

In My Day

On a completely different topic... here is a film I made this back in 2005, working with the kids at Natimuk primary school. The older kids did the interviewed some of the older people in the town and then the prep/grade one kids illustrated the stories. The interviews were actually done in the same old school building that they had done their schooling in some 70 years prior.
All of the drawings were done by the the kids ... I talked to them a bit about walk cycles, lip sync etc and then they interpreted that just as loosely as they did the interview material.

I was surprised and delighted when this film went on to win "Best Animation" at the Melbourne Film Festival that year and "Best Australian Animation" at the Melbourne Animation Festival the next.

I love the drawings of kids at the age where they've just mastered the use of a pencil. They always seem to produce these very raw, very honest, very original designs. It seems that once they get a little bit older and develop a little bit more control over a pencil, the drawings start to become a lot more derivative. You start to see lots of Bart Simpsons, Spongebobs or whatever else happens to be on telly at the time. But right at the start, when they're just getting the hang of it all, they seem to consistently come out with these amazing drawings. I've made about 5 films in this style across the country and it seems to be the case everywhere. 5 year old kids do great stuff.

I have been meaning to upload for years now... And when I get a chance I'll upload some of the other films in this series.


 Here is a short clip from the film. It's only been roughly composited at the moment... Im hoping to go through and get the whole film done to this level and then come back and do a second pass to clean it all up.  So please try and ignore all the glaring background issues and just be happy that this goat is managing to hoist an actual piano up on his wee tiny thin legs.

If this video embed business isn't working for you ...
Here is the link (http://www.vimeo.com/11223027).

25 April 2010


While Im in blogging mode I thought I might as well put up a few more merino piccies...with a few behind the scenes shots too.

Here are a couple of shots from the piano scene. Yes it is a real piano and yes it was bloody heavy. It has been partially gutted (courtesy of Erik Pootjes) but it still weighs a lot and made me nervous whenever I was lying underneath it. Here's a couple of raw shots with all the green screen stuff still in place.
 That's Erik on the left and Doug Hockly in the extremely fetching leopard skin pants on the right (this scene was film in Doug & Tash's shed).

You can see a rope fixed to the top of it....this runs up over a pulley and then down to a 44 gallon drum chock full of weights to try act as a counter balance. So it was possible for one person to move it up and down without having to actually lift the weight of the piano.

As you can see...terrible, terrible green screens....but luckily for me I'm working with very monotone models....sometimes it has been easier to key out the brown models rather than the background and then invert the matte.

An animator friend of mine (Al MacInnes) on seeing this commented that he thought the whole point of animation was so people didn't actually have to lift real pianos anymore...

I'm going to attempt upload some actual animated footage soon and will post again when I manage to do this.

the Wheeler Centre

I spent the weekend down in Melbourne at the Wheeler Centre
where they were having a conference of sorts on graphic novels. I couldn't tell you specifically what I learned but I heard some interesting ideas, saw some nice work I hadnt seen before, met some great people and above all came away completely inspired and fired up about my "Yallourn:Decommissioned" project.

So here are a few more Decommissioned images to celebrate that.

These are just attempts to work out how stuff might look....so do expect to see any of them exactly like this in the finished work.

At the moment I'm really just trying to get the story structure nailed so I've stopped making pretty pictures for the time being. I suspect my next Decommissioned post will be a bunch of rough sketches and footnotes.

Thank you for a good time Wheeler Centre... and great to see you getting behind graphic-novels/comics/etc as a valid form of literature.