Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Funding and the state of the Animation Industry.

I know most people probably don't really care about animation (unless it's Pixar's next release) and it's all I bloody bang on about... but for those that do -

Seeing as I've been lucky enough to get some incredible opportunities in the animation industry across this year, I'm setting myself a New Years Resolution.... in October. As long as I'm working (ie - earning) at the time, I'll support every independent Stopmotion, 2D and puppet/traditional animation project I can on things like Kickstarter/Indiegogo etc.
If everyone in the industry did this, it would help keep the old-school styles alive (in these CG-dominated times) and help more of us stay in jobs. Or as I experienced when I backed Morph - a few months later I actually got a job on it. I helped fund my own job!

I'm starting with a stop-mo project by a friend of several friends and owner of Animation Toolkit - Wes Wood's short, that'll help a few Manc-based guys out...

Pooch Proposal

and just because Thunderbirds marionettes and real-life explosions are still motherflippin' awesome...

Gerry Anderson's Firestorm

I've already backed Aardman's Morph and Lee Hardcastle's amazing feature film pitch, which I'm still gutted didn't get funded. I've missed the boat on some amazing projects - but most of them got funded (like Toby "the baby from Labyrinth" Froud's Lessons Learned).

I just thought the world should know, and please please please do your bit if you can! If you complain about the state of the industry but do nothing about it, you can't expect it to improve.

Thanks for listening...... with your eyes.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Apparently I'm one of's 20 Top animators to follow on Twitter....

So this is weird. Turns out I'm one of Creative Bloq's 20 top animators to follow on Twitter... and I didn't even know until one of the other top 20 tweeted me a link to the article.

There's a bunch of animators and directors from Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks and cult indie animators with 10-20 year careers..... and then little old me. It's insane, and I'm just waiting for a painful email from them, telling me that they made a huge mistake and have to take me off the list. - 20 top animators to follow on Twitter

As the only Stop Motion animator on the list I might just be making up the token Stopmo quota, and there's so many other better people to put up there than me.  Please consider checking out....

@PeteLordAardman @SproxtonAardman (Aardman Founders)
@ernyberny (Morph Director, Creative Director of Wallace & Gromit), 
@will_becher (Aardman Director/Animator)
@TimAnimation (Animator on everything, ever)
@JuliaLMcLean (Clangers Animator, shares lots of job posts)

As they pointed out, I try and regularly share stop-mo related jobs and opportunities, but it's at least given me an extra incentive to try and be better and more active, and keep focusing on pushing Stop motion in this CG dominated age.

To quote my delightful sister ........ "calm down you're only number 15"

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Aardman's Morph

A few weeks ago I began a job as a Junior Animator on Aardman's new Kickstarter-funded 15 episode series of the iconic terracota trouble maker - Morph.

I used to love watching Morph as a child - its one of the things that got me into Stopmotion animation (along with Nightmare Before Christmas, Wallace & Gromit and Trap Door). I backed it on Kickstarter when I first saw this, never thinking I'd be one of the (only) three animators working on it - and its such an amazing thing to be involved with. As my first paid job with Aardman it almost doesn't make sense to me.

I'm working incredibly hard and animating like a crazy man. 8 seconds a day is the target - which is tricky with all the constant sculpting and modelmaking. Those little guys don't have armatures, so its pure plasticine, sweat and tears.... literally sometimes.

Its all under closely-guarded wraps, so I can't put up pics, or give away plots - but just prepare to be (hopefully) dazzled.
So excited :)