Animations (2006)

From 2003 to 2006 I studied Film Radio and Television at Canterbury Christ Church University, specialising in radio and animation for the final year. While the radio side of it was extremely interesting and lots of fun, the animation…wasn”t.

Okay, that’s not true; the theory side of it was interesting, as I’ve always found animation in all forms fascinating and the course only strengthened that interest.

Where things got extremely frustrating however was on the practical side of things. I made two short model animations during the course and came away from those experiences with the greatest possible respect for people who do this full time. It is extremely time-consuming and meticulous work, especially for someone who (as all you’ll see from these videos) isn’t overly blessed in the being-able-to-make-things department – not to mention horrendously frustrating when one of your models topples over and ruins a shot you’ve been working on for the last four hours!

This was the second animation I made that year, about a cruel circus performer and the strange little blobs he makes work for him. Originally this was a lot darker, and the script I wrote featured proper dialogue and additional sets, as well as a female stagehand who ultimately helped the blobs escape at the end. As you can see the story was reduced to an absolute minimum – looking at it now I’m not sure it’s even clear what’s going on!

Still, if you’re a fan of constant blinking you might enjoy it.

This was the first animation I made, a brief opening for my end-of-year showreel. Despite having been shown several times how to make an armature to build a figure onto I never managed to get the hang of that, and had to resort to making smaller easier-to-animate characters while using action figures for people (yes, that is Pops from The Muppet Show, and similarly Macey the ringmaster was actually a heavily disguised Captain Kirk figure wearing Lew Zealand’s jacket) and whatever accessories they came with as props. The ‘model kit’ the man is working on is actually the foot of an AT-ST model kit from Star Wars!

The original storyline for this one was meant to be God building Earth out of a model kit, but constantly getting it wrong. Obviously the model kit angle still survives – sort of – but not much else! Again it’s very difficult to work out what’s going on.

Anyway, that’s my short-lived animation career. Pretty exciting, no?