Sunday, 10 February 2013

Episode I



So the new year brings a new show reel, finally. I hadn't edited my old one (or indeed add anything new) for nigh on three years ago, creating a minor existential funk that needed to be amended. I have slotted in more animation from projects I have been involved with and also with snippets of my own work (including new creations George the Knight and Alan the Stegosaurus). I think it's generally healthy to remake the show reel every twelve months perhaps, depending on if there is actually things to add of course. Mainly because it's good practice; editing at least. 







When I get the chance, I continue to work on the Mortal Kombat animation alongside co creator Steven Cummings and brother Harold, who has been working on the authentic techno music. This has been an incredibly lengthy process, but each stage presents us with an optimistic sample of what will finally be assembled in the near future.



video



The video above is only a simple test animation using the frames I have cut and edited, a background 'level' I have created on Photoshop and a track written by my brother. If you can picture the second fighter, sound effects, health bars, a timer (not to mention the special moves and bloodied bodies) then you can only imagine how much more needs to be done. 


I have begun construction on the character for 55BPM's music video when the transient happens. This character has now adopted the (supposedly) temporary nickname of Pablo. Now, upon working with a character through the development stages, the designs and a story, an animator can grow rather fond of his creation and thus the name of Pablo has stuck.


Some key shots I would like to include in the music video.

Final shot from the station (the beautiful destination)
where Pablo alights from the train.

At the moment the armature is a very basic wire structure, because at the end of the day this version of Pablo is more of an aesthetic puppet and not designed to be animated fully. The puppet is still poseable and could be used for simple gestures such as lifting the train ticket to look at it. Basically I had planned on making two versions from the start; one to take on location (i.e. on board the train) and one to animate with in front of the green screen. The puppet on location will be used for 'static Pablo', where the impact is from the mise-en-scène of the shot and not necessarily from the movement of a character. 


I have decided not to reveal too much, as Charlotte will be adding some production photographs to her Facebook page showing the progress of this music video. We have managed to gain permission from Chiltern Railways allowing us to film at Moor Street Station, which gives a nice setting for Pablo to begin his adventure.

Our contact from Chiltern Railways also mentioned a press release that she could organise for this production. But in the meantime I need to get filming. So this weekend if you see a lone Grainger at Moor Street Station with a tripod and bobble hat, then this is the beginning of When the Transient Happensmusic video. I have spoken to Jordan Wood, who created this wonderful piece Geoff Goes To Hospital which is a similar style to what I'm hoping to achieve. So hopefully I shall get some great advice.




Never let any Super Sculpey go to waste... 

Since working at Yamination Studios and helping with the beautifully quirky world Drew has created, I have thought that set construction and prop making is something I would really want to specialise in. Now, this will never shelve the other skills that I have learned throughout my University years, but perhaps allow me to concentrate more on one area of this diverse industry. But the real reason is that I like to feel like a giant when I make a table the size of a box of chocolates, that's no lie. 

I was even lucky enough to 'hand-act' for the Sky Arts channel during a prop making moment. A film crew had come in that day to interview Drew, Chris Gough and Tim Allen (what a trio hey?) and also wanted to capture the essence of the stop motion studio. Sarah Crombie, Michael Price, Laura Morgan and myself managed to get a bit of face time: which obviously makes us stars now. 

So yes, props! Here is a collection (some with no 'home' just yet) for your perusal. 


























With the release of ParaNorman on Bluray and DVD, there must be a fine collection of behind the scenes footage from this marvellous production. Unfortunately, not on the standard DVD purchase (much to my disappointment). I did, however, manage to find a few behind the scenes clips from Laika. The one above I particularly enjoyed because it sums up all stop motion animators/artists as misfits who see the world in a different way, and enrich the lives of those around them because of it. Which I think is just beautiful (excuse me, *cough* just having a sentimental moment).

Another video I have literally just seen was an Academy Award nominated Animated Short Film (phew, we'll get there) called Head over Heels directed by Timothy Reckart. I shan't waffle on. So just watch it.