Showing posts with label daniel greaves. Show all posts
Showing posts with label daniel greaves. Show all posts

Monday, June 15, 2015

'Needlecraft' FGM Awareness Short Film Released (Updated)

During most of my twelve year stint at TANDEM Films (2002-2014) I worked on many television commercials and promo films in the service of all manner of products and services. I often worked on ads for breakfast cereals, fruit-based drinks, travel websites and even once a TV-based dating service, but towards the end of my time there, an altogether different project came in...

Female Genital Mutiliation (FGM) could perhaps be on of the most difficult and complex issues of any that one could ever imagine making a short film about. Ruth Beni of Animage Films had previously made several pioneering short films using animation to bring attention to important social issues and campaigns. Ruth's idea was to make a film that principally could be shown to school-age children to raise the issue of FGM, promote awareness and further discussion as well as provide links to supportive agencies working in the area. One of the main areas of concern was the extent to which the practice of FGM can happen within 'diaspora' communities, even after migrating from the countries where the practice is known to be most prevalent.

Ruth had worked with TANDEM Films before and approached Director Daniel Greaves to help put-together the short film. Dan pulled-together a small team at TANDEM to work on the project, and I was fortunate enough to be called-on to animate,composite and edit the piece.

Ruth and Daniel especially wanted to achieve a 'hand-stitched' aesthetic for the film. So in as much as would be possible they wanted to create the work using 'practical' (hand-made) techniques. A small team of embroiderers and artworkers were called-on to craft most of the artwork. Stop-motion animator Tobias Fouracre came in to animate as much as possible in-camera using traditional techniques. There was also a live-action shoot required too, bringing-in DOP Simon Paul to light and shoot.

Due to the many complexities of making such a film, the production period was fairly extended and there has been quite a few months passed before the film could be released, but I'm pleased to say that 'Needlecraft' has finally been officially published online.

Although it's been almost a year since the TANDEM Studio has closed its doors, I hope at least this work we did there will go on to to have at least some ongoing positive influence in the world at large ...

And now Ruth Beni has posted a short making-of video about the 'Needlecraft' project on her Animage Vimeo page. I think this shows quite nicely the craft and effort that went into this production.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mr. Plastimime, London Screening at RADA.

Last night I was very happy to attend a special London screening of Daniel Greave's new short film Mr. Plastimime. Followers of this blog will know that over the last year or two I've been recording the production work of this film, 'Behind The Scenes' and releasing a series of Making Mr. Plastimime mini-documentaries.

Well Dan's film is finally finished and will be showing-up soon at numerous several international film and animation festivals.

As a big thank you to some of the backers of the film and many of the art-workers and crew involved, Dan and Producer Emma Burch organized a splendid screening event at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts auditorium in Bloomsbury. It was a great evening, with the film screening, a few words from Dan and even some impromptu mime performance too!

I took a few stills, hopefully just enough to capture some fleeting impressions of the momentous event.

An expectant crowd of crew and backers await the screening...
Mr. Plastimime director Daniel Greaves takes to the stage.
Heartfelt 'thank yous' from Dan to all those who helped out.
Animator Steve Edge, Compositor Danielle Baiardini and Daniel Greaves... in the bar.
Lead Animator Steve Edge celebrates.
The star of the show Mr. Plastimime himself on screen at the RADA auditorium.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bratislava Bound

Last Friday I had a somewhat interesting day out! I was invited by Daniel Greaves (TANDEM films) to accompany him on a trip to Slovakia to record the score for his new short film Mr. Plastimime.

The Slovak Radio building in Bratislava

The Bratislava Radio building is an immense up-turned pyramid building of early '80s vintage. It's a daring futuristic design and I really love it. Inside, there are miles of gloomy 'widescreen' corridors with concrete panelling everywhere. The auditorium was especially impressive, with an immense pipe organ taking up the entire wall behind the stage.

Composer Mike MacLennan records the piano parts for his score for Mr. Plastimime

Dan was there to supervise the recording of his film's score as composed by Mike MacLennan (Mcasso music). Mike Connaris (composer and MD of Mcasso who wrote the closing song used in the film) also attended the session. The mighty Bratislava Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Musical Director David Hernando Rico.

The Bratislava Symphony Orchestra in full effect.

My role was to document the occasion and make another Behind The Scenes video; the seventh episode in the Making Mr.Plastimime series of videos I've been making over the last year or so.

The incredible musicians of the BSO at the recording session.

I wanted to travel light (Ryan Air cabin luggage only!) and be able to move around stealthily, so I took a small bag with my Canon 600D DSLR camera, 3 lenses (11-16mm wide zoom, 30mm and 50mm) , Rode Video Mic Pro microphone and a Tascam DR-07 mkII audio recorder. I also took a Manfrotto monopod, with a small pan/tilt head and some additional monopod legs too.

I'm editing the orchestra footage this week and I think this is going to be a good episode and quite a bit longer than the previous ones. I hope I will eventually be able to share this new film at a later date , but in the meantime here I'm sharing a few stills from the session. 

Most of the previous videos I've made in this series are now publicly available online on TANDEM's Vimeo page. Here are the first 6 episodes of the Making Mr. Plastimime series.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Making GREY AREA 'Animation Tests'

Here's the fourth webisode of the Making Grey Area series of short documentaries I've been shooting/editing/directing for TANDEM Films. In this clip we see animator Steve Edge shooting some of the first stop-motion animation tests for Daniel Greaves' new film.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Making GREY AREA 'Mime Artist Shoot'

Here's the third webisode in the Making Grey Area series I'm making for TANDEM films. In this episode mime artist Stuart Luis came into the TANDEM studio; the footage recorded in this session will provide valuable reference material for director Dan Greaves and his animation team.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Making GREY AREA 'Model Making'

Here's the second webisode in the Making Grey Area series I'm making for TANDEM films. In this episode we see animator Steve Edge creating a puppet to be used for stop-frame animation.

I shot this on my Canon 600D camera and edited it on an iMac using Adobe CS6 (Premiere and After Effects). The last shot of the model features a rather pleasing circular camera track; this was shot using a DIY tabletop camera dolly I made last weekend.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Making GREY AREA 'First Sketches'

In my day job at TANDEM films, I've been asked to make some BTS (Behind The Scenes) videos following the production of Grey Area; the next animated short film from Oscar-winning Director Daniel Greaves. We've decided to create some short online episodes giving our web followers some bite-sized glimpses into the production stages as they happen.

I've worked on Dan's films before, but it's been nice to be asked this time to help document and publicise this one as it happens. The Making GREY AREA films will be published to the TANDEM Vimeo site and be shared via the Grey Area Facebook page.

The first of the Making GREY AREA films is called 'First Sketches' and has just been published. It's a little 1 minute film showing Dan Greaves at work sketching some of his early character designs.

I shot this on my Canon 600D camera and edited it on an iMac using Adobe CS6 (Premiere and After Effects). The music is a haunting piece of tango called Gretchen's Tango by Ergo Phizmiz. It goes really well with the mood and subject matter of Dan's film and I can recommend a visit to Ergo's website to discover more of his work.