Monday, 26 November 2012

Rise of the Guardians Director Peter Ramsey Interview

Recently I was lucky enough to meet and talk to Peter Ramsey, Director of Dreamworks new film Rise of the Guardians. Apart from being absoloutly terrified I was extremly excited to be talking to him. He was the loveliest man and made me feel completly at ease.
I also got a chance to see the lovely Chris Pine and Isla Fisher in the hallways, but unfortunatly no Alec Baldwin. He wasn't in the building or I may have chased him down to bask in his fantastic-ness (thats a word right?)

I hope you enjoy this interview and you should all go out and take the kiddies to see this film.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Hotel Transylvania Review

A great film from a great director.
Heres a review I did for lovely Skwigly

Art of Frankenweenie

I was recently lucky enough to visit the Tim Burton Frankenweenie exhibition. Here is my article for the lovely skwigly:

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Day 4: An animal you find cute

Day 4: An animal you find cute

Of course the only animal this could be was a lovely Red Panda.
Day 3 is missing on here but only because my drawing skills are a little weak and since the subject was to draw my friends I didn't want to offend.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Day 2 : Someone you like

Day 2: Someone you like.
I was going to draw our lovely Queen of England since she has had such a busy year but as soon as I start drawing her corgi's were more fun to draw. So I thought i'd go with these notoriously grumpy pups instead.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Day 1

Day 1 of the drawing challenge: Yourself

Sunday, 14 October 2012

30 days of drawing

Ladies and Gents, Pencils at the ready....and....begin

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Being Press

I have recently been allowed to sneak along to some great animation press screenings with

I have never been to a press screening before but they are ridiculously fun and interesting experience.

As an animator (and only a beginner when it comes to writing) I have to try extremely hard not to geek out completely when you are sat down to watch an animation that isn't coming out in the cinemas for a good few months ..

The only downside of screenings is that you can't share the film with anyone else. The animation community is one that loves to chat about what they see. Not because we enjoy a gossip but I think us animators love the art and movement so much that we need to discuss it to allow ourselves to calm down. (then again this might just be my excitable mind)

It also would be nice to share the free bar at the screenings with someone too :)

Although I have to admit that it is extremely thrilling to be stood in a cinema and have already seen all the films in the 'up coming' posters. I have suffered lately from being overwhelmed by the animation choice in the cinemas.
They are so animation heavy that its almost too hard to chose which to see.
Not that this is a complaint, the more animation out there the better but its all becoming such high quality that its hard to keep up.

These do sound like first world problems that truthfully I'm happy to have as it means that our industry is doing nothing but growing and aging well. Cg is still relatively new but it feels like it has settled into its age and started to understand the nuances of story as well as art and design, Its rare that a truly awful CG film seems to be on our screens. I'm sure you will all be able to testify to my mistake in that sentence but I do feel that there isn't many films these days that don't hold at least one aspect of true inspiration in CG as well as animation.
Whether it be the story, character designs, rendering or animation.
Whether you agree with that statement or not you will have to agree that it's fantastic to have two stop motion films in the cinema as well as a Genndy Tartakovsky creation. We really are being spoilt for choice.

There are really some cracking animations coming to our theaters which I for one will be dragging people to see again, even after the press screening, which surely is a review for the films themselves.

I can't wait for you to see them too and I'll be sure to stick up reviews 'toot-sweet' once I'm allowed to.

In the meantime here is a link to my last review of Madagascar 3.
I hope you enjoy and I have no doubt that you will all have lighter pockets from your cinema trips before 2013.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


This is doodlezilla. I wanted to create a character I can use to practise photoshop as well as use to get me drawing.

Friday, 18 May 2012

20 Reasons It's Hard To Live With An Animator.

1. There's no envelopes/ scraps of paper/ important documents in your house that haven't been doodled on.

2.You are the only adults without kids in line at every children's film.

3.When they talk about keys they don't mean locking up the house.

4.There's more DVD's' in your house than your local 'Blockbusters'

5.Your house has so many toys in it that people assume you have children and If you do have children they aren't allowed to touch the toys.

6. 90% of their wardrobe has cartoons on it.

7. You not only know the director of every Pixar film but also their hobbies and what they look like.

8. The sentence 'Crunch Time' fills you with dread.

9. Not only do they have more books than any other person but each one weighs the same as a small elephant.

10. They don't actually read any of them

11. Polar Express scares them more than 'Friday the 13th'

12. They're amazing at pictonary but carry on drawing even after you've guessed it.

13. You don't really know what 'MoCap' is but if you ever like a cartoon that has it they've threatened to leave you.

14.They can spend 25 minutes looking at one drawing.

15. They know every line from The Simpsons/ Family Guy/South Park/ Star Wars (delete where applicable)

16.Sometimes you talk for 40 minutes before realising they've been quoting a film the whole time.

17.When they talk about Easter eggs they are never referring to the chocolate ones.

18. 5 minutes into a film they know the entire plot.

19. You didn't know a human could drink that much coffee/tea/ red bull

20.They can sit and giggle to themselves for 20 minutes at 'the way that bird walks'

Saturday, 7 April 2012

New Website

I've finally done it!
After 2 years of owning a domain I've finally attached a website.


I've always been indecisive about the look of it so it might change regularly but I am really happy with having a '.com' I feel all fancy and futuristic. next step Hover board!

It will hopefully also encourage me to draw more. I've been taking lots of lessons in photoshop and I'm looking forward to putting my skills to good use. (mainly drawing robots and dinosaurs but its still worth it)



My other news this month is i've started writing for Skwigly's online magazine.
After reading the pap I write on here this may suprise you but I promise to put my best authors foot forward.

heres my first article with the wonderful Chris Dicker

Tree Fu GO!

Wow its been so long since i've written on here,
lots has been happening but one of the most exciting thing is

Its been fantastic to see it come to life over the last year and i'm so proud of the group of people that i've been working with.

The first 13 have been aired on Cbbies and have gone down really well. They are being repeated on bbc 2.
Its extremly geeky but i'm much more excited to have work on the bbc than I would have thought.
I've been lucky enough to have work on the tv before but it must be the Brit in me thats extra excited to be on the bbc.

The down side to the show being aired is that it means my time at Blue Zoo is almost at an end but i've loved every second . I think i've learnt about 3 years worth of experience in one year. no one can complain about that :)

Monday, 30 January 2012

Week 10: Showreel diary

Week 10
Things have had a slow start.
I've blocked things out.
The idea is a man running for his tube train but It has been missing something.

That's when I realised I've got bogged down in the realism. I've filmed reference so much and looked at people in a normal environment that I forgot that I'm animating a cartoon not a motion capture sequence.
So I've gone back to the drawing board and I'm looking at the classics.
I love the way in this clip from Ratatouille Chef Skinner is being led by his head and his arms have so much overlap.They almost trail behind him in this clip. you would never see someone do this in real life but get rid of it in this clip and you lose a whole dimension. LINK
(the posing at 1:13 is fantastic)

Another fantastic animation to look at for a realistic/ cartoony balance is the great 'cloudy with a chance of meatballs' this is one of my favourite animations of recent times. every move is so ridiculous but also in the right place. Love it!LINK
(no clip suggestion..just watch it all!)

Then of course, there's goofy.
enough said:
(4:52 onwards is classic Disney runs)

This drawing by Andrew Tunney
is a favourite of mine because in this still you get such a feeling of music and a pose I would never think of using.

So the motto of the moment is. if in doubt cartoon it out....that doesn't make sense but you get the idea.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Week 13 : Showreel Diary

Week 13

New Showreel Time.
Yes its that time of year.

I've decided that instead of settling and editing together clips from the shows I've been working on , I'd make a whole new reel.
Animating is a 24 hour job and it does come with the unfortunate bonus of not being able to just fill out a CV but that's surely why we do it.

So I've set myself a 13 week challenge. 5 new animations , each with 2.5 of a week to finish.

It sounds like a crazy plan but when we think about how much animation we are producing at work its quite a relaxed schedule.

The plan is:
3 mechanical animations i.e run, walk, jump
1 pantomime i.e a change in emotion without words
2 acting pieces (both dialogue pieces, one single character and one with two characters)

I'm aiming to spend most of the two weeks of each animation just planning.
Planning has definitely become my secret weapon as I have become an animator.
Ref, thumbs and more ref. I say secret but I think that we all know that planning is king.

This all sounds simple and easy in writing but I have already encountered my first stumbling block.
The plan was to animate a baby's first steps. I've wanted to animate this since uni as it has always fascinated me. Unfortunately I assumed that a few rigs would be easy to alter and I was proved miserably wrong so its been put on the back burner and instead I have started my run.

So cross your fingers for me and I'll keep you updated.
Go Go Gadget Showreel!