Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Recently I went to see the Wildlife photographer of the Year awards in the National History Museum. As I’ve started doing while at any form of exhibition, I took snapshots of the pictures I felt most drawn to, and tried to figure out what it was about the subject matter that interested me the most. I’ve attached the two photos below.

Both photographs focus on the natural world and the manmade world colliding. An earbud is not intended to be in the sea, while in the bird photo nature is reclaiming a manmade space. I think what it is I find interesting is things out of their presumed or preconceived context. I think this is a notion I would like to explore further in my graduate film, placing something every day in a completely different environment and seeing where that leads, or equally placing something ridiculous in an everyday environment and see how that plays out.

I know the notions and ideas I’m talking about are extremely simplistic and the basis for a lot of stories and narratives, but for the past few months I’ve been really trying to find the bare bones of what it is I’m naturally interested in, and therefore what kind of film I would enjoy making for the final months. Naturally from my BA practice I have very set ideals of what kind of issues I enjoy addressing, but I feel the graduate film gives scope to be extremely self-indulgent and pander to all those little purely aesthetic things I want to try play with, and incorporate into my animations. While a lot of the time I struggle to analyse my own work (at least without an obvious sense of bias), I find I come more quickly to conclusions about what it is I want to make by examining what others have made first.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year runs until May 28th 2018, more details here.

Bead Shopping

Today before we had our meeting at ENO, our team went bead shopping. We spent a fun few hours deliberating over the beads, in terms of their colour scheme as whole and also for their potential visually on the scanner for the box interior shots we plan to do! 

We also wandered up to Berwick street, where I have spent a lot of my time previously sourcing fabrics for Textiles, and is one of my favourite streets in London. We got a large cut of some durable, good quality black felt for the backdrop so hopefully we can start embellishing that soon! 

Time

For next year I have 100% learnt how important time management is. I feel like with this project I let myself take my time with the paper side of things, and then was rushed to try and get all the frame by frame work done in time. I had a loose schedule planned out from the start, but once I went over on my paper schedule that all went a bit out the window. I think also deciding that my characters jumper and hair had to be coloured in individually frame by frame with the pencil tool did not help, but I am pretty happy with the movement and texture his tiny body manages to hold!

All in all I feel like this whole experience has made me entirely more aware of how much pre-planning I need to do for next year. Knowing my physical limitations in terms of space and equipment available before building/cutting would be a huge one! Also have each shot figured out to the very nitty gritty and having a daily schedule rather than a loose weekly one I had would be extremely beneficial, especially for next years longer film project. But overall I am surprised at how much I have enjoyed the process; regardless of the sometimes unavoidable stressing in general I’ve had a blast this whole year. I am really excited to keep up with some personal doodles and projects over the summer which I shall post up here as I go! But for a bit I think we all need a definite break and maybe some wine.

Wildlife Drawing

I was lucky enough to attend an owl drawing class on Monday night. It was a well needed mental-rest from constantly thinking about the film and current workload! The class was part of Wildlife Drawing  and it was my second time attending one of Jennie’s classes.

Drawing animals so up close and personal is always super fun but also a lot more difficult then drawing a life model who is posing. I definitely found my ability to get down little sketches of the owl’s poses quickly has improved since the class I attended back in September (which was on ‘exotic mammals’ and featured a coati, skunks and a ground squirrel). I think the quick nature of our life drawing classes have made me feel a lot more confident in quickly making marks and coming back to build on the images. I am definitely going back to as many of Jennie’s classes as possible, I had a blast.

Chester was my favourite owl to draw, he was still a baby so basically just a big ball of fluff. It was fun trying to mimic that texture with a pencil.

Paper Problems

I feel like I’ve been having a steep learning curve on what not to do while making a short film. Which I guess is a good thing as next year hopefully I won’t fall into the same pitfalls!

My initial plan was to cut and build everything I needed out of paper and then to shoot everything  all together. My first mistake was not setting up the space with Steve before I had completed everything. I got lucky with most of my paper cuts being smaller, but I had spent quite a while on the ‘shared house’ scene’s paper cut, only to find it was waaaay too big to shoot on top of the lightbox. Shooting it anywhere else wasn’t really an option as I wanted to keep the backgrounds of the film as similarly lit as possible, so I had to re-cut the house in a much smaller scale.

 

the original paper cut with wacom pen for size, and the off cuts showing the size difference between it and the end used cut 

I spent double the time I wanted to on this cut, so I am now feeling a bit behind. But definitely following a steep learning curve on what works and doesn’t work!

Shooting

Trying to get all my paper work asap so I can move on to the tvpaint character! At this rate I am hoping to get all my paper cuts filmed and finished for the rough cut crit so I have something solid to show the Children’s Society.

For different shots I’ve had to play with the lighting, some cuts have larger amounts of negative space, so allow more light from the lightbox to get through;  I have to constantly tweak and take notes on keeping the shots as similarly lit & toned as possible.

My space which Steve very nicely set up for me! I’ve been really enjoying working with paper and in stop motion again, it’s very immediate and rewarding as opposed to the labour intensive frame by frame drawing. I still am a bit in love with both though!

My cityscape paper cut, which was just larger than an A4 page and below the remnants of it after shooting.

Lots more to do!