Saturday, 27 February 2010


A 12 year old next door apparently hates religious education, likes English and is OK with his maths "as long as there is someone who can teach it". He writes music, makes wonderful books full of Songs, sticks papers together in a peculiar fashion, partially illustrated. Is very able to carry a decent conversation with a near-seventy year old, no swearwords. He plays many instruments, or so i've been informed and is full of opinions about his former school system. I want to hear it, see it. There are poems too. The truth is... in a need, a sudden urge to offload a piece of music coming from nowhere like avalanche into one's mind. I have no right words to talk about it. My English is dead and repetitive, disgrace to someone with a large enough vocab. Want to see the kid for myself.

Sweet. One am. What I was going to say... This year has been all in fractures, almost unable to make one single pie out of it. Less faces, and where is our "team spirit" (utterly Jonny's play on words :)? Attitudes have changed not necessarily for the best. Gosh I miss US. If anyone reads this... we are in a separate togetherness. Naive... (not "Super") but will hope that our year - and the other years - can get together again. We are one big loony farm-family type establishment, lets keep it that way.

P.S. photographed a pretty whirlpool at Gylly the other day

Friday, 12 February 2010

Coffe film

When I work non stop for days I get so ratty no friend can even approach me with a cup of tea. Concentration mixes with unhealthy kind of determination and turns into something dangerous. Wild and crazy (and untamed...). Just on a special once-in a-blue moon occasion. [I remember chemistry classes back at school, no one can do the test. I got flooded with papers flying from all directions right onto my table with messages like "bla-bla-bla, here's the equation, HELP!!!! URGENT!", five at a time. I was so angry but the anger helped to do the work, strangely enough, I'd bark at the class mates "let me finish my own test first, i'm almost there!" and then ( Flash Gordon speed) I would do all the other peoples' work...]

Anger. Right now I'm angry at microsoft. Stupid Bing search engine, god-awful media player, enternet explorer seems undeletable from the machine no matter what i do. Like one big disaster. I'm switching to bloody linux next. had enough.

So yeah... Coffe film. Done pretty much in two days believe it or not. Non stop working, well, ok, a little sleep, back to the lightbox right from the bed and animating. I was properly running out of time.

Its was one thing to set the whole working space up. Really enjoyed making a "nest" in mom's apartment in London. Here's a picture.
The lightbox rests on psychology magazines, toothpicks to the left are used to poke around the frames, the brown stuff is leftover coffee and an uber-big mug of green tea to help me be. Note, Karl Marks saves the bum.
But the really interesting bit is the camera off course, on the next picture I've circled it with a very manly-coloured arrow ->
There you go, Its a web-cam, saletaped onto a lamp. Only cost me something like ten pounds, truly wonderful when you dont have a proper camera all set-up on a tripod. Genius suggested this, so I can't take any credit. He also suggested I use MonkeyJam free stop motion software. The only thing missing in that program is onion-skin, but we could live with that.

So the next stage we proceed with the film-making. ..

Here goes the first step. And a yummy one indeed. You start from a scratch. Not CG, where it's calculated, not even a well-storyboarded traditional medium, here you have a canvas and you make the first step. Like chess. It gave me butterflies in the stomach for a moment.

However characters have existed long before the start (as always). (But as the sketches can't be scanned in at home, will have to show you some other time).

The little fox, also known as Dee or just Black Fox is really like a little innocent picture you see before you go to sleep. (Actually the whole Coffe Film is like that). Some children grew up watching winnie the poo, or the muppets, or the clangers... or what-have-you.... the truth is that you never forget about them. I suspect all my characters in this film came from exactly that dreamy innocent nostalgia.

...And true love for coffee.