The Clip Club

Primary after-school club in East London, UK – we watch, talk about, shoot and edit short films and clips

Archive for the category “Animation”

Session 10 – artist’s visit, screening & demo

This was our last session and we were lucky enough to have a visit from Rebecca Foster – a local artist and animator. We watched some of her work which included some chalk drawing animations – one was a music video and another one  – the Wallflower – featured on the TV programme Smart:

Rebecca explained some of the techniques she uses. She showed us one where she scratched designs on a roll of exposed acetate film to create this:

We then showed a few of our own animations edited in iMovie to few teachers, including our Head Teacher, they were impressed with what the children had learned and how they had been working together. The animations can be seen here.

After the screening we set up some editing and animation stations to demonstrate to the audience, including Rebecca, how we had been working over the past few weeks. This resulted in an updated version of an animation from last week:

Photos of the session:

… here’s what the demo produced in about 30 mins with Rebecca’s and other teachers’ help! Ms. Galeri, the Nursery teacher, would like the Year 6 demonstrators to go and show the nursery children the caterpillar movie.

Well done everyone, we’re all very proud of your achievements!

Mash-up animations created in Session 9

Here are some animated mash-ups – on the theme of Lucy dreaming – from lots of different digital sources over the past few weeks:

And here’s a short surreal game show, involving a microwave, created in the last moments of Session 9:

Session 9:inspiration, making & editing

We carried on from last week, opening up with some inspiring animations on Youtube – from PES (see Session 6 for links) and looking at our efforts from last week. We also watched a fairly average clay music video:

And one showing lots of techniques that everyone could now have ago at:

Here’s another tutorial I’m throwing in now, which might have been useful at the start when we had a look at flip books. It shows you an easy way of making your own flip book – showing the principles of animation – using a post it note pad :

Here’a an example mash-up of what we’ve creatd so far:

Session 8: Sledgehammer & Shine music videos

It’s funny but Mr. P and I both had the same idea to show everyone Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer video from 1986… one of the first to use animation (stop motion and pixilation) in a music video. It won lots of awards at the time. Apparently, Peter Gabriel lay under a sheet of glass for 16 hours while filming the video one frame at a time. Also, it turns out that Aardman Animation were involved in the parts that used plasticine and Nick Park did the bit with the dancing raw chickens! We also noticed how there was a mixture of live action and digital animation. Parts of the video reminded us of things we’ve seen over the past few weeks: the train going round his head was like the plane passing through the man’s head in the flip books we played with.

The other video below – Shine by The Dirty Heads – was suggestd by Mr P. as it includes quite a lot of stop motion clay animation and human forms/heads mouthing the lyrics to the song. All this is great inspiration for our final films, where we are trying to superimpose sounds, our photos, images and animated movies onto each other using a mixture of green screen and the cutaway functions in iMovie, as well as live action ‘sleeping’… to create the impression of a dream. See another animation towards the bottom of this page with balls of clay, that was made last week in Session 7 using I Can Animate, which will also be incorporated into the final pieces.

After watching these music videos and discussing the effects, 2 groups started playing around with all our documented digital stuff from the last few weeks – using the editing/recording/mixing/superimposing/audio functions in iMovie. Things are shaping up to produce a couple of animations that represent all the processes and activities we’ve experienced throughout Arts Award in Clip Club, in the form of mashed up moving image dream. The final movie below is one of the early edits from Session 8.


Session 6: Creative animation + filming

In this session we watched some ‘How to’ videos to get some inspiration for our animations. We found some really good demonstrations on: how to make and animate a face and also how to animate water …. with transparent hair gel! There are lots of interesting well made Howcast videos here with short tutorials on how to make and animate a face etc. See the water one below…

and the face one:

This is what we tried making after watching the tutorials:

face2   face1

It’s interesting to see how some of the films we’ve been watching over the weeks have influenced our story choices. We saw the idea of being swallowed up by a screen in ‘Animatou’. It’s also great to see the old video game characters (like Pacman) back in action.

Some of us started making these clips to explain our activities:

Just for fun here are a few more great animations that relate to some of the above ideas:

A pacman one:

More animated water:

And a fun spaghetti one from famous animator PES:


Session 5: Foley artistry

This week we had a special visitor – Ruth Sullivan – who is a Foley artist. Foley artists are the unseen (but very much heard) heroes of post-production sound effects. All those noises that are lost for whatever reason during filming are re-created in the studio, recorded and edited back into the film. They use all sorts of seemingly bizarre things to make sounds, for example, a bag of cornflour to make the sound of footsteps on snow, celery for the sound of bones breaking, cabbage leaves for something stretching, chick peas in a box or fingers tapping for rain, newspaper in a bowl of water for squidgy sounds and flapping leather gloves for a bird flying away. Fascinating stuff!

Here’s a glimpse of what we managed to record which we hope to use in our film. Now we know what to do, sometimes we’ll be able to use our own sound effects, instead of downloading from the internet or a database.


Later in the session some went off to do some great animating for our dream sequence – involving a transforming caterpillar – and others started trying to document the whole process over the past few weeks. This was less successful as we had a bit of a technology fail… but Michelle will get on top of this next time and make sure this group get some film production done too!


Session 4: Animatou & dream ideas

We started the session by watching ‘Animatou’ (2007, Switzerland) by Claude Luyet. A 6 minute cat-and-mouse style film that demonstrates five different styles of animation from hand-drawn to stop motion with clay and the computer generated. It has won many awards. Some of the ideas from this short were taken up in Run School Run 2.

Michelle showed how she’d brought together the ‘Tinkle-hell’ video from last week (see end of previous post) with some random green screen footage from the previous week. This could provide a structure for the film – in the foreground a pupil asleep on a desk (idea taken from the flip book in first session) and in the background (occupying the green screen backdrop) would be her animated dream …

We then set to work thinking about ideas for what the dream might be. Four groups came up with various things involving bizarre shoes that sprouted arms, killer vegetables and toilet humour! We were quite good at hearing each other’s ideas and many of them might make the final cut. The beauty is that dreams don’t necessarily need to make sense, in a ‘normal’ narrative sense: they can be non-linear which suits our timescale and the surreal theme.

We chose our ‘sleeping pupil’ by drawing names out of a hat (well done ‘Tomato2’!) and got on with the first couple of shots. We voted for what would make some good opening shots and decided on a high angle (as close to a birds-eye-view shot as we could manage standing on the desks) of the sleeper hunched over a desk. This was followed by a mid-shot from the front which tilted upwards slowly to reveal the green screen – and hence – eventually the animated dream sequence …

Here’s one of our opening birds eye view shots:

Others in the group improvised some more animations, developing some great effects – involving a blinking old man and a strange disappearing hand, a caterpillar, and a man being swallowed down the loo.




Clip Club animation research BFI

The Clip Club went to the Mediatheque at The British Film Institute on 25 January 2016 and watched some animations from the 1950’s to the present day to get some inspiration for our own film. The Mediatheque is an archive of thousands of British TV programmes, films and documentaries. Anyone can go and watch them for free.

We watched a documentary about Nick Park and Aardman Animation (South Bank Show). Nick Park made the Wallace and Grommit films and Shaun the Sheep – he has won 4 Oscars. We learned about his childhood influences, such as comic books and aspects of his local area.

We also watched these unusual animations, looking at some of the techniques used:

Mary’s Birthday (1951) (10 mins) by Lotte Reiniger – one of the first animators. The film’s about some flies and germs who want to ruin a child’s birthday party. It uses cut out drawings and silhouettes.

The Amazing Adventures of Morph (1980) (5 mins) by Tony Hart – Morph’s Birthday party using clay and stop motion.

The Sandman (1991) 10 mins by Paul Berry – scary stop motion animation using puppets. It took 3 years to make and was nominated for an Oscar in 1992. More information on this film can be found here – film synopsis and info about the Director.

Members of the club also interviewed Mark Reid – Head of Education at the BFI about the importance of animation as a film form – see above. Thanks Mark!

The after school session (number 3) went ahead as normal. We talked a bit about what had inspired us over the morning, and some of the more surreal and  nightmarish aspects of the films we saw. We also got to grips with the Artsbox app and website. This is the platform where we will document our activities and provide evidence of what we are learning. We got the logins etc. sorted out and started making pages using photos stored in the Google Drive.

There was also time for a quick film 10 minute film shoot where the brief was to make a film in 4 shots. It involved a tinsel monster and 4 unsuspecting readers in a library…


Arts Award and Clip Club

Hello Clip Club followers! It’s January 2016 and we’ve started a new club with new people! The group will be working towards gaining their Arts Award certificate. The Club has been asked by an organisation called Into Film to run a ‘pilot project’ to see how children and young people can get the Award through film-making and animation. We’ve had two sessions so far and we’ve watched some shorts on Youtube, talked about camera shots, angles and distances, looked at some flip books and also had a go at animating with clay.

In our first session, in order to introduce some film language, we watched the Korean animation ‘Birthday Boy’, by Sejong Park. See below:

We talked about what the film meant, but also about the film shots and sounds that comprised the film.

To get the Award each participant has to commit to a number of hours in which they learn and interact with film, art, cultural organisations, make their own film and document the process. From the ‘stories’ in the flip books, we have thought about using the theme of ‘the surreal’, which includes dreams and odd combinations of ideas that create new art forms, all of which will help us to make our own imaginative stop motion animations.

Lucia tried out the free iMotion app and made her own animations at home. We also watched this blue man animation on Youtube and talked about the sounds and how the character addresses the audience with his eyes:



The Iron Giant

I think this is a lovely large scale animation – using people and big props, lying on the floor – created by Year 4 children at Sunnyhill Primary School in Streatham, South London. It’s a retelling of The Iron Man made as part of London Connected Learning Centre’s Cultural Campus 2014. Those of you who have done some animation and editing before will know how much work this was! The children were supported by artist/animator Reza Ben Gajra:

The Iron Man by Sunnyhill Primary School – Cultural Campus from LondonCLC on Vimeo.

Shooting The Meet scene, editing, experimenting on the bridge

Two weeks in May:

We watch a 5 minute animation called Animatou by a Swiss animator called Claude Luyet. He was asked to make a film showing many different animation techniques and he chose to do that using the classic ‘cat and mouse’ routine. The reason I choose to show it now is because it could give us inspiration about how to end the film…?

'Animatou' short by Claude Luyet

‘Animatou’ short by Claude Luyet Source:

Cara is editing with me, and Mr. P accompanies the film crew around film locations going through the shot list. This works well – I make a point of not getting involved and they organise themselves with varying levels of co-ordination. I remind Cara about editing techniques in iMovie and we cut a great sequence. Cara is very good at watching clips, choosing appropriate ones and discarding the rest. She puts the clips in the order she wants and then chops them up into another order and shorter lengths to create tension.

Gman takes a rest from taking photos [particularly like the ones from behind the window of Clara fainting, shown below] and joins the editing team the following week, and over 2 sessions we get to the bit where Clara and Wizard23 are running away from the Clone, down the corridor, passing on either side of the camera – at which point the camera man was lying on the floor propping up the iPad – good choice!. The low angle here makes the audience feel the panic in the actors’ feet as well as on their faces.

Nimbus decides that a good place for the split screen Clone/Real Clara shot might be the bridge. We’re not sure yet if we’re going to use this as we would need to get the actors outside somehow, from the inside corridor shot. Wizard23 starts a great drawing of the insides of a computer. This is because the group had seen the short animation described above and might use some of its ideas with a green screen effect. Meanwhile Clara takes advantage of the smaller group today to film some “Making of” shots.

We watch the shots filmed so far and the cut as it stands at the moment.

Blue Chopper & experimenting with EE

It’s been a while since we met and so to get back into the swing of things we have a look at another clip similar in style to the Big Match. Set in 1975, it’s called Blue Chopper about a boy and his new bike:

We talk a bit about families and how they might respond in a similar situation. We also talk about the possibility of: involving the rest of the class in an EE (Explain Everything) project as well as doing a Run School Run 2 later in the year/term.

The rest of the time the clubbers spend doing more work experimenting with their EE projects. It seems that we come across the same problems with EE and maybe it’s not the easiest software to be creative with …. you need to have your slides all finished and perfect before you start talking/narrating over the top of them and it’s difficult to go back and edit images, photos and text if you make a mistake. Perhaps it’s better to use EE for EXPLAINING things or showing knowledge about things or processes that you’ve laid out beforehand, like Powerpoint. Or – you just have to be really organised and totally STORYBOARD every slide and know what’s going to happen on each one before recording.

You would need to have a fixed background and various characters or objects sitting on the top that you can animate or move around with your fingers as the story develops. This takes lots of planning, which is not a bad thing.

Here’s Dual2 playing with the EE App.

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