The Clip Club

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

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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…

 

Very short animation to try out

Make a clay face

I came across this and thought it was fun… how did the animator make it?

Here’s an animation exercise you could try at home if you have an iPad. Animate your own monster in 4 moves. There are some free animation apps you can download like iMotion…. and all you need then is some plasticine or model making clay.

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:

 

 

BBC Radio 5live ‘Well Done U’ competition

The BBC Radio 5 Live film reviewers (Kermode and Mayo) ran a competition called ‘Well Done U’ which invited the listener to make a 2 minute ‘U’ rated film (hence the name). The shortlist of these films may be obtained here. My favourite was ‘Crisis Management’ (see below).

Crisis Management

But which was your favourite? Complete the poll below and we’ll see which one most people like!

 

NYFF Tagul Graphics!

Look at all the great posts you made!

 

Tagul Graphic for YOUR posts!

Tagul Graphic for YOUR posts!

We’re all of to Vue in Leicester Square!

The NYFF Website

Well, it looks like we’re all off to Vue Cinema in Leicester Square tomorrow to see our film in lights! We are shortlisted in the ‘Short Film Award’, and came in the top 3 out of 500 people who entered for the award!

Who will win…

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