Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Getting you up to date - Jan & Feb

Lets get you up to date!!!

The past 2 months have been very hectic. For over 2 years I have been producing a lot of prototypes for the Dogs, how I feel they should look and how I can make them easy to animate.

Mid January saw the very first finished model of Norman. It was a big moment in the development of my film after many years of research and trial and error.

His body and head are made from Fimo (a hardening clay that is baked in the oven) giving him a strong body and head that can be held or moved without the fear of squashing them.

The arms, mouth and ears are kept to traditional plastercine that anyone can buy from an art supplier. I use "Fred Aldous" in Manchester.

The little suit was made by a friend of mine. Barbara Botham, who designed and stitched it with her own hands.

My many prototypes were made to try and work out a way of making Norman walk. If I had a big budget I would have taken my designs to a local company called "Mckinnon and Saunders" who made the models for Tim Burton's "Corpse Bride". They would design and build ball and socket joints for him (known as armatures). With limited money I had to try other ways from wire to wood armatures. Eventually I found a way!!! I will post a step by step blog on how I create a full model from start to finish very soon.

End of January saw another model made! With the excitement of Norman being completed and working well I got straight to work on Big Dean. He has been designed in exactly the same way as Norman.

While I was busy creating Norman and Dean I was also organising script read throughs with many different actors. I had 2 different sessions listening to over 8 different actors. It was very important I had a good variation of voices to listen to.

I was happy to announce that a good friend of mine, Thomas Latham, put pen to paper and agreed to voice the character Norman.

With Dean Steers already cast as Big Dean I only needed 4 more characters to cast!!!

February saw the first set being constructed. This house set will be the opening scene in "Factory Dogs" below you can see a few pictures of the house being constructed.

The main structure is just made from thin sheets of MDF





I scored the brickwork using a Dremel, mixed sand into the paint and coloured the cement with a grey Pencil crayon. The slate is individual pieces of card painted in different coloured grey.


My workshop/studio isn't the biggest so I am only able to work on one model/set at a time.

The desk is also made out of MDF and card painted in normal acrylic paint.

Well there you have it! You are now up to speed with January and February. Although I didn't mention the work I have done on the storyboard and music, I hope you can see the amount of work that is going into this film. I am getting more excited every day!!!

From now on I will do weekly blogs which wont be as long as this post

Thank you for your continued support


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Stop-Motion, Animation, Claymation, factory Dogs, Boxed In, Peter Ellis, Scope Animation