Norfolk Holiday Plus Work

It’s not much over I week since I returned from my hols and it has already been cold enough to light a fire.

Emma Calder in Norfolk

Emma with her best paintbrush, photo by Oliver Cripps

Emma Calder in Norfolk

One of Emma’s sky backgrounds, photo by Oliver Cripps

My Boudica film is going very well, although I have still quite a bit of animation to do.

I used the holiday in Boudica country to work on the backgrounds, even doing water colours whilst sailing on a boat on the Norfolk broads!

Emma Calder in Norfolk

Emma painting in a rocky boat, photo by Oliver Cripps

I also spent time recording sound effects, getting up some days at 5 am to avoid tractors and Collar doves. The sound track is going to be made entirely of ambient and natural sounds because of the setting in the museum and the way the film will be viewed. So it’s quite a challenge to make an interesting track that helps the story along but, I like challenges and working with sound.

Emma Calder in Norfolk

Is that a tractor? photo by Julian Cripps

Although I did do quite a bit of work whilst away it was great to get away for a week. I think I will need another holiday when this job is done, fat chance though.

Boudica Animation Begins

After finishing the animatic I decided to set up the green screen for my Boudica film. This was ably done by my Director of photography Hugh Gordon and partner Julian Cripps.

Julian Cripps and Hugh Gordon

Julian Cripps and Hugh Gordon set up the Boudica Green Screen

Unfortunately I lost one of my Boudica heads the first morning of the build, so that was distracting. After about fours hours of searching Julian found it.

Lost Boudica

Lost Boudica on bike saddle

I must have put it there whilst trying to unlock my other studio. Oh dear!!

The Green Screen was a success and I have now animated two scenes, the second with the aid of Dragon Frame which is a great bit of software for stop motion and video assist. Really useful to me as I have the camera up so high.

Here a still from Scene 3 of Boudica A Norfolk Story.

Scene 3

Scene 3 Boudica A Norfolk Story

Boudica News

I have just completed the storyboard and animatic for my Boudica Film for the Norwich Castle Museum. This took roughly a month to produce, for what will be a four and a half minute film. Last week was fun as I had my two favourite helpers working for me. Julian Cripps architectural designer who always helps me with background design and my daughter Coco Cripps who was officially on work placement at Pearly Oyster.

Julian Cripps

Julian Cripps working on Boudica Storyboard

Now I am moving on to the next stage of the film, which is to design and make the characters and design all the backgrounds. As some of the characters are made from very old things dug up. I have had a good excuse to go mudlarking on the Thames regularly.

Here is a photo a  goose with a fantastic backdrop.

Goose by Thames

Goose at Vauxhall beach

What is interesting is what I am learning about some of the my mudlarking finds. After looking at iron age pottery in Norwich Castle Museum. I now realise that I had already found my own bit of iron age pottery by the Thames. I had thought it was a bit of petrified wood but, now I am quite sure it’s the same sort of material.

A picture of my finds, where’s Boudica?

Mudlarking Finds

Emma Calder’s Desk with Mudlarking bits

Norwich Castle Museum

Norwich Castle Museum have just commissioned me to make a short animated film for their Boudica Gallery. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love old things, so I am really pleased to be doing this. As I work on the Boudica film I will be posting bits and pieces about the process.

One of my design roughs for Boudica that helped me win the pitch.

Boudica Rough


Here is a picture that I took of Norwich Castle on my last visit. Norwich is a very interesting place and the museum is great, reinforcing my life time ambition to live in a museum.

Norwich Castle

Norwich Castle looking grand first thing in the morning

Now back to the storyboarding!

Random Person Hits Hong Kong

London Animation Club run by Martin Pickles, was invited to send a selection of his favorite recent films screened at the club, to Hong Kong 13 Contemporary Art Fair. Now they are using a still from Random Person in Quantum Cloud for all their publicity. Random Person is supposed to be a little viral so she should be pleased!!

Random Person in Quantum cloud. Hong Kong Contempary Fair Poster

Random Person in Quantum cloud. Hong Kong Contempary Fair Poster

So if you are in Hong Kong 13th-27th May check out the work. Or if you haven’t seen Quantum Cloud watch here.

Random Coat Hangers

I was walking through Spitalfields Market, London, last Thursday (trying hard not to look at all the lovely old junk and treasures from the past) on my way to do some research for a job. When my mind was diverted back to Random Person and I spotted some very surreal Boudoir Doll Coat Hangers. I would have bought them to go in an episode but, to be honest they were a bit beyond my current budget.

Meanwhile I am half way though the next Episode of Random Person. I will post some stills soon.

Boudoir Doll Hanger

Boudoir Doll Hanger

IMG_4932sm IMG_4935sm

Exquisite Corpses

Exquisite Corpses by London Animation Club.

My daughter Coco Cripps, now 17 has just written and made the music, for London Animation Club’s group project, Exquisite Corpses. She wrote it in about 4 hours. I think it works really well and is in the spirit of the rest of the project, which was supposed to be a bit of fun.

Martin Pickles who runs London Animation Club, invited me to show my work recently, he also asked me to set the club goers a project. This was in response to regulars wanting to make a group film. Martin had already in mind a sort of consequence type idea, so I just set something based on an animation project I used to run at Farnham with Roger Noakes. 

Martin also asked me to animated the title sequence. This was quite fun as I hadn’t done any drawn animation for a while but, I did end up doing about half of it in Photoshop and After Effects.

For all you animation tutors out there, here is the project. Thanks to the Surrealists and Roger Noakes.

1. All sit in a circle. Then think of a famous historical human or animal. Write it’s name down in secret and pop it into the hat.

2. Each draw out a name from the hat, (if you pick out what you put in, put it back and take another.)

3. Give your name and email to the person on your right.

4. Go home and research your character, think of an animation idea that is a clever and fun way of representing the character. To keep the project quick and doable I am restricting your palate to black, white and red.

5. Keep you idea very simple as you are only allowed to use 100 frames that’s 50 drawings if working on doubles, 4 seconds of animation per person.

6. Send your 1st frame by email to the person on your left. If you fail to do so by the deadline you will be out of the loop.

7. The transition between your character and the next is going to take up quite a few frames and must be incorporated as an animated transition not a cut or dissolve and must be included within your 100 frames.

8. The transition is almost the most important part of your animation, so don’t fix your idea in stone until you have received the drawing from the person on your right. Incorporate your idea into the next scene, work out how your artwork will animate into the next person artwork, how dramatic of funny can you make this? You can abstract things if you want, but try and make it possible for people to try and guess who is who, when the film is running. No text or Captions allowed!

9. Do your animation, think concept, movement, timing and design and email, when you have finished.

London Animation Club. Runs first Tuesday of every month but not this May. Check out Facebook for info.

Welcome to the new Pearly Oyster web-site

Perhaps I can get back to Random Person now. I had just started the next episode, when I decided to re-design the web-site. It’s taken 3 weeks and still needs more work. Please leave comments on how it could be better. I am also going to add a better shop but I see that as another 3 weeks or so.


Dribbly Birds

Now I just feel like chucking paint around.