Wednesday, 1 September 2010

White Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit!

The environment taking over is a core theme in the MiLK HaRE animation that crept in both on and off set!

Crikey, that was hard work! Just finished shooting the stop-motion sequences inside the witches' cabin, and despite careful planning in pre-production, I still encountered many unforeseen problems and challenges that at times had me question my own sanity. Overall, the outcome was good mind you - learnt shed-loads, got through the tight shooting schedule and didn't burn the place to the ground, which is always a bonus!

Tasks ahead for this month are to finish production of 'The Book' sequence (intended for release as a trailer soon!) and to start bringing the rest of the animation together in post-production. What follows are excerpts from the production diary I kept over the two week period at the end of August.

Animation Production Diary [Thursday: Arrival]
Arrived at the location on Thursday afternoon, having collected some final props from generous donors across London and the South-East that morning. The facility I'd arranged as the studio was an old stables, which we first needed to clear of its contents before set up could begin. Four of us worked hard to shift the metal skeleton of a marquee and other stored items before the basic studio furniture (table, shelves and black-out) could be built and erected.

Animation Production Diary [Friday: Set Up]
Slept well and was back early Friday morning at the location to set up. Working alone, I managed to get much of the set assembled including; books, jars, scarf rack, etc. and trawled the surrounding fields and out-houses for suitable found objects, such as some old metal keys, rusty nails, a single toddler's shoe and an antique carriage clock with muffled chime. The assistant animator was also able to find tweezles, ladies mantle and various other herbs of symbolic interest, which she collected in bunches over her lunch hour. We were required to leave promptly Friday afternoon, but with much of the initial set-up complete, we were still on schedule.

Animation Production Diary [Saturday: Set Backs And Mistakes]
The first major error I made during the shoot was to assume some time could be found to assemble props and models whilst in the midst of the production schedule. True, time is available, but often at the expense of sleeping, eating or animating, as I was to discover. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we were late arriving at the location Saturday evening and with props and models still to assemble, I worked late into the night, eventually resolving to finalise any outstanding details the following day. With the production schedule slipping and the cold, hard floor of a nearby outhouse to rest on, I did not sleep well...

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