Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A Voyage Through Animation

An Eyeful of Sound will be screening as part of the Whirlygig Cinema event, A Voyage Through Animation, on Sunday 16th September, 7.30pm. It sounds like a beautiful and interesting event, I love hearing live scores to old films (although Eyeful will have it's original score thanks very much!). Our film will screen as part of the animated shorts programmed alongside the classic stuff, I feel very honoured to be programmed alongside Lotte Reiniger (go Barnet animators!) and Jan Svankmejer.

"A Voyage Through Animation celebrates historical and contemporary innovation in animation, matching films by recent artists with seminal work from the last 90 years including Man Ray’s Dadaist experiments, Lotte Reiniger’s silhouette animation, Russian collage by Ivan Ivanov and master of stop-frame Jan Svankmajer. All films receive a live score by live cinema pioneers The Cabinet of Living Cinema, who will outline the innovations in animation that have shaped the artform.

The evening will also incorporate live animation by audiovisual artist Noriko Okaku and a selection of animated short films programmed by Whirlygig Cinema to showcase emerging talent in the genre.
This event is part of the Scala Beyond season."

It will be at the Yard Theatre, Queen’s Yard, Hackney Wick, London, E9 5EN
Tickets £9 or £7 for Whirlygig Cinema badge-holders

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

An Eyeful of Sound is now online

An Eyeful of Sound is now available to watch or download free online at Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/11649675
It's more or less finished its festival run and a couple of people have been asking for access to it so I thought it was probably overdue to screen online.

The main reason for not having your whole film online is that some film festivals can be a bit fussy about screening work that can already be seen on YouTube etc. However I think that, as the digital realm becomes so ubiquitous that it becomes completely invisible, this stipulation might disappear. I hope so, because in my mind the two formats (watching a film in a cinema as opposed to watching something on a computer or phone) are such different experiences that they don't really step on each others' toes.

Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012


Yesterday Terri Matthews and I went out drawing Dexter Cattle at Bing's Heath in Shropshire. Apparently they're the closest modern breed to the pre-historic ones we have in our new film Shadow Stories commissioned by the new Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery. Dexters are very small compared to modern cattle with little legs and quite a shaggy coat. We had a lovely time hanging over the gate and drawing them in charcoal, ink and Tippex until rain forced us all into shelter (them to the trees, us to a coffee shop).

Monday, 30 July 2012

doubled up at Göteborg Festival

doubled up has been programmed by Isis Arts will be screening at the 'Rights to a Future' programme at the Göteborg Culture Festival, Sweden in the Big M inflatable tent, see pic below.

Rights to a Future, Nordic : UK Contemporary Video Art Programme
The Big M

Göteborg Culture Festival, Sweden. Tuesday 14 - Saturday 18 August 2012

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Wolverhampton Animation PGR event

I have been part of an animation post graduate research group, which began as a Google group and started meeting up in real life at the start of this year. It was initiated by Paul Ward and the first event was held at The Arts University College at Bournemouth, where he teaches. The day itself is a very helpful environment for animation PhD students to discuss and present their work in a friendly and supportive atmosphere, and to gain confidence to give papers at conferences in the future. The most recent event was at King's College London and it was really well organised and attended. I have volunteered the School of Art at Wolverhampton as the next venue for the animation PGR group to meet, on November 1st.

Any animation PhD students who are interested in attending or presenting should contact me, and if you are interested in the idea of doing a PhD in animation then you're really welcome to come and join us to discuss/watch/network (it's a free event). The day will coincide with the start of the Flip animation festival which is launching that evening, so it should be a day full of interesting animation to watch and discuss! 

Here's the callout for papers, please feel free to pass it along:

Call for Papers: Animation PGR day University of Wolverhampton Thursday 1st November 2012

The School of Art & Design at the University of Wolverhampton invites you to submit proposals for the third animation PGR research event. We hope to welcome you to a stimulating day which dovetails with the launch of the 2012 Flip Animation festival in the evening (held at the nearby Light House Media Centre). More information about programming for this will be available nearer the time.

Proposals should be for either;

-         -  a 30 minute extended conference paper. This is a great opportunity for you to debut PhD research material to a friendly and well-informed audience of fellow PGR students and supervisors.

-         -  or an alternative discussion/presentation format. This could be a round table discussion around a particular area, a debate or a screening of practice-based research. Ideas welcomed!

The West Midlands has a strong animation community as evidenced by the West Midlands Animation Forum a hub of freelancers and animation companies and an advocate for the industry nationally. The Flip Animation Festival is a well-established and eclectic international festival with an emphasis on its large student audience, fed by dedicated animation courses at the Universities of Wolverhampton and BirminghamCity. The WM also hosts one of the largest population of computer games companies in the UK.

Please e-mail ideas, queries or proposals to S.Moore[at]wlv.ac.uk

Deadline: September 7th 2012

Friday, 25 May 2012

University of Wolverhampton Degree Show

The Animation BA at the University of Wolverhampton School of Art & Design has its private view next Friday 1st June, 5:30 - 8:30pm. 

It should be a great evening, it's always a really bittersweet event when students leave but this year have been such a pleasure to teach, I'm really going to miss them. Sigh!

If you would like to attend the private view on 1st June please e-mail Bhavna Parmar B.Parmar5[at]wlv.ac.uk for an invitation.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Animated documentary blogs

There are a couple of really interesting animated documentary blogs around, which give an interesting over-view / perspective on the genre.

Dr Bella Honess Roe teaches at the University of Surrey and is one of the preeminent scholars in the area. She did her PhD about animated docs and is in the process of turning her research into a book on the subject (which is great, as a key text is really needed). Her blog, Animating Documentary (it doesn't all have to be fly-on-the-wall...), is a series of thoughtful reflections on issues around the subject.

Alys Scott-Hawkins and Ellie Land come at animated docs from the perspective of film makers. Alys has made several fascinating and provocative films including The Road to Recovery, a commission by Rethink & Young Minds which uses drawn animation to articulate the experiences of young people with mental illness. Ellie is making a film called Centrefold for The Wellcome Trust about labiaplasty which is really thought provoking and a fascinating companion piece to her film Everything was Life, about female genital mutilation. 

Alys and Ellie have set up a blog called Animated Documentary (there is also a Facebook community here) which is turning into a really helpful compilation of work / meeting place for film makers / discussion point.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Clip from Shrewsbury Museum film

This is a little (slightly bonkily exported) test from the Shrewsbury Museum project I am working on. Click here for the video.

Produced by Stuart Messinger, score by Bastien Keb, animation by Terri Matthews & me, directed by me.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Art summer school

I teach part time at the University of Wolverhampton, where they are doing a summer school of taster courses in the arts. I wish I could do more short courses, they are such an instant insight into new skills, materials and ways of creating. Anyway, Wolves Art School is opening their doors for two weeks "to host a programme of bespoke courses and workshops in a wide range of subjects.

By taking part in one of the numerous courses available, you will have access to our excellent facilities and workshops, which are considered to be amongst the finest in the UK. You will be taught by industry professionals and international practitioners, who will help you to discover how exciting and rewarding working in the creative arts can be."

I would love to do the creative silk screen printing for textiles, because in my head I would make beautiful new curtains and bed linen, although in practice this may not happen... If you are in the Midlands and fancy a go at computer games design/Raku firing/stone setting and the other options they have then look here.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Museum sketchbook

I'll have some clips from the Shrewsbury museum project soon. In the meantime, here are some of my sketchbook images.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Eyeful screens in Siberia

Last year An Eyeful of Sound screened at the 360' Contemporary Science Film Festival in Moscow. Following on from this there is now going to be a regional touring programme of some of the work, including our film.
So An Eyeful of Sound will be screening in Tomsk, Siberia at the end of March! Thanks to Alexis Gamble of the lovely New York based Imagine Science Film festival who curated the short film programme for the festival.

Monday, 6 February 2012

There's a really good blog post here about the life of a freelance animator. It's written by Scott Benson who makes beautiful work like this:

and this.

Sigh. And now I'm going to have to read the rest of his well written amusing blog and WHEN WILL I WORK?

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Neuro psychology mini-conference at UEL

The conference at the University of East London was organised by Dr Ashok Jansari and Rebecca Gordon as a way of bringing together the research teams associated with Ash's diverse research interests around prosopagnosia, synaesthesia and ways of measuring executive functions in children (JAAM-C).

Ashok gave the key note for this mini-conference, and gave us the hot off the press information on the Live Science experiment about facial recognition he and his team have been doing at London's Science Museum  for the past three months. They had literally finished a day or two before but he was still able to give us some snapshots of information about what they'd found, including identifying a healthy number of "super-recognisers", ie people who scored extremely highly in recognising faces in their tests. Apparently there are some people who claim to be able to remember faces even years after a fleeting meeting, and this is the opposite of prosopagnosia (AKA face-blindness, which is the subject of part of my PhD) where subjects have serious problems in being able to recognise faces at all. You can do the online Cambridge face test here if you fancy seeing if you are a super recogniser. If you are please contact Ashok!

Naomi Wells talked about her forthcoming comparative study of developmental, early acquired and late acquired prosopagnosia. One of the issues I am finding about prosopagnosia is that it manifests in very different ways depending on whether you were born with it or have acquired it later in life. I was quite relieved to hear that these differences are acknowledged issues and it was fascinating throughout the afternoon or presentations to hear information I've heard anecdotally being backed up with scientifically proven figures, graphs and studies.

Rebecca Gordon talked about her Msc project using a virtual reality environment to measure executive function (also known as 'superior cognitive constructs', which I loosely translated as the process of growing up and maturing which happens - hopefully - during adolescence) which was really fascinating and a wonderful example of using game/animated environments to find out about reality (I claim this as a score for the validity of animated documentary!).

I was going to attend anyway but I was really pleased to be asked to present my PhD work in progress about prosopagnosia too, despite its very different provenance from the rest of the (super-scientific-brainiac) research. I always feel it can go one of two ways when you present across disciplines; either they won't know what you're on about and will be baffled by the relevance to their area, or else they'll slightly over-value its difference from the rest of the papers and really enjoy it. Luckily it was the latter this time. Who doesn't love a bit of cartoon?

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Post graduate animation research conference, Bournemouth

I've recently come back from a couple of post graduate research conferences. One was the first meeting of the animation post-graduate research group at the Arts University in Bournemouth and the other was at the Psychology Department at the University of East London. Working on a PhD can be quite isolating, no matter how supportive your supervisors and cohort are, and having the opportunity to present work in progress in a supportive environment of knowledgable peers is really helpful in building confidence and making connections with people dealing with the same issues as you. 

Bournemouth was a great explosion of animation PhD information. It was eye opening to meet so many people from all over the country working on different aspects of animation post graduate research. The day was the inaugural animation PGR group meeting (it has existed as a Google group for a few months, initiated by Dr Paul Ward who hosted the first meeting) and was an opportunity to present extended papers and get feedback. Normally at a conference the paper is only 20 minutes long, but here we could talk for 30 (plus plenty of time for questions) which was a practical way of getting into the meat of our phD concerns as well as using the audience as a sounding board.

The presentations were all very diverse in subject and approach, most were pure research but a few were based on practice led work so it was a nice mix. There was a brilliant feeling of camaraderie amongst the group and the feedback was all really constructive. Animation as an area is notoriously friendly (I always think it's because we're all so pleased to be away from our animating desks and in a bit of company...) which can sometimes lead to charges of not enough rigorous criticism but this definitely was not the case here. I came at with some good suggestions about how to improve my work and reinvigorated about working on my research subject.

There's going to be a second animation PGR meeting in London at King's College later in the spring, please join the Google group if you are interested in attending.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Article in Animation Studies online journal

Ooo, a bit of a plug here but I have had an article published in the Animation Studies online journal here dealing with the animated documentary and 'pyscho-realism'.

It's my first academic article publication. As part of my PhD study over the last 15 months I have given several papers at conferences and had a couple of them accepted for publication, but academic publication can take ages so getting the final product out there can be a protracted and tortuous road. The Animation Studies journal, edited by Nichola Dobson, is online which I think makes the turnaround quicker than it would be if it were real paper. The benefit is that it is much more accessible for readers - if you can bear to please do have a look ...