June would mark the halfway point of this little 'exercise'. Six months in and six films down. What have I learnt so far? I should have planned more? I should have saved more money? Both of these are true. However spontaneity sometimes pays off!
I have mentioned before that this whole thing had very little planning upfront, but I was always considering the order these films would be viewed in. How would an audience when watching these films back-to-back feel from one to the next? The difference in tone between January’s film and February’s is significant and a good example. I really didn't want the audience to be able to predict what would come next. So as I kept going throughout the year I thought before each film, 'What would have the right tone given what came before it?’ It was this mindset that lead me to create multiple styles of film.
June's film came about entirely due to a spontaneous meeting; a meeting about something mostly unrelated. My good friends Bert and Fi asked me if I want to make them a music video. Bert you will know from Mays film and together with Fi make up the band Welcome to Peepworld (you can find them here). I said yes, no problem. So I asked Andy (creating cool stuff for February) and whom I was living with at the time if he wanted to come. We both decided to walk over to Summer Town and meet them. If you’re not from around Oxford then Summer Town is a real place, it’s nice but not as nice as the name suggests!
When we arrived at Joe's cafe (who do a really good breakfast) Bert and Fi were not alone. Fi had brought her two daughters along! Now I know in my writing I use a lot of exclamation marks but in this instance I mean it! If you know me then you probably know this already, if you don't well.... I struggle to get along with kids. I don't know why. There is just some odd barrier between them and me. So I was a little anxious to begin with but it was necessary for me to be excited. We were trying to come up with cool ideas for a music video so I did my best to act 'comfortable'. I soon settled down.
We began talking and got in to a full on conversation about the video, this was normal. Then something unusual happened. Despite what I have just written about my awkwardness around kids, the conversation began to focus on them. I’m not sure how we got on to the subject but Fi must have mentioned something about one of the girls and my attention spiked. Molly it turned out liked to draw, a normal kid thing to do. It was what she drew that really interested me. This is perhaps where my awkwardness around kids is highlighted. Having to fake an interest in the things they do when it really isn't interesting is hard for me. This 'faking' was absolutely not necessary. Bert and Fi described this comic strip she had created and I was amazed that someone of that age was coming up with stuff like that. So now I was actively engaging with Molly asking more and more about the comic strip. Then I asked if there were any other things she drew. From what I remember she described a few things and then (bear in mind all of the above) I asked her if she would draw an example of something on my arm. This may seem a little odd to many of you reading this but understand my absolute inability to bond with kids. Then understand just how impressed I was with her and you will realise how big of a deal this was for me. Not only was I overcoming something I thought I never would but also I had found a genuinely talented girl.
I will leave it up to you to decide if you think the same as I did but I believe by seeing what she drew on my arm, all this will make a little more sense to you.
Perhaps not to everyone’s taste but it certainly was to mine. It has always been in the back of my mind that I should get the image above permanently tattooed on my arm.
What do you think!?
After the meeting I asked Fi if I could take a look at Molly's comic strip. Yes the music video was a priority but I now had this cool cartoon and I wanted to animate it!
Unfortunately I never finished it. Put it down to a lack of focus.
That brings us nicely to June 2014. This year was all about focus. May's film was fairly intense so June should probably lighten the mood a little. I also knew that July's film would be huge! I had already started planning for it and it was taking a lot of my time. June's film needed to be manageable. I realised I had never completed the animation and that perhaps this was a good time to dig it out again. So with a spontaneous meeting, a little fore thought and my genuine interest in the work of an 11-year-old girl I got animating.
I have never really had much or an aptitude for animating. I find it a little too time consuming and I can't really focus. The music video we did for The ADS was all animated and I did do some work on that but it was mostly just moving a camera around some already animated characters. Tim and Andy did all the hard work! Trying out new things was on the agenda this year, so to complete an animation would be amazing.
During the animation and editing process I felt it necessary to give Death Baby a sound. The animation style was such that it could be a bit abstract and also technically Death Baby is the offspring of the one and only Death so it wasn't going to be obvious. For this I went to a friend of mine, Anjella Mcintosh. Anjella is a great actor and voice artist and she has an unnatural ability to flip the switch from insanity to serious in a second. Fun to be around she can do pretty much do anyhting you ask of her. In this instance we were recording a voice over for one of the other films and after we had finished I showed her the animation. I really didn't know what it should sound like and so I hoped Anjella would have an idea. As soon she started she had it pretty much instantly. A mix between baby speak and the Exorcist.
Huge respect to Anjella who basically made up the voice as she watched the film, but who was also recovering from a throat infection! Im pretty sure the sounds she was making would nth ave made it better but she did it. Look out for Anjella as she will pop up in one of the later films.
So here is your introduction to Molly's creation Death Baby...