Viral short creator lands Million Dollar job!

I found this video through the Animation World Network site and it immediately caught my attention. The director and writer, Fede Alvarez has used a budget of just $300 and progressive cinematic effects popularised in films such as Cloverfield and District 9, to create a gripping short that almost views as a trailer for a feature film.

Since it’s release in November last year, ‘Panic Attack’ has gone viral on YouTube with nearly 6million hits and last landed Alvarez “a seven-figure deal to direct a $30 million feature for Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures”.

Read the full interview with him about this as yet untitled project here.



Animator in Residence Drew Roper talks stop motion, Tim Burton and a bit about his day job.


I’m Nick and I’m the new Research Assistant for FLIP. Today I was asked to do a quick interview with Light House’s resident animator Drew Roper and find out what he’s currently up to.

NP – So what are you working on right now?

DR – I’m making a stop motion animation for a local fashion brand, Luke, and explaining their history of denim. It’s a stop motion animation so it’s made with puppets, sets and a camera, rather than on a computer or by drawing.

NP – Okay. So what’s the story then?

DR – It starts off with a guy in a pub back in the 1800s who claims he is the creator of denim, but because he was a grafter and in the pub a lot, people didn’t believe him. Basically he was a foundry worker in the Black Country, they would tend to get burnt from the hot smelt and so they needed to create a thicker material, hence denim. It then goes on to say that the Americans stole the idea, hence why it was massive in America… ‘cause of the jeans…and the cowboys…when really it was created by a guy called Serge de Nîmes who was French. Then Luke claims that he’s brought it back in 1977, as this is all about [the brand] Luke 1977, and him bringing back his heritage of when his ancestor created it… it’s his old gimmick, it’s not true, it’s a tale but it’s quite cool how he’s gone about telling it.

NP – Oh right, I’m guessing you’re really busy at the moment then?

DR – There’s a lot of work involved and at the moment I’m working on the dialogue. This would normally have been done weeks ago however we’ve been waiting for a famous voice artist, comedian and actor to do the voice, which he has now done and is brilliant. And so at the minute I’m drafting at what frame and at what point I need to move his mouth, so it’s mainly lip-synching at the moment. That’s week one of production.

NP – Okay that sounds cool. So who’s the famous voice artist you’ve got?

DR – Mark Williams, the actor, who is from The Fast Show and is Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter films…I had the privilege of working with him last week and so now I’m just lip-synching his voice.

NP – Fantastic! So have you got anything else in the pipeline right now?

DR – I’m working part of this weekend and then on Sunday I’m going down to London for the week as I’m working on the new Walt Disney/Tim Burton film…the new puppet film where I’ll be helping to set up the puppet hospital which is where they make and repair their puppets and do mass productions of them. There’s another company that makes the puppets called Mackinnon and Saunders and they send down all their moulds for everything so then they can just remake those in the hospital. This saves Mackinnon and Saunders doing it. So I’ll be helping set up that and then I might be able to set up a test shot. So it’s a lot of running, shifting and lifting but it’s for a week and it’s easing my name out there and it’s hopefully going to give me a better opportunity of getting a job at the end of this, when this should be finished…the 30th June, so I’ve got 7 weeks, well 6 weeks because of the Tim Burton thing.

NP – Wow…yeah that sounds like a great opportunity. So it’s nonstop then?

DR – There’s a lot of work to do, but I can do it. Yeah! So after next week, I’ll be starting to shoot and animate and hopefully have it finished by the end of June.

NP – Great. Thanks for your time; I’ll let you get back to work.

You can find out more about Drew and his animation at

Look out for more posts about Drew or other animated goings on from myself or any of the others involved in FLIP in the coming weeks.


Iceland Eyjafjallajökull, Time Lapse

With all the UK news outlets reporting just one story for the last week it was sometimes hard to remember there was other things going on in the world. For instance it was only 2 weeks ago that the volcano, whose name no could pronounce, bought a large part of European airspace to a standstill – and it is still spewing forth its sulphurous plume.

Luckily US Photographer/Cinematographer Sean Steigemeier wasn’t as caught up with the state of the UK electoral system as those with cameras closer to home. He spent 4 days travelling to Iceland to put together the most beautiful time lapse video.

Just watching this film makes me even more determined to get over to Iceland with my own camera one day – Unless of course someone wants to pay for me to go sooner – I’ll pay you back by baking cookies?

Steph xxx

Animation at the Barbican

lots of interesting things going on at the Barbican this month. Including screenings of Karel Zeman films. Note the Terry Gilliamesque animation

Election Fever – It’s not over yet…

It seems the whole of the UK has been swept away with the election furore. A hung Parliament, a Con/Lid Dem coalition? A minority government? No one is sure where all this is going to lead and with every 2nd person becoming a political commentator it unsurprising that some animators got in on the act too.

BBC Newsnight turned to cult cutting-edge animators, Apple Daily (you will need a translator to view this page), to give an overview or the UK general election campaign in cartoon form.

Using CGI they portray amusing parodies of the party leaders and a tongue cheek look at some of the some of the key moments of the election including “Cleggmania” and “Bigotgate”

The following animation is the Apple Daily interpretation of  “Cleggmania”.

You can see all the animations commisioned by Newsnight over on the BBC Newsnight Website.

Steph xxx

Museum Movies Film Competition

Are you interested in making a short film for  Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum?

They have put a call out for film makers, animators and artists from the West Midlands to enter their “Museum Movies Film Competition”

“Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum is starting an exciting new film project titled Museum Movies. We are inviting local film makers to submit short films inspired by Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum’s collections of fine and decorative art, social history, ethnography, archaeology, ceramics and glass. Have a browse through our online collections for ideas! ( Other subjects could include the history of the Royal Pump Rooms building, Leamington Spa’s historic gardens, Leamington Spa’s social history or life in 21st century Leamington Spa.

We will select the five most inspiring films and present them on our mezzanine film screen in the local history gallery. 96,000 people visit Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum every year and on a daily basis the screen is viewed by many local people and tourists. Visitors will be able to vote for their favourite film and the film with the most votes will win the Best Film Award and £150 prize money. The award ceremony will be held on Thursday 23 September 2010 at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum.”

It is free to enter and the competition is open to all ages and abilities. Films should be submitted in DVD format with a completed submission form by Wednesday 14 July 2010. There is no minimum length but the film should not be longer than 10 minutes. If your film is shortlisted they will contact you on Thursday 15 July.

The shortlisted films will be screened from Thursday 22 July onwards.

Please contact Tammy Woodrow on 01926 742700 or for a submission form or any other queries.

Steph xxx

music matters

here’s some great animation and great music in the same place