Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival 2011

Hi again,

Just got back from Waterville, Co. Kerry and here are the results of the recent animation workshops, which were held as part of the Inaugural Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival. We screened the completed films on Sunday at 1100 in an Tech Amergin in Waterville, to an audience packed with young animators and proud parents.

We had 22 students in the stop motion workshops, as well as an additional 32 students in the thaumatrope and flipbook workshops, over the course of the festival, with ages ranging from 5-13 years old.

Made with the assistance of:
Carol Freeman (ragamuffinesque.blogspot.com/​ & http://hartstownanimation.blogspot.com)
Christopher McLoughlin (made-of-sticks.blogspot.com/​)
Lisa Powell (sparrowfartlisa.blogspot.com/​)


Nationwide had a segment on our stop-motion workshop on their show tonight. Here is a link to the full episode on RTEplayer, the animated bits start at 4:04. Enjoy!



Whoa, someone ordered more prints from my shop. I'd almost forgotten about that... will have to update the catalogue now of course... I was so surprised that I included this little drawing in the shipment too.
Judy, I miss you so.


Wicked Films Showcase Imminent!

Hi all
Final push on polishing off the Wicked Film School shorts in anticipation of the 2nd of September Showcase at the Tinahely Courthouse in Wicklow.

As a teaser here are a bunch of stills from the films that I've been leaking onto my tumblr the last few weeks:


Wedding Commission

Final Image
Here's the rough sketch which I light-boxed directly from my monitor. Stood by me well enough in planning scales and the like and is pretty close to the end result.

 The Bride (who I later equipped with an armful of sweets)

The Groom

Grey Squirrel (There is a logic to this, yer man's a zoologist)

 Bride & Groom

 With a ruler for scale
Another bit of the squirrel, who's actually quite big.


Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival

Calling all animators!

Myself, Carol Freeman and Chris McLoughlin are teaching a mixture of Flipbook, Stop-Motion and Thaumatrope workshops from Friday the 26th of August in Co. Kerry as part of the Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival!
Here is the facebook event page for the féist: link

The workshops all take place at Tech Amergin, in Waterville.
This is the schedule:

Friday 26th:
10:00-11:00 Thaumatrope Workshop (4-8 year olds)
14:00-17:00 Stop-motion Workshop (8 + year olds)

Saturday 27th:
11:00-12:30 Flipbook Workshop (7-13 year olds)
14:00-17:00 Stop-Motion Workshop (8 + year olds)

Sunday 28th:
10:00-11:00 Thaumatrope Workshop (4-8 year olds)
Followed by a screening of the results of the Stop-Motion Workshops.

Hopefully I'll see you guys there!



Short Short Pitch

Heya everyone,
About a week and a half ago I was asked by my old school colleague Steve Woods to put some designs together for a Short Short pitch.

First I had to sell myself to the director, Ger Leonard, in order to get the chance to work on his pitch in the first place, and I was up against some stiff competition.

In any case here are the first batch of drawings I submitted to the director, which somehow landed me the gig.

Initially I thought: keep it simple, big hairy beards and fur clothes that meld into one, would allow for a plastic form and you can get playful enough with the silhouette and animation then.

The cows are referencing the Provensens heavilly :/ Also I discovered that I can't draw cows.

The smilodon was fun to draw, I liked sticking all those arrows into it's back. Not sure if he fits with the other designs mind, but no harm sure.

So once I'd won him over we sat down and had a very lengthy chat about the project and animation in general; what interested him and what styles he had his eye on.
Ger comes from a live action background, so it took a bit of back of forth on both our parts to build up a rapport in the beginning. He had a pretty fresh perspective on the medium, though, which helped a lot.

After this I put together a bunch of cavemen designs, hoping to come across one that would fit to his spec better. Here they are:

There were a couple of different things going on here that Ger liked, and some that he didn't,
but it helped us to zone in on what characteristics he was looking for. A lot of my characters were very serious and mean looking, reckon must be my life as a tortured film-maker spilling over into it :/

With some more pointers and direction I put together the final image pack for the pitch:

Ger was looking for more goofy, blind-stupid kind of characters with a natural humour to the designs, qualifications which I hope these guys in some way fulfil. The mauled dead guy was fun to draw.

I liked doing the blood in this one.


 I like the old guy in this.
He has no teeth so when he chews I was going to have him just gumming up the food.

 The fat versions of the cavemen were quite tricky, pushing their frame to be that much fatter without making them looking like different characters took a bit of doing, and I'm not convinced I got them there just yet.

So after all the prepping and such we got in to pitch with panel, among them Ken Waldrop, whose work I'm a big fan off. Pitch went well, with Ken and the rest of the panel complimenting the imagery and the driving food theme of the script.

We heard back today and, unfortunately, we didn't get the funding but sure, like always, I'm glad to have brought some more drawings into the world, and sure who knows they might have a bit of a life yet.


PS. Congrats to Andy Clarke and Teemu Auersen on their pitching success! Looking forward to seeing what they come up with!