Innis & Gunn Artwork

Work! I'm supposed to post bloody work here, aren't I? It's easy to forget that sometimes.

In 2012, I was lucky enough to work with Innis & Gunn, the Edinburgh-based brewer of delicious oak-aged beer, on a couple of projects. I'm very proud to have been on board (they're a damn fine company and it's damn fine beer).

For I&G's involvement in the Edinburgh Film Festival, I made a little cartoon (above) depicting the importance of the oak-aging process to the unique flavour of their beer. Although short, this was still the most ambitious hand-drawn animation I've ever tried and I think it turned out pretty good, considering.

The animation was edited down to a lean 60 pages and made into a lovely little flickbook that was distributed amongst festival-goers back in June. It can be seen at the end of the short video I made below:

(note, it's surprisingly hard to flick a flickbook straight-through only once while holding it in front of a video camera. Please forgive my slightly juddery attempt. Music is 'P' from the album John's ABC by the Fence Collective.)

Using a combination of the old-fashioned (drawing stuff over-&-over-&-over) and the new-fangled: (Photoshop trickery), I was able to put the whole thing together on a fairly short turnaround. Although frustrating, tedious and difficult, animation is something that I hope to explore further. My Wired illustrations, which I animate for their iPad app every month, are getting increasingly ambitious and are good practice.

Innis & Gunn Edinburgh cityscape illustration

I also produced a few illustrations for their beautiful Bartender's Choice book, including the above Edinburgh cityscape and a small set of drawings depicting various stages of the brewing process.

(more on the Bartender's Choice section of my site)

Big thanks to Lucy and everyone over at I&G for getting me involved and for all their help - they've been amazing to work with. Fingers-crossed, I'll have more to share in the spring.

Oh, and not that I like to toot-my-own-trumpet too loudly, I'll just that, when it comes to perks, this job had one or two:

It's been tricky, but I've kept some aside for Hogmanay. Dancer.

Kid Canaveral Music Video

Above is my debut as a music video director for the single You Only Went Out To Get Drunk Last Night by the very fine Kid Canaveral. It was animated, filmed and edited by myself with some help from Alex and Fergi - particularly in the dancing kitchen scene.

I've posted about this clip before on my old blog but, happily, I have new reason to post it here. I have just recieved news that it will be featured in the BBC Music Video Festival 2011 and will be shown at The Forum in the centre of Norwich, from the 19th of September to the 1st of October - on bloomin' giant screens no less.

'Chuffed' doesn't explain the half of it. Having an animated film shown by the BBC is one of those things you dream about. Yeah, it's rough around the edges. Yeah, it was made with sellotape and fishing lines in our messy wee flat. Yeah, I don't really know how to work a camera. You know what? I don't care! We had the most fun ever staying up until 5am making the video and I'm still very proud of it.

Filmmaking is something I'm growing increasingly fond of these days, in part due to being a complete novice and knowing it's ok to make mistakes. I'm always looking to find time to knock together a new video and if anyone wants to work on any projects, get in touch. You'd make my day.

For more info on the Kid Canaveral video, I did an interview about it a while back which you can read here. You can also watch and subscribe to whatever other nonsense I make on my YouTube channel. Big Thanks to Johnny at Fence and Kate Canaveral in particular for all their help with this project.

Terry Gilliam Explains His Cut-Out Animations

This video did the rounds a few weeks ago, but I'm posting it anyway because I just rewatched it. Monty Python's Terry Gilliam explains, in a completely honest and straightforward manner, how he put together his famous cut-out animations for Flying Circus etc.

What I like most about this video is how simple he makes it look. The young Gilliam actively encourages you to go out and make your own versions, in exactly the same way (or differently, he doesn't seem to care) as he did, without being at all precious about his creations. Despite being behind some of the most instantly recognisable, even iconic, animations ever made, he acts like 'ach, I only do it this way because I'm lazy. Anyone could've made these stupid things'. It's a lovely, inspiring and encouraging attitude from a brilliant creative mind. Now I feel a bit dumb for not having made the Monty Python intro.

I originally found this clip via Drawn (who found it via KC Green on Twitter).