I would like to thank the Grangetown Local History Society for all their hard work and general input into what I think is a well researched and poetic piece of animation. A big thank you to Parliamentary Archives and Glamorgan Archives for all their support and commissioning me in the first place. I hope you like the finished animated film. Please feel free to share the animation with your friends and family who we hope will enjoy it as much as we do.
Living up to national standards the Grangetown Local History Society did Cardiff proud with their musical rendition of the old sea shanty “Riding on a Donkey”. Their recording brought the project alive enhancing the animation and story. The donkey referenced in the lyrics is not the 4 legged beast but rather a Donkey Engine used to haul heavy goods around the docks.
The Grangetown Local History Society recording the old sea shanty “Riding on a Donkey”
It is the final week of my animation production, as I aim to get the film signed off before the Christmas break. Lot’s to do but if I get my head down and hibernate in my studio I should just about manage it.
My animated film combines drawn animation with photographs, utilising a variety of software including Digicel Flipbook (to draw the animation), Photoshop (to render the images), After Effects (to piece it all together and Premiere (for the final edit). It seems like a complicated work flow, but hopefully it should piece together seamlessly.
I saw a lovely picture by Degas called “Standing Man in a Bowler Hat” and decided that the camera man should adorn his head with such a dapper item. Bowler hats were very popular and practical in victorian times, adding protection style and warmth. I wish I had one.
A Camera Man takes a picture for the Pilot Members Club
The opening scene starts in an abstract way looking through the lens of an early victorian camera. The subject a group of sailors posing for their annual Pilot Members Club photograph appear upside down. Early cameras were like small Camera Obscuras. Light traveled in through the lens and projected an upside down image of whatever was in front of it. The camera man instructs the restless Pilots in where to stand and how to pose.
The research period was completed a few weeks back leading me to the most exciting and daunting part, ‘the creative process’. My proposal was green lighted and given the thumbs up so now it’s about pulling it all together and diving head first into the animation production. I haven’t talked in any great length regarding the wealth of resources uncovered by the Grangetown Local History Society and archivists from Glamorgan Archives and Parliamentary Archives, but the whole concept is based on the documents and photographs which they have worked long and hard collecting and deciphering. In a nutshell the animation depicts the changing landscape of the docks throughout the Victorian era and the plight of the humble Pilot Cutter David Morse who gave evidence in parliament in favor of its development.
I’ve been referencing paintings of the Marques of Bute to achieve a likeness and at the same time find a style that works as a whole for the project. This style needs to be carried through to all characters so that there is unity and balance. Helen picked out an amazing old photograph from a local history book of Pilots posing in their Sunday best wearing what looks like Russian hats. It is such a cool picture that I will try and use the original in the film if permission is granted. Until then I will be using illustrations based on these characters.