Monday, 7 February 2011

BBC WebWise - Social Media Basics

Does the world of social media confuse and perplex you? Have no fear! Simply visit the BBC WebWise website and watch these 9 short films in which Jim Hammersmith will explain the basics.

The films were written by me and directed by George Sander-Jackson. They were produced by Arthur Cox and Aardman. Jim Hammersmith is played by Chris Grimes who also did the voice of Little Face in my short film of the same name.

Even if you are not confused and/or perplexed by social media watch the films anyway, you may still enjoy them.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

toronto zoo polar bears

It is a new year and once again I am going to make an effort to keep this blog up to date (a statement I make at least once a year on this blog). It is two months short of a year since my last update so I'm not going to bother going over everything I have been up to in that time except for this ad campaign for Toronto Zoo that I directed in the middle of last year. It was a short and fun job with results that pleased me. Not sure why I never posted it before as it has been online ages now but here it is. They were produced by Arthur Cox and Aardman, I directed and animated all of them except for "Skills" which was animated by Felix Massie.



See My Breath



One thing that was particularly exciting for me about this campaign was that it is the first time that artwork of mine has made its way on to merchandise. If you would like to own this rather nice colouring book or jigsaw puzzle sporting my complex and detailed polar bear artwork you can purchase them from the Toronto Zoo website.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

jumped out of a plane

I had an amazing experience on Saturday when I took part in a skydive at Skydive Cornwall in Perranporth to raise money for The Vanessa Grant Trust. It nearly didn't happen due to cloudy weather but it cleared up at about 3pm and the skydiving was able to commence. Fourteen people took part (although due to delay from weather a few people are doing their jump next week instead) and about £3000 has been raised so far so thank you to everyone who donated.

Ending on a Right Stuff moment.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

jumping out of a plane

This weekend (more precisely Saturday 27th of March 2010) I will be jumping out of a plane. Unlike my previous attempts at jumping out of planes this will be an organised skydive and, even better then that, it will be for charity.

The skydive is to raise money for The Vanessa Grant Trust and has been organised by my cousin Ross Sundercombe. It will take place at Skydive Cornwall at Perranporth Airfield in Cornwall and there is about 14 people taking part. We will be jumping throughout the day on Saturday. I hope to have my jump filmed (I don't think I will be able to wear my glasses or contacts so this way I still get to see it properly myself) and I will post the video at a later date. If the weather is bad and we are unable to jump then the skydive will be re-scheduled to a later date.

Of course the purpose of this post is to look for sponsorship (that being the case I should have written this post a few weeks ago but I neglected to think of the usefulness of my blog for such purposes) and I would love unconditionally* anyone who would like to make a donation.

If you would like to make a donation just email me (my address is on my website - link to the left) or DM me on twitter and let me know how much you would like to donate and I will get back to you about collecting payment (easiest is cheques made out to "Vanessa Grant Trust"**). Donations will still be accepted after the event up until the end of April.

For those who worry I am going to be getting a free skydive at their expense I am paying for the skydive myself (not the whole skydive, just my jump) so put your minds at ease. I'd feel guilty otherwise.

For those who donate or have already donated - Thank you very very much!

*conditions apply

**A few people have mentioned as a good way of collecting donations which is true but unfortunately not suitable in this case. Here's the info I got from my cousin - the reason is that my cousin Ross and his girlfriend Lauren work under the umbrella of the Vanessa Grant Trust and are personally involved in projects that the charity support, in particular the Vanessa Grant School in Kenya. They travel to Kenya twice a year to work at the school. Therefore they have an agreement with the charity that means the money they raise is specifically used for the projects they work on. Money that is raised through goes directly in to the charity's pool of money and it is more difficult to keep track of the total amount raised and it can end up distributed elsewhere. Therefore the money is raised in the form of cash and cheques and is then sent on to the Vanessa Grant Trust as a bulk donation which subsequently directly funds the projects that Ross and Lauren are involved in. I think I have explained that right.***

***You can tell the value of this blog post by the addition of small print.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Mother of Many wins BAFTA

Arthur Cox director Emma Lazenby's film Mother of Many won the BAFTA for short animation last night. Congratulations to Emma who fought off a Gruffalo and a Happy Duckling to obtain the prize.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Christmas in Wonderland available on iTunes

John and Karen and Operator are available as a very reasonably priced double-bill from iTunes. They've been on there for a while but it only just occurred to me to add a link to my website and blog. I made a nice image for you to click on, to the right of this page, if you wish to make a purchase.

In the 'more by this director' portion of the iTunes page you will see that I also starred alongside the late Patrick Swayze in Christmas in Wonderland. My memory of this is unclear however, it was probably during my post-Little Face dark period.

Monday, 8 February 2010

British Animation Awards Public Choice

Anyone who likes Adam Buxton or animated yellow blobs on legs may be pleased to know that my film Little Face (which features both), that I co-directed with Ben Lole, is being screened tomorrow  night (the 9th February 2010) at the Watershed at 6pm as part of the British Animation Awards: Public Choice 3.

If you go along you will also have the opportunity to vote for your favourite film, which may or may not be Little Face. A list of all venues and dates for the BAA: Public Choice screenings can be found here.

I perhaps should have blogged this sooner to give people more time to change the plans they have already made for tomorrow night but unfortunately I didn't.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

my baa

The awards at the British Animation Awards are all individual pieces of artwork by various artists and animators. This year I was asked to make one so I did a painting that you can see below.

It is currently obscured by the layers of plastic and cardboard that I wrapped it in ready for the journey to London in care of the Royal Mail. I will post a proper picture of the painting when they are all officially unveiled. In the meantime just create a mental picture of it with the help of the following fact: It is mostly blue and depicts ninety sheep.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Congratulations to Emma Lazenby for her BAFTA nomination! Her new film Mother of Many has been nominated in the Short Animation category. Well done Emma!

In unrelated news, I hosted a Ghostbusters evening on Saturday night. Both Ghostbusters films, Chinese takeaway (representing the last of the petty cash), marshmallows (pretended they were Stay Puft) and gin (because, you know... it's a spirit). It was the sort of evening I always imagined I would have to enjoy alone until I suggested it. Most exciting of all was that the evening was attended by a BAFTA nominee!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

what I have been doing and what I wish I could do

I have just finished a two and a half minute animation for Friends Provident insurance that I have been working on since just before Christmas. It was all about ribbons representing our journey through life. I will post it at some point if I am allowed to.

Now that is done I have a few short films scripts I need to get written while I have a gap between jobs. I am quite anxious to make another short film now and have a few ideas and oppurtunities that I need to follow up.

On an entirely unrelated but far more blog worthy note here is a fantastic video I just found, depicting a journey through the known universe. That is a journey I would like to take. It's produced by the American Museum of Natural History which is one of the significant reasons why I wish I lived in New York.

Even though I have embedded the video it is best to watch it on youtube in HD.

You see? Fantastic.

Watching it made me think of a book I really love and will now recommend - Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon