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

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

the life and death of salary man snowman (kim)

What follows is a sequence of pictures depicting the snowman I made last week when it snowed. I was on my way to work and found this big almost untouched area of snow. I decided to build the biggest ball I could manage and two hours later the ball had become this snowman. I was quite pleased with him and was hoping to depict his slow liquid demise over the following days. I decided to call him Kim. Sadly he came to a decidedly violent end...

06/01/10 Morning

For scale purposes here is a picture of me standing next to the snowman Kim soon after completion.

06/01/10 Evening
That evening I was pleased to see that the snowman Kim was still intact, although he had gained anatomical accuracy at some point during the day, as well as the words 'save me'.

06/01/10 Evening
Here is a profile shot showing the aforementioned anatomical application. Note the tire mark of a bicycle tread at the base.

07/01/10 Morning
The following morning snowman Kim had lost his gender specification. It is unclear how.

07/01/10 Evening
By the evening snowman Kim was no more.

 07/01/10 Evening
Having surveyed the scene of the crime I pieced together what I believe to have taken place. Having decided to ignore the words 'save me' a group of at least two (two being the minimum required to form a group) people attacked snowman Kim violently from the right hand side (snowman Kim's left) with a succession of kicks and punches (maybe even a drop-kick or two). The head probably went early on and was subsequently stamped to pieces, leaving nothing but an eyebrow and a bit of nose left for identification. Snowman Kim was also whacked with bits of evergreen tree, leaving various remnants of pine needles and trigs lodged in his neck and torso. Having failed to fell the remains of snowman Kim's body the group moved on. Probably to knock down a carefully stacked tower of cards or put cigerettes out on an infants birthday cake.

It is unclear what time snowman Kim was destroyed but he barely lasted past 24 hours, if that.

The good news is my new year resolution is to update this blog more often. It looks nicer now so I can bare to do so.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

salary man snowman

I couldn't get the blog link on my website working for a while. It is working now though.

It snowed today (and a bit last night). This is a great event. It took me three hours to walk to work. First I strolled around the park, then I stopped to make a snowman, and then I threw snowballs at the ice on the river.

I built this salary man snowman as a tribute to all those who have to work today. Technically I am one of them so I have a few hours to make up.