Hmmmm. How to explain Stormbird. I’m not really sure if any explanation I can give can adequately describe our thought processes when creating this stop-motion epic. The ‘storyline’ just kind of suggested itself. It’s probably easier to explain it’s conception than how we developed such a monster. It came about when we had id-iom’s good friend Dave over from LA for a while. He’s known for doing a bit of video production/editing so after consumption of a few beers down at the studio we (stupidly) decided that a short stop-motion video might be a good idea. It wasn’t. After over 2600 shots over the best part of a week in the freezing cold basement making just one tiny adjustment after another we were close to death by exposure but were finally able to call it a wrap.
There is plenty of footage which ended up on the cutting room floor that will hopefully never see the light of day as it’s more than a little weird and would probably emotionally scar any viewer for life. And all that took long hours of standing around in the cold that i’ll never get back. I bet the Aardman animation studios are all cosy and warm. If i’m ever to attempt anything like this again I’ll be making sure it’s warm outside or we have such mod cons as central heating…
Anyway, once principal photography was finished we realised we needed some musical accompaniment befitting of such a creation so we put out the call and came up with 3 very different soundtracks. The first version will probably not play in certain countries on youtube as The Man probably has certain copyright issues as it features tracks that are already out there but that’s where our other versions come in as both feature an original score which should play internationally no problem. The other video’s will follow this in short order and we’d really love some feedback on which one people prefer (so watch this space)…
What else can we say about the video apart from the fact that it features anthropomorphic spray cans, the Graffiti Removal Squad (first featured here), sharks (one of which is gay but we had a hard time portraying that!), Tom Selleck (although I like to think he’s in his Thomas Magnum persona), a fireball (from Streetfigher 2 obviously) and, of course, the plucky little robin a.k.a the storm bird in Norse mythology.
Finally, whilst I like to think our video has a certain naive rustic charm there are those who treat the subject with a little more professionalism. So for those who haven’t seen it here’s a little link to a much more polished creation featuring light stencils by our good man Pahnl.
A Groovy Kind of Earworm
Phil Collins '88
There was an article on the BBC website the other day which put a name to an experience which i’m sure most people have endured. They are known as earworms (amongst other names) and it is when you get a tune stuck in your head that you just can’t get rid of. Sometimes you really haven’t got a clue how it happens to be bouncing round in your brain but the more you try to suppress it the worse it gets (see this article on the difficulty of killing earworms and the man who had one for five long years).
After thinking about this for a while and realising how mildly annoying earworms can be we thought it our civic duty to respond by trying to create an earworm of our own using the medium of art. And being cheeky little tinkers we thought we’d do our best to get the hugely underrated 80’s megastar Phil Collins back into people’s consciousness by forcing his 1988 version of ‘A Groovy Kind of Love‘ into as many people’s brains as possible! We are not yet experts in the field but we’re hoping that as the hoarding is blue and we mention the word blue (which is written in blue – how cunning!) this will create some kind of cognitive resonance in viewers’ heads whereby a genetically modified supercharged earworm will be created.
Ideally the song will launch automatically and start playing in your head before you can do anything about it – and hopefully be trickier to get rid of than the auto-popup screens you sometimes get when visiting dodgy websites. It’s what advertisers attempt to do every day (but they have a more nefarious agenda) but our only regret is not knowing how well the whole project will work…
We’ve only been on Twitter for a little while now (as we thought it better to turn up late to the party) but i’m still not sure i’ve got the hang of this whole tweeting malarky…
We’ve somehow come to gather 162 followers (at the time of writing) but I think we need to be a bit more prolific and probably a little more amusing if we want to hit the magic 1 million followers. We’ll get there – one tweet at at time.
Mupan takes a break...
Mupan takes a break...
Sometimes the stresses of modern life get a little too much and it’s imperative to take a break and recharge the batteries. Even the seemingly indefatigable Mupan needs this from time to time. So occasionally he packs his bags and heads to Naples, his favourite holiday spot on the west coast of Italy. Here we can see him in his glad-rags taking a little time out from the travails of the tourist life and lounging on one of the many conveniently placed rubbish dumps that litter (pun intended!) the streets of Naples and really take on a life of their own in summertime. He just adores it there and will definitely be back again.
As it is such a sunny day we thought we’d hit the streets for a little Free Art Friday action and get Mupan’s little memento out there for someone to find and brighten up their undoubtedly dreary day. It’s just a shame you can’t really see the glitter (in the white area of this pic) as it really sparkles in this lovely Spring sunshine.
Well, did you? I certainly didn’t until I started having to do a little Elvis research on the weekend. It’s funny the little things you remember isn’t it.
All i want for my birthday is a grey staffy. Well now you've got one!
Oh me oh my it's only the Elvis wardrobe!
Elvis has now left the building!
There I was on the weekend enjoying a beverage in the local hostelry when we had a call out of the blue asking if we could pull out our best ‘Changing Rooms‘ impression to help prepare for a new teenage bedroom which, after being constructed in secrecy whilst he was at school yesterday, would be ready for his birthday celebrations when he got back. After a little deliberation we agreed and this much we knew – it had to feature Elvis, a grey staffy dog and there was a little water damage to the wallpaper (from a shower upstairs) which had to have a little makeover. We only had a couple of days to prepare and then had to get it all done in the time it would take him to go to school and back…
Someone got in touch with us asking if we’d done any Star Wars related imagery on the street for possible inclusion in a book on the topic. Since then I’ve watched ‘Revenge of the Sith‘ for the first time and was quite relieved after the horror of Jar Jar Binks that George Lucas can actually still make a decent film. So with renewed vigour and a little more faith in the whole Star Wars franchise I made a quick check of the id-iom archives and we managed to locate a few bits that could potentially be of use and then set to work putting them up and getting some snaps.
Nobody understands me
R2D2 has a problem. Nobody can really understand him. They all pretend they do just to keep him happy but his tweets and whistles are completely unintelligible and they only keep him round because he knows how to make a decent mojito…
Don't be a puppet for the Empire!
Graffiti on cardboard found in a clonetrooper training area on Kamino. Despite an intensive search the culprit was never found… The search continues.
Join the Empire and see the Galaxy
An enlistment/propaganda poster from the walls of a drinking establishment in Coruscant.
Galactic Foreign Policy
A cheeky bit of political graffiti from the mean streets of Tatooine. Stick it to the Man!
On the street. On a Friday.
Whatever next? Sundays on a Wednesday? Breathe easy folks – we may be daft but we aren’t crazy. This was, in fact, put on the street and photographed on Friday but we’ve had a few gremlins interfering with the weekend works schedule and have only been able to get it on today.
We have already done a slate version of this as a get-well-soon gift for a friend but thought that a cardboard version for the street would be good too. I’m still quite proud of my ‘Nobody understands M.E’ line (given that M.E. or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as it’s also known is still largely a mystery to medical science). Good luck to her and I hope she finds a happy home. And that’s that.
The Manx Missile
We only usually come home once or twice a year but this year we had a wedding party to attend so thought we’d try to get some work done at the same time. Since we did a small screen printed version of this picture a while back Mark ‘The Manx Missile’ Cavendish has won ‘BBC sportsman of the year 2011’ so we thought it deserved immortalising life size and in colour in Cav’s birthplace – the wonderful Isle of Man!
On second thought perhaps we should have reworked the picture to include some reference to his girlfriend Peta Todd as she has obvious charms and is clearly quite photogenic…
Nobody understands M.E...
We have a friend who is suffering from M.E. (or, apparently, CFS depending on which acronym you prefer) and who is currently in a self-imposed exile in order to allow him time for some deep meditation in the hopes of getting himself back on track. So being the sensitive artists-about-town that we are we thought we’d make him a little something to hopefully brighten his day somewhat.
After some deliberation it was decided that a piece on slate featuring a sexy lady (a favourite subject of his) and a witty bit of text (Noboby understands M.E. – geddit?) would probably be appropriate. So after a little spraypaint, stencil work and some screen printing we were ready to go on a mission. As he’s not entirely up for frivolous visitors at the moment we thought it best to do our team ninja impression and sneak up to his house undetected and leave it on his doorstep for him to find at his own convenience. Hopefully we’ll find out what he thinks of it soon enough…
Get well soon big guy!