I was back home recently when I found two old canvases that had tea cups printed on them. I do like a good cup of tea so this alone was enough to get the creative juices flowing. In fact they were already hitting me like a tsunami due to the fact that I had been out drinking with that not-so-lovable rogue of immense proportions – Sir Asmund Quayle (the patron saint of id-iom whether we want him or not). So, basically, I just found a canvas whilst dealing with my hangover.
It just so happened my mum was going out to run a few errands which meant it was time for me to put my feet up and grab 40 winks but all to soon I heard her car in the driveway so had to action myself swiftly. I dashed to where I had previously set up all the paints and started throwing paint about. I didn’t want to seem like a layabout after all.
Anyway my mother then made us both a cup of tea and sat with me saying she ‘enjoys watching the process’ and the rest is history. Thankfully, after a while, I seemed to forget the hangover and just enjoyed the painting. As an aside, I hoped that Sir Asmund was feeling worse that me but I later found out he was up with the larks that morning building fancy sandcastles on the beach – which he’d then smash with a spade – much to the amusement of the sundry passersby. It sounded like fun. He’s such an insufferable dolt but a man close to my heart.
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.