Author Archives: Abi in Japan

About Abi in Japan

I am currently living and working in Japan as an English teacher. I have been here for around 18 months. The first 6 months I traveled , back packed and wwoofed ( worked as a volunteer on organic farms ). During term time I am an English teacher by holiday/weekends I transform back in to traveler form always looking for a new adventure!

Exciting times

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A couple of weeks ago I entered a pitching competition called Enter the pitch. This is an amazing competition which asks film makers from any back ground to take a story from the bible , make it their own and then pitch it in video format. There are several tough stages to get through but resulting in some great opportunities for not only the winner but also some of the runners up. Including a budget for your film , great residential courses , a trip to holly wood – really amazing stuff! My entry is based on the Gospel. It is a theatrical stop motion and live action film that depicts the relationship between a Father and daughter. A strong relationship which is put on the line when the daughter wonders into danger and the father has to lay down his life in order to save her.My pitch has made it through the first round and is now up for public vote !!! to watch my pitch and vote please go to www.enterthepitch.com/the-pitch/2013/her-fathers-eyes you only have until the 28th october to do so! So go vote and tell all your friends to do so too! Here are some pretty pics of character designs and sculpts ect

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Taking a leap

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Hello reader(s) – ( I like to think that maybe there might be multiple of you by now ? I hope you’ve all been soaking up the sun this summer! As a stop motion animator I did stop to acknowledge the sun , and then proceeded to my blacked out studio where only controlled lighting is welcome. I did make it out side once or twice though so not to panic. I also achieved this summer something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time – I QUIT MY DAY JOB! and no I haven’t made it for the big time yet but I decided that it was time to take a step into finding something I really enjoy. For the moment I am starting to set my self up doing creative freelance Jobs. As I’m still saving up for efficient programs to offer my services as a stop motion animator for the private sector, I am branching out and using my skills in workshops for children as well as trying my hand at lots of different types of creative skills. I also have a lot of projects on at the moment that I’m doing on a voluntary bases such as illustrating a children’s science book and literacy program , running animation workshops for a youth group in kingswood and entering film competitions. On top of all this I’m searching for a part time creative job , a job I enjoy and provides me with a little bit of money each month.

Encounters is coming up this week I am very excited about even more so for the fact that a friend of mine has got me a delegate pass ( Thanks Reuben ). So no doubt my next blog is going to be full of Encounters fun and me making it big time !

 

BBQ season for the firecracker

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Perhaps it has something to do with some of the roasting weather we’ve been having ( you know in between the rain ) but  bbq season has started off well for the fire cracker – I’ve finally started to produce some nice tests of my fire cracker/ llama creature running whilst on fire which I’m very pleased about as it’s one of the bigger hurdles to get over in this current project. Here he is in action – I love working with this puppet , he is all ball and socket armature and is just lovely to animate with 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASka-zk6O6E&feature=c4-overview&list=UUnNybdaQd3FtT1uhLDTC25g

 

This month has really been all about setting up for animating making lots of flames ect so there’s not a lot of cool pictures to show you however I do have this picture of this contraption I made to film my llama from a binoculars eye view – behold the magic of a cardboard box !

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In other news I’ve gained extra studio space ! This is great because my original space was a 3 meter square room! I now also have the 3 meter square room next door meaning I can keep one blacked out for animating in and the other I can have as a daylight work space for when I’m creating , drawing designing ect – real day light , imagine that ! no more doodling under hot set lights !  This makes me very happy.

I’m expecting to have my film finished by the end of July so I can start hopefully taking on commissions and do work shops for kids and also work on lots of new ideas I have occurring

To finish I’ll leave you with a picture of the statue of ood – Enjoy !

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A Lesson well learnt

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So here I am a day before the Bristol Animated Encounters deadline and unfortunately , although it’s pretty close to completion – my film isn’t ready for the deadline. Although this is some what disappointing , I came to the decision after quite an unlucky week off work a few weeks ago now ( set aside for doing all the complicated bits ). That I was still going to work hard at finishing my film for the deadline but I wasn’t prepared to compromise on the quality in order to get it finished. And so although it is disappointing not to meet the deadline ( which perhaps was foreseeable whilst working full time to fund the project ) I’m happy with my decision to finish the film to the best of my ability also with that there are lots of really great film festivals around the uk that I will be able to enter it into – including encounters next year – possibly alongside my next planned project. I’ve learnt alot about quality over quantity in this project as well as setting my self realistic time frames in which to complete a project. I think one of my main errors on this project came from not starting off with any kind of deadline or time frame until I decided to try and make the encounters deadline half way through.

Anyway just to prove I have been doing work and not slacking off – here is a link to my rough pre trailer trailer video to give you a bit of a flavour of what “back from the brink is going to look like. Enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5CB1GT5hLw

Lots more coming soon including the official trailer

 

crafty creatures and birthday bunting!

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Time has gone far to quickly and it’s now almost a month since my last post – here are the latest progress on my creative productions !

no 1 and the main project of the last year is ‘brink’  my part live action , part stop motion film I’ve been working on the last nearly 2 years ( along side full time work ) and is very close to completion. This month I have mainly been working on the set and props side of things making backgrounds and scenes, and mapping out walk/run cycles on set for my crab and llama based creatures. I’ve also made some new replacement flames as I want nice shinny new ones for the real thing rather than the crumpled remains of the ones I used for the tests.

The spoon crab settles in to his habitat

The spoon crab settles in to his habitat

fire cracker in his natural habitat

fire cracker in his natural habitat

spoon crab and fire cracker combine worlds

spoon crab and fire cracker combine worlds

flames on acetate

flames on acetate

replacement flames

replacement flames

binoculars camera view

binoculars camera view

IMG01145-20130422-1832                The fire crackers new hooves !

 

 

My bunting has now been finished and was just in time for my grans 90th birthday party last weekend and it looked great and went down a treat –

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I was also in charge of decorating the cake which I had great fun doing and was loved by my Gran

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my new knitting project is a Tardis style jumper – I’m not actually knitting the jumper just the white squares ( windows that will go onto the jumper to ( hopefully ) make it Tardis like

 

drawing – two weeks ago a rare occurrence happened where not only did I have a Saturday off work but it was sunny too ! so I did whatever a good artist should on an occasion like this I took my sketchbook and went off for the day sketching – I filled another place in my 642 things to draw book and I also did some pen and ink drawing of some of the scenes around the Bristol docks

642 things to draw - houseboat

642 things to draw – houseboat

pen drawing at Bristol dock yard

pen drawing at Bristol dock yard

pen drawing Bristol harbor side

pen drawing Bristol harbour side

 

That pretty much somes up this months creative activities , the next couple of weeks is looking very busy but I will be updating as much as possible and hopefully with some exciting reports of a successful animation I’m running for a youth group at the end of this week. Farewell for now !

Set up !

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This week I’ve been working on my set’s for the animated part of my film and looking for film locations for the live action parts. I started off making a basic base for my set, a simple construction that consisted of screwing two bits of wood together and then setting them on a table and screwing them to the wall.

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I then glued two metal runners to the back wall of the base so I can slide different A1 back drops into place for different scenes – a very simple task that left me feeling like a D.I.Y geniusIMG01026-20130321-1458

 

I then went about making a back drop and rock props for the spoon crabIMG01035-20130321-1900

on Sunday I went to check out a top secret film location on the downs in Bristol – you know the bit with the goats , and found some very nice potential spots for filming, I’ve also got an actress sorted for the wildlife presenter so things are coming together quite nicely!!

As you will know if you’ve read my last couple of weeks I’ve been knitting bunting for my Gran’s 90th birthday and here are my efforts so far I’m pleased with my progress but still hoping to get a few more done but not to worry as I still have a few weeks. I also found some perfect ribbon to tie it all together with

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and that’s this weeks antics – more coming soon !

 

Lots going on

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These last couple of weeks I have been busy finishing off the llama muscles , I then did a walk and run cycle with the llama ( walk cycle will be put up on my vimeo account soon ) and then proceeded to give him is skin head and dignity back – I’ve yet to do more walk / run cycles with him and his new skin on but he is looking much better appearance wise.

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although work has got in the way a bit this week I’ve still managed to get one more of my 642 things to draw done this weeks ( although technically I should say last weeks task was to draw girlish laughter – this wan’t to difficult because living in a house with 3 other girls inspiration for such a subject comes very easily.

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I’ve also been working on more knitted triangles for my Gran’s birthday bunting – I must confess it hasn’t quite been one a day like I had hoped ( perhaps a bit ambitious there ) but my collection has definitely grown , I will keep at it on my spare evenings and have a few long car and train journeys coming up this month so will be able to make good use of that time ! Here is what I have so far – I hope to at least double my collection here in time for my Gran’s birthday party !

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Lastly I have been working on some silhouettes which I will be developing into character designs for a project I’m working on for a school literacy program based on king Arthur

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And that’s just about everything I’ve been doing instead of writing my blog for the last two weeks – maybe not very disciplined blog wise but at least it’s evidence of creative productivity – More up dates soon !