“There’s a place in the Sun…

…for anyone, 

Who has the will to chase one.”

“I’ve zig-zagged all over America,”

“and I haven’t found my safety haven,”

“SAY! would you let me cry on your shoulder?”

“I’ve heard you’ll try..”

“…anything twice.”

The Ocean Wants You Today


Last night was the BBC2 premier of the first episode of Atlantic. At BDH we had the honour of providing some graphics for this fantastic eye feast. Now available on the iPlayer I’m sure.

A Very Partial History in the Evolution of the Animator

 Today in Workspace we decided to move one of the machines that has lived under my desk to another room, and after some rearrangement and a removal of one large screen, We unobscured the direct view to the window. I immediately noticed a 12% upswing in my mood as the sunshine spilled in onto my blinking face. It also provides me with the option of  slight head turn to look at Far Away Things, a method suggested by many internet guru spanners to minimise the eye trauma suffered from working at close proximity to computer screens.

This sequence of events made me think back to my observation of the animator species during the course of the nineties. The decade began with the steadfast traditional animation techniques, light boxes and sealed, blacked out rooms where the precious things were moved very slightly frame by frame, or drawings carefully crafted, with, very often the curtains closed. Consequently animators were often pasty-skinned hunched-over morlocks with staring blank eyes and a tendency to euphoric inebriation at the animation festivals on meeting their fellow selves, as very often this was the only time they got out.

Mark Baker

As the decade developed and the computer was carefully introduced to workflows, from one festival to the next one could observe the increase in the tanned skin, the bright eyes, the straighter back, and a sense that these people were opening windows and going outside more. Some of them even took to surfing.

Nowadays one couldn’t really tell an animator from any other kind of general human just by looks alone.  Some would argue that that is a bad thing and computers are ruining everything. This partly true, of course.

Jim Le Fevre makes 12 foot Sculptural Zoetrope for SBTRKT

The common mistake with attempting a zoetrope is to expect it to do too much. It’s unlike a film which has at its disposal time to start and stop actions. It’s at its best when it is exploring a simple loop or phrase of movement, and a lot can be done by skillfully crafting that within a context. This is part of the restrictions of limited time and space for the loops. All loops exist in parallel, meaning movements need to be clear of each other by the time the next loop is in play. Equally, baring in mind the repetitive nature of loops, some movements may read differently than intended. – (what are you waiting for go see it now).


We put the Foxes in charge of the Chicken House

True creativity isn’t an exact science. But is there anyone on the culture secretary’s panel of business-friendly bean-counters who understands this? Indeed, the actual creative talents who have made the BBC the globally respected brand it is of late are notably absent from the negotiations.

– Stewart Lee discusses the appointment of the “eight experts” chosen by culture secretary John Whittingdale to “help decide the BBC’s future”.

The sad truth is, the reason, none of the above artists, writers and communicators are welcome on the culture secretary’s committee is because they see culture as inherently valuable in and of itself, not simply as a branch of business that is too naive to know how to maximise its profit margins. And there is no place for them in his process.

Here in the UK we now watch in horror as plans are drawn for the dismantling of our beloved health care system by a smiling cadaver of a human being who appears on Question Time wearing a NHS badge (which would burn a hole in him if there were any divine justice) pointing out his bent logic into the air with his equally twisted finger. In addition to this the BBC to be “reformed” by a government with the smallest majority in 25 years, who just made it past the post by a nudge from their Australian Friend.

Yesterday our main opposition party mostly abstained from voting against the largest welfare cut for many years, plunging millions into poverty and risking an “ethnic cleansing” as poorer families just will not be able to afford to live in most of the South of England.

Forgive my political ranting, I’m hoping a low like this can inspire people with compassion and principle to work together to provide an alternative to this sickening fuck up.

You know, hope is a mistake. If you can’t fix what’s broken, you’ll go insane.

Songs for the Midsummer Rain

(think this might be Mica Levi’s first thing since doing the music for Under The Skin, not sure)



Summer playlist growing on Whyd.

Animated Journal S02E01

After some interesting conversations with friends and some on-line encouragement I’ve decided to start the Animated Journal again.

As always it was always about turning the process of animation into an accessible and ephemeral thing rather than the extremely lengthy and complicated process of tradition, and to really try to show how something felt in a particular moment.

These are from elements captured in Leigh Woods a few weeks ago.

Since I completed the first one we’ve had the progression of things like Vine and Instagram video which mean many more people have been playing and being very creative with the very short form. You can find the original Journal here.

Please enable sound