Bruce Lee – Better at ping pong than Jamie Oliver

27 11 2008

OK so most of you have seen the C4 promo (below) with Jamie Oliver revealing his prowess at ping pong.

But wait a minute. Have you seen the real master, Bruce Lee. Now there’s showing off.

Wow. Another great use of compositing and motion tracking to make a funny and believable video. I’m in the process of putting together a few posts and tutorials on greenscreening, compositing, motion tracking/ matchmoving so watch this space for more. 

Also check out the Gremlins fan film for more fun and a great making of video which explains the processes involved.


Don’t Forget about me – posts from the past

19 10 2008

Ink Tank Experiments

Here are a couple of companies who have been doing really interesting things with the classic film technique of filming ink and other substances. By experimenting with this technique and then treating it in after effects or other post-production software you…


Pixilation is a great technique for producing quick and fantastic looking animation. Based on stop motion, where the animator places clay figures or other 3d objects in front of the camera, takes a frame then moves the objects and repeats. The difference…

 The Action Cats

a group of designers, animators and filmmakers who use interesting experimental and traditional techniques to produce an innovative and dark look for their piece “The Experiment”. “The Experiment” was produced for Adobe’s “See what’s possible”…

David Anderson – Door

There is a great power in inanimate objects and architectural features, and exploited here is the door. A closed door is a very powerful image. Just seeing it places questions into the audiences mind, raising their emotional expectation. A closed…

Dangerous Parking

This shows some really interesting text, being deformed in a wispy, smoky way…

Rojo TV

Full of really interesting creative video work, this site really spans a wide range of artistic video and motion graphics work. This should prove to be a great source…

Richard Fenwick

Richard Fenwickis a designer/filmmaker/animator who works across a wide range of formats. He goes where the idea takes him, flitting between animation/design…


Mark Lewis

I saw his work at the BFI Southbank gallery in October 07. He often uses strong effects, like the ‘vertigo shot’ / dolly zoom (or whatever you want to call it)…


Rosie Pedlow / Joe King – Sea Change

A beautifully simple idea executed very well, Rosie and Joe’s film takes a seaside caravan park as its subject, and reveals through a series of smooth tracking shots…



Is there anything worth watching on TV anymore? Not a great deal, but there’s usually a lot of nice idents about. For a while BBC2 and Channel4 have been… 


 Jan Svankmajer

Jan Svankmajer is a real influence for me. Often miscribed as an animator, he should really be classed as a surrealist filmmaker as his work moves effortlessly between…

6pli – Experimental visualisation of bookmarks.

21 09 2008

I know, It sounds rubbish. But I’ve been investigating the 6pli visualisation tool for delicious bookmarks. A bit geeky maybe. But it does look great and it’s really useful for working your way around hundreds or thousands of bookmarks – which I have. I’m looking at using it when building my new creativevideomovingimage weblink archive for students, so this is a test run. 

The only problem I’ve found is that it seems to start you off on a random page. In order to get home, and to a nice starting point I suggest clicking on the CLICK ON THIS IF YOU’RE LOST AND WANT TO GO HOME link that should be on most pages – if not then try clicking on a few things, especially the floating tag categories and it’ll soon appear.


Every time you click on something the whole thing animates and reveals new links and tags. If you want, you can spin around by this 3d visualisation clicking and dragging the mouse in an empty piece of space. 

I’m not sure really how useful it will prove to be, but please try it anyway. Especially as there’s a lot of really useful links out there. The direct link to the page is

UK Creative Film and Moving Image Festivals

21 09 2008

Festivals are an essential part of the calendar and I have decided to pull together some of the most relevant (and local) festivals that students should attend / enter. You will be amongst people who share your interests and passion, and who would make great contacts / collaborators. You will be inspired to push your work further – by being astounded by something’s brilliance (or even by its mediocrity – thinking I can do better than that). These films will be something that you are unlikely to see on TV or the internet, and are often surrounded by talks, workshops and seminars. 

So go see some work – Raise your game – Enter some festivals – Meet some contacts – Win some awards.

This is a work in progress and if you have any more finds then please let me know. I’m mainly concentrating on UK Festivals / Conferences etc primarily concerned with Creative Video & Moving Image, but will occasionally drop in an international festival if I’m hoping to go to it or to take my students.


22-23 Oct 08- Power to the pixel. – London

“Power to the Pixel brings together the leading innovators, filmmakers and entrepreneurs who are changing the way independent film and media is financed, created and reaches audiences.” Looks very interesting for digital pioneers and runs alongside the London Film Festival. Has also run in Feb

All Month – Noise Festival – Online

“NOISE is not your typical arts festival. It has no physical location; the central hub of activity takes place on the NOISE website and across the media – print, television, radio and online – making it the first ‘virtual’ festival of its kind in Europe. NOISE exhibits the very best in creative talent from people 25 and under – any creative work that can be presented digitally (on screen or on air) including across fashion, film, music, design, architecture, written word, graphic design, fine art and illustration.”


12 – 16 Nov 08 – Aurora – Norwich

“AURORA is an annual festival in Norwich, UK which focuses on the manipulated moving image. A uniquely multidisciplinary, progressive event, it fuses artist retrospectives and thematic film programmes with discussion events, live performance and installations, alongside the very best new work from across the world for space and screen.”

12 – 15 Nov 08 – Bradford Animation Festival

“Bradford Animation Festival (BAF), the UK’s biggest and longest-running annual animation festival, is a project of the National Media Museum. Host to masterclasses, seminars, workshops, screenings and special events led by some of the animation industry’s top names, the festival’s high point is the annual BAF Awards, which celebrate the very best in new animation from around the world.”

18 – 23 Nov 08 – Encounters Short Film Festival  Bristol

“screening the very very best short films from around the universe!” ‘The big thinking short film festival’ the Guardian. Encounters offers an important platform for both new and established filmmakers to showcase their work and is the place to be inspired, to talk technology, share ideas and make new connections.  6 days of screenings, special events, workshops and masterclasses and those all important networking opportunities: the parties!”

29 – 30 Nov 08 – Bang Film Festival  Nottingham

“Bang! is a non-competitive festival of short films hosted and supported by the Broadway Cinema, Nottingham, UK, and mixes local, national and international films to create an original and exciting programme. Without filmmakers or an audience we would not exist, so we do it for them. Bang! looks at all short films, and has no genre restrictions whatsoever.”


29 Nov – 6 Dec 08 – Camerimage – Lodz, Poland

“The International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography PLUS CAMERIMAGE is the greatest and most recognized festival dedicated to the art of cinematography and its creators – cinematographers. It is held annually in Lodz, the second biggest city in Poland, the capital of the Polish cinema. PLUS CAMERIMAGE contributes to the growth of cinematographers’ prestige. The unconventional format of the Festival, which awards films according to their visual, aesthetic and technical values, has turned out to be an alternative for traditional film festivals. As all our guests emphasize – PLUS CAMERIMAGE is unique. The Festival proves to be a great forum not only for presentation but also for further development of international moviemaking. PLUS CAMERIMAGE helps young filmmakers and integrates the community of those already recognized, allowing them to explore new artistic areas ”



TBC – Flatpack Festival – Birmingham

“The festival remains fiendishly difficult to summarise, but intrepid punters can expect to find shorts, animation, music documentaries, independent features, live soundtracks, discussion events, web oddities, installations, parties and plenty more besides – with a general focus on people using limited resources in imaginative ways. ”



TBC – Cambridge International Super 8 Film Festival. UK

“The Super 8 format has undergone a creative renaissance in the last few years due to the digital revolution. Our competition and panorama programmes will show the best films originated on the brilliant Super 8 format. In 2008, the second Cambridge International Super 8 Film Festival was a successful event with more than 88 short films shown in three days! More than 20 filmmakers from all around Europe joined the festival for a great three days of networking and films. All genres were represented (animation, fiction, documentaries and experimental film), showing the  diversity of our selection.”

TBC – Moves 09 – Manchester

“moves08!  focused on the interaction of sound and movement in film through screenings, debates and hands-on creative events. most films shown at moves and in fact most experimental film work, do not have dialogues, which gives a prominent role to sound in the pieces. moves’ remit is to present work with a strong take on movement and moves08 explore the connection between these two elements. 

24 – 30 April 09 – Sensoria – Sheffield

“The UK’s Festival of Music and Film: Sensoria 2008 saw a heady mix of films, music, exhibitions and fun. Jarvis came along and introduced his art school films, Richard Hawley kicked off the proceedings on the opening night, Reverend and the Makers joined in the industry day fun, Richard H Kirk gave an av installation in the surreal location of the Grosvenor Hotel and ITN gave a stunning soundtrack performance in the atmospheric surroundings of the cathedral.”


TBC – Lovebytes – Sheffield

“Lovebytes invites you to experience challenging and experimental new art and design at the wave-front of digital culture. Everything is free and open to everyone, welcoming both newcomers and seasoned festival goers alike.” – Last year this festival was scaled down considerably from previous years, but also made free. Some you win, some you lose.

13 – 16 May 09 – Futuresonic – Manchester

Futuresonic Urban Festival of Art, Music and Ideas 

Futuresonic is an international festival now in its 13th year occupying the orbits of both digital culture and music.  Futuresonic has 4 main strands: Art, Music, Ideas and EVNTS. At its heart is the Futuresonic Conference: The Social Technologies Summit.  Futuresonic 2008 featured 5 days and nights of live music, art premieres, exhibitions, club nights and events featuring a world-class programme of over 350 artists attended by 50,000 people in 30 venues and spaces across the city centre. Click here to visit the Futuresonic 2008 website.


TBC – B.Tween – Sheffield

“b.TWEEN events have networking, business and inspiration at their core. Our events provide a level playing field where creative innovators can meet potential collaborators and big industry clients“[b.TWEEN] creates unique opportunities for practitioners from the independent digital creative and content sectors to interact with broadcasters, commissioning bodies and brands””

Jul Aug Sept


International Festivals



The Action Cats

25 06 2008

Motionographer, an excellent website for creative moving image work has an interview with The Action Cats, a group of designers, animators and filmmakers who use interesting experimental and traditional techniques to produce an innovative and dark look for their piece “The Experiment”

“The Experiment” was produced for Adobe’s “See what’s possible” competition, and stood out from the crowd by its unusual look and mix of technique. It’s refreshing to see techniques experimented and played with to such great effect. 

In the interview they explain their working processes and have included a number of videos and stills to elaborate on their processes. This is great to see the evolution involved. Follow the interview here and click the links below to see the work.


Ink tank film experiments

18 06 2008

Here are a couple of companies who have been doing really interesting things with the classic film technique of filming ink and other substances. By experimenting with this technique and then treating it in after effects or other post-production software you can really make astonishing looking work. These really push the integration of the ink and post production in a way that makes it greater than what many others have done.



I really like the editing in of the spinning graphic element into the Dstrukt piece above – “Reading Nature”, and the way that the layers interact and subtract. The combination of different elements helps create a distinct look. The tracking markers also work really well in this piece about evolution, contrasting the low and high tech.




Sesucht, a German company have also played with inktanks for this amazingly choreographed piece “Symphony in Red”. This work is really in a class of it’s own, seamlessly mixing the filmed experiments into an after effects 3d space. At one point they use timeremapping to turn the ink into sprouting flowers. A very clever combination of a natural technique and software. Oh and all the text ‘washing’ away was done for real – no displacement maps, keying or other such trickery. Just Dishwasher detergent and the text printed onto foils. 

To find it you need to navigate through their website, click on Action, then References and it’s near the bottom. Once you’re there also check out their “Black Poem” which is absolutely astounding. Their use of sound is wonderful. 

Get an old fish tank and try it yourself.  Use inks, milk, detergents, oils, whatever you can find. To find lots more experiments that people have made, just checkout youtube entries like this one, and start clicking.


30 05 2008

Is there anything worth watching on TV anymore? Not a great deal, but there’s usually a lot of nice idents about. For a while BBC2 and Channel4 have been fighting it out for the best channel idents, both producing innovative and exciting little pieces of television history, often a disappointment when the programme starts and you have to wait for the next one. But wait no more, go to where they have a growing collection of the best (and worst – see BBC1 and ITV1’s very expensive but boring attempts). So I have taken a look and picked a few out for you.


Fiver – for Channel5

Some really funky new audiovisual idents for Channel5’s rebranding of Five Life. Simple, clean design, really exploring movement and colour. Produced by We are Seventeen. Really reminds me of the work of Oskar Fischinger.



Not sure personally about the success of the new BBC2 idents Some very great simple ideas which stand out are below.


I love this one because it’s real – no cg or compositing required.



Definite recent faves had to be these ‘Cutting up Christmas’ ones

Going back a little bit further, you just had to love the characterisation of these little 2’s. Not shown here, but I loved the one which was a yapping jumping dog put inside a fluffy 2.

And going back even further


Channel 4

I think that Channel4 is probably my current favourite for innovative idents. You can’t help but have been amazed when you first saw the 4 logo forming out of disparate objects.

These have been running for quite a while now, but seeing a new one is always a treat.You can click on the few above to see them, or click here for a link to’s full list.

It’s a real shame that don’t have more of the older idents. I remember the previous idents being very interesting, remarkably different to these ones. I’ll try to dig some of them up.

And of course there’s the absolute classic design by Lambie Nairn. So Iconic that they have never tried to really mess with it, where the other channels have often had radical rebranding. In fact the latest idents are really harking back to the original idea – a series of disparate blocks forming a coherant 4 logo. 

As well – The Channel 4 offshoots E4 and E4 Music have some really great and funky idents as well. Some really great ones produced by Andy Martin can be seen on his website here.

Somebody’s really going experimental on us at S4/C, producing a series of idents which interact with the voice over. On the whole, very bizarre.