Muddle Earth nominated for a Bafta!

CBBC’s Muddle Earth, on which I was the lead Compositor and VFX guy, has been nominated for a BAFTA!  How crazy is that?  This wonderful show that took up 18 months of my life has received some sort of industry recognition, which, humbly, I think it deserves.  Animated by a small team of amazingly talented British animators, designed by some of the best industry talent from the past twenty or so years, funded entirely by the BBC – i.e. the British Public – this show has been nominated by industry peers for a Bafta.

Well, you know, I want to say well done to all the people who worked on it.  We should be very proud.

Just to prove it, here’s the link to the BAFTA website:

http://www.bafta.org/awards/childrens/2011-childrens-awards-nominations-winners,2169,BA.html#jump0

Yippee!

Doctor Who: Flesh and Stone – Which Doctor

Just watched this again after listening to Flashing Blade Episode 1-48.

At 7.25 minutes in on the bbc iplayer version, the Doctor leaves Amy and he’s not wearing a jacket. He then returns a few moments later with his shirt back on, and his right sleeve rolled up.  Also, if you listen to the sound, it sounds a little echoey, almost as if they are somewhere else.

So, this is something else, isn’t it?  I mean, this is a Doctor from another episode come in to tell Amy to trust him, and to remember what he said to her when they first met.  This means I’ve got to go back to the Eleventh Hour and watch it yet again.  Not to mention all of the others so far too.

It’s getting like looking for the Observer (CBG – Creepy Bald Guy) on Fringe.  And that is also touching genius at the moment.  Nuff said there, about Season 2, just in case.

Doctor Who Season 5 (ish) Episode 1 – SPOILERS!

SPOILER ALERT!  SPOILER ALERT!

Okay, I’m going to make this quick as I’ve got a backout blind to put up.  It’s the blitz in 1939, Derbyshire.  Confounded time circuits…

Last night, Episode 1 of the new series of Doctor Who.

Great start.  Really, great.  Matt Smith channeling a small amount of Tennant as well as reforming into his gawky college professor at the same time – maybe it’s not being used to the new legs – and the madness of RTD coupled with more natural colours, bringing Moffat’s reign in at as gentle parabola rather than a smash of a change.  Great.  Titles time tunnel effects?  No, don’t like them one bit.  It’ll take time for me to like that.  Especially the, ahem, fiery corridor.

BUT, I can’t get Amy Pond out of my head. No, not for that reason.  There’s something all together, for want of a better word, alien about her.

Amy Pond, is she human?  I’m not that sure.

1.  The beasty in the episode came through a crack in the space in her bedroom that it did not create.  Who did?  Amy or the invisible Aunt?

2. The beasty has been in prison or her house, it’s only contact with the outside world being Amelia/Amy.  How does it know about this, word probably wrong here, Pandoricle that will silence the world?  From the Aunt or from it’s psychic link with Amy?

3. Where are her parents?  We only know she was raised in Scotland.  Her “Aunt” now looking after her.

4. She is scared of nothing really.  That’s not completely normal for a 12 year old child.

5. The Doctor does seem to be quite interested in her and that crack, the contents of the monitor above the console being a wavelength superimposed over the crack. – I’m sure he knows more than he’s letting on.

6. Is she Gallifreyan?  When the Doctor questions her choice of career, she says, “You sound like my Aunt.”  Possibly a throw away line, but this is Steven Moffat after all.  Perhaps she is being hidden on Earth for some reason by a timelord as she is this pandoricle or something to do with it, maybe she is capable of causing collosal cracks in the Space Time Continuum and Earth is, as the Doctor reminds us, a level 5 protected planet.  If I was a child with this sort of power and I ended up living in England away from my home, I mnighnt accidentally open up a crack with my unbalanced emotions.

7.  All this could be bollocks and she might just be a normal girl running away from reality…  Yeah, right.


Final word.

We all know that SM wants to make Doctor Who a little more reminiscent of the classic series, but keeping the feel of the new series.  Who wouldn’t, sounds like the perfect decision to me.  And, as we all know, the classic Doctors had alien companions as well as Earth born ones.  Is this a cushion into introducing a non human companion?  Oo, I do hope so.

Muddle Earth on BBC iplayer

You can see the first episode – Footwear of Doom – right now on the bbc iplayer – oh and in HD too, seeing as everything has been produced at 1080p it makes sense!

SD –  http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00rkgpb/Muddle_Earth_Footwear_of_Doom/

HD – http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00rkgpb/hd/Muddle_Earth_Footwear_of_Doom/

Hope you like it.  All comments appreciated.

Gary

Peter Kay’s Children In Need Single.

I have been wanting to blog about this for ages!

When I began working at Hullabaloo Studios on what was then a secret project for CBBC – which is now known to be an adaptation of the Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell’s “Muddle Earth” book – I was told in no uncertain terms about another very secret project that NO ONE could be told about. Yep, the Peter Kay single. Over the last four months I have been privy to more backstage stuff than I could have ever imagined: Sitting between George and Zippy, eyeing up FAB 1 and Lady Penelope, being staggered by the real size of a Teletubbie (Tinky-Winky is about 8 feet tall all suited and booted) and actually being allowed to hold one of the Wombles.

It’s been really amazing. We all became acutely aware that something was happening when a muffled medley of original songs began to drone repeatedly about the building. This brought most of us out of our rooms and into the main area of the unit we work in. Imagine our surprise and joy to see an orange head with a zipped mouth and a pink hippo dancing just above a blue wall to this cacophony in front of a small camera crew. No sooner was the recording over than I had the pleasure of sitting between my two heros and, after an accidental impression of Zippy in front of him, getting a swift knock on the head from the zippered one.

Over the course of about three weeks, we got to see Muffin the Mule, the aforementioned Teletubbies, Thunderbirds, Postman Pat and Jess – in Pat 3, not Pat 1 unfortunately, the original Fireman Sam, Bob the builder, Andy Pandy and Tedy, Bagpuss, Little robots and so many more. An awful lot of people did an awful lot of work and produced something magical. I even managed to help out myself in a a tiny way. I created the lava in the lava lamp using Blender’s metaball system made to look like wax thanks to a liberal amount of Sub Surface scattering.

Here are three pictures taken at the tail end of the project when everyone was finishing up. Until this point, only official photographs were available. Apparently, I’ll get the one of me, Zippy and George tomorrow. Can’t Wait!

 

 

Pudsey About to Step on One of Andy Pandy’s interchangeable heads!

Big chris showing them all the green screen on his iphone – to be filled in with angelina Ballerina I think!

Paddington in his Cool dudds and Pingu pulling some wicked shapes! – 😉

One Final Word:

GO AND SUPPORT CHILDREN IN NEED AND BUY THE DVD SINGLE AS SOON AS YOU CAN!!!

Seven years and six months ago…

…I started working for 422 Manchester. It was quite a time of change for me; my wife was pregnant, our house back in London was sold one minute then not sold the next. We had already bought the house in Derbyshire and our finances were all over the place. Everything was in a state of flux.

422 was a wonderful rock that helped to stabilise us. And the last seven and a half years have been amazing. But time waits for no man, and I’m not getting any younger – despite the painting of me in my loft looking older by the day – and for one reason or another today is my last day at 422 Manchester.

It has been great. The years have flown by in what feels like a couple of weeks. I will always have fond memories of this place – I am sitting at my desk here as I write this – but I decided to change my path. A little for now, but perhaps a lot more in the not too distant future.

I am going to be working on a bit of a hush hush children’s project for the BBC over the next year. I’m not entirely sure what I can say, but I will be keeping this blog a little more regular.

I’ll still be writing for 3DWorld. They’re not getting rid of me that easily. 😉

Anyway, I’ve got a few things to finish up, so I had better be getting on.

Speak to you soon

G

Supernatural’s Lucifer

Here in the UK, the last episode of season 4 of “Supernatural” aired about a week ago, with the opening of Hell and, I am assuming, the direct opposite of God Rays coming out of it heralding the rise of Lucifer.

Well, the identity of Lucifer has been confirmed as Mark Pellegrino.

markpellegrino

Jacob in Lost.

An abusive husband in “Dexter”.

Now Lucifer.

So, not really typecast as a seriously deranged individual, then…