I checked my emails on New Years Day and was really chuffed to find a nice, detailed reply from Sue Reddish, an animator who i got talking to at my boyfiend's work functions. She asked me what I studied at college and the sort of things i was into and she was thrilled when i told her about my recent animation project for the negotiated project. She said she mainly goes round local schools at the moment teaching people how to use I-stop Motion and she said i'm very welcome to accompany her any time just for a bit of experience and she even offered to set me a brief which i may take her up on. Here is her response:
Great to meet you the other night, I'm really happy to answer your questions, sorry it taken me a while to get back to you - just your average christmas madness! I'll try and give you brief bullet point answers here but if you need more information and your deadline allows, I'd be happy to talk further with you. You could give me a ring on 07********* in the new year and we can have a chat but in the meantime here is my waffley answers..............feel free to ignore if they dont make any sense
1. What first triggered a passion for creating I-stop animations?
The passion came from practicality! I am a theatre director by profession and have worked for many years with various groups and actors etc. Increasingly it was getting harder and harder to get community groups and young people to commit to the amount of rehearsal time it takes to create quality work and of course theatre is by nature ephemeral. I wanted to continue to create work using narrative techniques, that enabled people to voice their own ideas and aspirations, without them having to commit to a long rehearsal period. Animation allowed me to do this, it uses all the same storytelling techniques, 'real peoples' voices & you can work on in episodically. And of course as a digital 'product' it has a much longer shelf life and people can distribute their own work. I'm self taught and have made alot of mistakes!
2. Who would you consider your biggest influence and why?
Politically & artisically - Dorothy Heathcote, Joan LIttlewood, Théâtre de Complicit, Julie Taymor, Handspring Puppet company, Kate rusby the list could go on and on.......
Specifically animation wise - Jan Svankmajer, Quay brothers, Terry Gilliam
the list could go on for ever, but the why is easy - all these artists and companies balance craft and storytelling and in doing so present a unique view of the world
3. what qualities do prospective clients look for in a candidate?
I am mainly commissioned through various agencies , currently Curious Minds & CUE. they look for ability to engage people in the artistic process, facilitating them to create original work in their own voice to create a more diverse cultural product. obviously as well as the artistic skills and people skills , you also need a level of professionalism. Its relatively easy to get one job, but if you get more work from them, that speaks volumes. I always look on peoples CV's if they've been invited back on a job, same with actors.
Check out their websites www.curiousminds.org.uk & www.ioe.mmu.ac.uk/cue/
4. What do you find most challenging about teaching animation to children?
Where do I start! Actually the most challenging element is still time - children can make brilliant work quite quickly, but then to improve they need to do it again and again and yet sometimes they feel that having done it once, they dont have to do it again! And the other main issue or challenge is the crappy state of technology in most schools. God save me from school computers!
Hope this is useful,
dont hesitate to get back to me if you need more
until then, hope you both have a good christmas and new year