Monday, July 23, 2007

Kate Nash - Foundations

Anybody heard it? I have and is it just me or does she sound exactly like Catherine Tate? I bet if Catherine really did sing it nobody would be able to tell the difference!
Any thoughts you want to add?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Cosgrove Hall

Hi peeps!
You all know the work of Cosgrove Hall don't ya? Yeah sure you do. They make Postman Pat, Rupert Bear, Engie Benjy and Roary the Racecar. They are also the people behind Count Duckula and Dangermouse not to mention countless other cartoon classics. Well, I went and visited their head quarters on Tuesday 17th!
I went to Manchester by train and a day return only cost me £8.25 from Wrexham which I thought was great because the taxi from Piccadily station to the studio cost me £8! I got there at half past 12 and Chris Bowden met up with me. He took me upstairs to a meeting room where I showed him my second year animation and models that I used. (Its a stop-motion piece) He said that I was doing well with how I was constructing my models and I seemed to be able to give good weighting to the characters.
Next he took me to the studio where Roary the Racecar was being filmed. This studio was off-site across the road. They have 7 sets ready for animating and loads of copies of all the models so they can shoot lots of different scenes all at the same time. There were two animators filming when I went in. Apparently the average amount of filming they get done in one day is 11 seconds per animator!
Then we went and had dinner. I had a chicken curry and met up with Nick Roberson who was the man who put me in contact with Chris in the first place. He works for Mackinnon and Saunders who make all of the stop-motion puppets for the animations. They are world famous model makers. They did all the stuff for Corpse Bride. We had a little chat and then I went to the puppet department.
I was shown how the puppets are made and also how they are repaired when they break. Rupert was brought in while I was there who needed a new right arm because two of his fingers had snapped! I was told fingers only last about a week on a model because they get used that much. I took some photos, only about 3, and then was taken on a tour of the rest of the building by a nice lady called Lisa.
She took me to the costume department where some hand puppets were being made for the Rupert Bear characters. They were only about 4cm tall. Then I went to the sound recording studios. They have two recording rooms and two editing rooms. They also have one room just for the computer towers so that they don't interfere with the recordings. I wish our university recording room was as sound proof. It's next to the girls toilet so if anyone dries their hands when you're recording then you get the hand drier on their too! Then I was taken to Flix which is the company responsible for editing the Rupert Bear episodes together with the computer generated background which they make.
I was then handed over to someone else, who's name I've forgotten, to go and look at the Rupert Bear sets and models being filmed. This was a bit rushed though because Chris had ordered a taxi for me so that I wouldn't miss my return train and it was due to arrive within about 5 minutes. The Rupert Bear crew didn't seem as organised as the lot working on Roary. Maybe they were nearing a deadline, I don't know.
Anyway, I caught my return train in plenty of time (I was half an hour early!) and got back to Wrexham at 6 o'clock. I had a very enjoyable day but if someone was to ask me if it lived up to my expectations then I wouldn't know what to say as I didn't really have any expectations before I went.
I forgot to ask a lot of questions while I was there unfortunately so I emailed Chris with them after I got back. He's not replied yet. I hope he does soon.
Congratulations! You have now reached the end of this extremely long entry. Go have a cookie or something.