31 Jul 2012

Kernowland in Erthwurld - stop motion animation film pilot

Kernowland in Erthwurld - stop motion animation film pilot to be made by director, Zeke Ares
Jack Trelawny and Zeke Ares (stop motion animation film-maker)
This is exciting news... a film pilot for Kernowland in Erthwurld!
Zeke Ares at work on a film
A short while ago I was invited to attend a meeting in Stoke-on-Trent with Zeke Ares, a graduate of the Staffordshire University Stop Motion Animation and Puppet-making course (more below).
I had recently visited Zeke's son's school, John Baskeyfield Primary, and signed a Kernowland 1 The Crystal Pool book for him. This led to Zeke contacting me with a view to creating a pilot for a stop motion animation film based on my Kernowland in Erthwurld series of books. 'Stop motion animation' is the technique used for making films like Wallace and Gromit.
We had an initial meeting and decided that a stop motion animation film pilot would be the first step to arranging funding for the main film or films. An important consideration was a working title for the film. Since Kernowland is a tiny kingdom in a wider imaginary world called, ERTHWURLD, we decided on that as the title. That would allow the possibility for further films set in Erthwurld at a later date.
Once completed, the ERTHWURLD film pilot will be submitted to various bodies and organisations, such as the National Lottery and film and TV companies, with a view to arranging the funding to move forward with the project. Everyone involved has got fingers - and everything else - crossed that we can get the funding after the pilot is finished.

It's been great fun learning about the film-making process...

After Zeke had read the start of the story to get ideas for the characters, plot, dialogue, and settings, he could start making some rough sketches. He then sent me the sketches and asked me lots of questions so that he could make some more detailed drawings to pass on to the storyboard artist. The pictures below, by artist Joel Townsend, show the storyboard Shots 6, 7, and 8, drawn for Zeke's short Degree Show film, Surge.
The next pictures show some of Zeke's work making the sets and puppets for the Surge stop motion animation film. It takes a long time to design and make everything before filming can start.

Stop Motion Animation and Puppet-making course at Staffordshire University

If you - or someone you know - are interested in an animation film-making career, here is a little bit more information about the Stop Motion Animation and Puppet-making course at Staffordshire University...
It is 'the country's only purely Stop Motion Animation course'. It is 'at the front of the development of new technologies for the Stop Motion industry'. It offers 'a series of specialist lectures, demonstrations and seminars, introducing students to professional stop-frame animation, puppetry, camera, lighting and editing. Built on core animation principles you will develop a series of pilots and shorts for television'.

More about the Staffordshire University Animation Department from the university website...

Our animation department specialises in supporting Animation, 3-D Character Animation, Stop-Motion and Puppet Making and Visual Effects. We are constantly advancing our facilities and equipment to keep us at the fore of the animation and film effects industry. This ensures that our students are competent in practical aspects of production and confident working with new technologies, which will become of increasing importance as they enter the employment sector.

Stop Motion Studios 
These rooms are fully equipped with camera rigs, lighting kits and computers with Stop Motion Pro HD software for frame by frame capturing.
Animation Studio 
The animation studio has a range of facilities to suit Animation students in a range of disciplines. We have:- line testing stations equipped with cameras and lighting, light boxes, PC’s (with Toonboom, Photoshop, After Effects, Motion builder, Mud Box and Word Processing software) and Mac Pro computers (with Maya, Corel Painter, Photoshop CS5, ToonBoom Studio Pro, Harmony, Final Cut Pro, iMovie, iDVD, Combustion, Nuke and Microsoft Office). The area is fully supported by technicians with practical working knowledge of the software and the animation industry.

CGI Workshop
This room is the centre of post-production in the animation department boasting a number of Apple edit suites and relevant animation software. Our Mac Pro. stations support – Nuke, Maya and Motion capture, ToonBoom, Final Cut Studio 6, Photoshop CS5 Suite, Storyboard, Combustion and Corel Paint. The CGI workshop supports post-production teaching hosted by a qualified technician and/or media practitioners and is open access for students preparing their own projects.

Chroma Green Room
With the advancement of CGI and computer animation in recent years the Media Centre has a Motion Capture suit for student use. The Chroma Green room supports the filming of Motion Capture. We have a chroma green infinity wall and professional lighting rig for students to film themselves interacting with animated characters.

I'll post more about the ERTHWURLD film project on the Blog as soon as there is some news to report.

For more on funding for films, see: British Film Institute


See you next time in the Story House.

Happy writing... and reading!


27 Jul 2012

London Olympics 2012 - Opening Ceremony - Seven Young Athlethes

London Olympics 2012 - The Opening Ceremony - Seven young athletes chosen to light the flame
The seven young athletes chosen to light the Olympic Flame
The Queen declared the London Olympics officially open tonight, before seven young athletes were given the honour of lighting the ceremonial flame.
The Queen on way to helicopter with James Bond
 The Opening Ceremony show featured British celebrities and sportspeople, including David Beckham and 
David Beckham
Bradley Wiggins rings the Giant Bell
Bradley Wiggins, and screen characters Mr Bean and James Bond.
Mr Bean
In a speech watched around the world, Games chief Jacques Rogge said: "The Olympic Games are coming home tonight."
Chris Hoy with GB flag
Flag-bearer Sir Chris Hoy earlier led out Team GB to cheers and applause.

The identity of who was to light the symbolic flame was shrouded in secrecy ahead of the ceremony.
David Beckham with the flame on speedboat
The flame made a dramatic arrival via the Thames on a speedboat carrying Beckham,
Sir Steve Redgrave with flame before he handed it to the young athletes
who handed the torch to Sir Steve Redgrave, who then handed the flame to the young athletes.
The seven teenagers light the flame
Then the group of seven teenagers, chosen by British Olympic champions, each lit a single tiny flame on the ground, igniting 205 petals, one for each competing nation or territory.
Long stems then rose towards each other to form a cauldron, signifying unity.

Let the games begin!

IDEA: True stories like this can give you ideas for your own stories. Imagine you were one of the seven young people chosen to light the flame. Find out all you can about what happened at the opening ceremony, and the seven teenagers who lit the flame, and then write a story in which you are one of the seven.


See you next time in the Story House.

Happy writing... and reading!


26 Jul 2012

SUMMER SALE - Amazon - Kernowland - Kindle Ebook Editions

£    $    
More than 50% off from today

Amazon - Kernowland - Kindle Ebook Editions
Great Summer Value in Amazon Kindle Stores
Click your regional Amazon store link below for 50%+ discount offers

Take all six Kernowland in Erthwurld eBooks
on holiday for less than half-price
£24.00 reduced to £10.50 for the whole set
Kernowland Kindle Editions - six adventure novels
Children, parents, and teachers have often mentioned to me during school visits and bookshop signing events that, whilst the children like to have the signed, dedicated, hardback Kernowland books as unique keepsake items, owning the eBook versions as well would mean the kids can take the stories for holiday reading on their portable devices. But, of course, they invariably point out that cost is a major consideration.

Great Summer Value in Amazon Kindle Stores
Click your regional Amazon store link below for 50%+ discount offers

Following this customer feedback, Campion Books, publishers of the six eBooks in the Kernowland in Erthwurld series, have now made all six titles available for purchase on the Amazon Kindle Store at Summer Sale discount prices equal to more than 50% off the usual retail price.

Kernowland Kindle eBooks can be downloaded and read using the relevant apps on the following devices:

Amazon Kindle
iPod Touch

Each Kernowland eBook has a Preview or Look Inside option.

Kernowland eBooks Summer Sale prices in pounds, dollars, and euros will be available until 30th September 2012.

Great Summer Value in Amazon Kindle Stores
Click your regional Amazon store link below for 50%+ discount offers

Reduced in pounds: £1.75 or less until 30th September 2012 (usually priced at around £4.00).
Also reduced in dollars and euros: less than $2.99 (+ local taxes) or euro equivalent (approximately €2.70) until 30th September 2012.

In the UK, this means that all six books can be downloaded for £10.50 (including VAT), compared to the usual pricing of about £24.00 for the set.
It's fast, easy, and now great Summer Value, to download the Kernowland eBooks from Amazon online stores to your preferred eBook device. Once downloaded, you own the whole set forever for less than half price.
Kernowland 1 The Crystal Pool
The adventure begins...
Tizzie and Louis are on holiday in Cornwall when they enter Echo Cave and are transported through the Crystal Pool to the amazing and mysterious Kingdom of Kernowland in Erthwurld
   Kidnapped by the nasty Melanchol Drym to be sold as slaves to Cap'n Pigleg and his pirates, they are soon separated in a slave auction at the Polperro Inn.
   Their plight looks hopeless. Until Louis is helped by the kindly Mr Sand. Now, before he can go home, the young boy has to rescue his sister. Will he be able to find and rescue Tizzie before she is sold on by the pirates and lost forever in Erthwurld?

You can download the discounted Kernowland eBooks from your regional Amazon store to your Kindle, iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone, Blackberry, PC, Mac, or other suitable reader, from TODAY...

Great Summer Value in Amazon Kindle Stores
Click your regional Amazon store link below for 50%+ discount offers


See you next time in the Story House.

Happy writing... and reading!