The style of the animated piece is very much inspired by the work of Lotte Reiniger, the German pioneer of silhouette animation, who produced incredible films in the mid-1920s including the world’s first animated feature film, 10 years before Walt Disney’s ‘Snow White’.
The storytelling is simple and linear, like a picture book, where each page turn takes the viewer to the next setting in the story. The film is made using a combination of simplistic shadow puppetry, animation and overhead projection combined in After Effects.
The characters are ‘paper-puppets’ designed and then laser cut from rigid paper. These are then jointed using brass fasteners. Puppeteers (Colin Purves, Mark Cantan & Damian Farrell) manipulate the puppets using rods and tabs working around an overhead projector; some of the tabs can still be seen in the film. The final movement is projected onto a large screen where it is captured on camera.
Director Of Photography, Richard Kendrick filmed the screen embracing all the flaws that a hand-made process like this will create. Overhead projectors like this create distortion and some colour separation around the edges of the black shapes.
The fabric screen itself has some movement and texture in it and colours tend to have a transparent quality to them when projected. There is light spill and bleed around the edges and the registration of elements is not always 100%, but this adds to the aesthetic. The backgrounds are made up of images printed on OHP acetates and collaged together on the lens of the projector. Everything in the film was captured using the process described above and all the elements were composited in After Effects.
The film features the voice of Kate Fitzgerald who submitted Laura’s story to RTÉ. Laura Lennox was Kate’s great-great-grand-aunt.
Executive Producer for RTÉjr
Damian Farrell / Elaine Gallagher
Puppetry and Projection Animation
Colin Purves, Mark Cantan & Damian Farrell
Director of photography
Sound Mixing & Recording
Barry Reid & Mark Fitzpatrick
Special thanks to Karen Fitzgerald and the Family of Laura Geraldine Lennox
Oldest Recording of Big Ben
Miss Ferguson & Graham Hope
© CABOOM 2020