Monday, 16 August 2010

The 'Moving Image' Industry | North West | Mark Mason

 I dont know if this is one person or if its a company, it says their a company but the name of the 'company' is a persons name so i'm a bit confused but i like what they do.
The company appealed to me because they specialize in classical 2D animation and flash animation, and to keep up to date, they mix their love for 2D animation to live action and also 3D work.

The company is based in Clitheroe which is just above use (manchester) in the northwest.

They have done work on a few children shows...

>Angelmouse - they were asked by a company called Silver Fox Films to do work on this cartoon. Mark Manson contributed these things...Story Boards...Animation Direction...Layouts...Animtion Design Keys (think that's the key frames, then some other company dose the inbetweens) and also Voice Overs.
They also did the art work for he followup books that came out for the cartoon.

>William's Wish Wellingtons - Mark Manson's was asked to do the inbetweens and line testings on the first series of the show. With the success of the first series, Mark Manson was asked to produce...Character Design...Layouts...Story Boards...Animation Direction...Inbetweens...animation and more

>Jumping Jupiter - Developed and made by the Mark Manson company, Jumping Jupiter is a pre-school cartoon series which they say isn't patronizing towards the target audience. Its looks really nice, and the style is nice and unique and stands out above things you might normally see.
Here's the style of Jumping Jupiter...

As well as the above, they also did storyboards for the cgi series of Magic Roundabout and also animation and storyboards for Snailsbury Tales 

Lastly I want to talk about their illustration and character design work. As well as doing loads of animation for television shows, they also do alot of character designs for companies who want a character to promote their product or a company who wants characters designed for a book.

This is what they believe about character designs...

>Cartoon characters are instantly recognisable.
>Cartoon characters increase brand awareness.
>The design of a cartoon character can be easily targetted, let's say, a particular age group.
>Huge potential for humour - a primary method of communicating ideas.
>In comparison with the use of an actor, cartoon characters never age, have super-human abilities and will never demand a pay rise!

Here's some of their designs... 

I really like this company, there doing 2D animation which i really take an interest in and also character design which i love and they don't keep to a certain style (which is shown by the pictures above). As well as this, there making their own shows like the Jumping Jupiter series whilst also working on other companies projects which they get commissioned to do.



One thing which puzzeled me about this company was it's name. I thought, at first, that this place was just a freelance worker (because the name of the company is a name) but then it says on the website "Mark Mason Animation is a British Cartoon Animation company" which lead me to believe that, like walt disney, its named after the person who founded the company.

I e-mailed them about this question because I was interested in their work and liked what they were doing. I also thought that seems as though we have to find some one in future to take portfolios to this would be a good place for me.

Well. Mark Mason got back to me with this to say...

"Over the years I’ve been a limited company and an individual, employing freelancers as and when the need arises.
Currently you can class me as a freelance animator."

I was hoping to find out Mark Mason was an animation company who employed animators , but ow well.

Thursday, 12 August 2010


 My mum and dad went on holiday (well a cruise) and they went to a cafe' called Ars which made them laugh, then they got a wiper with the name of the place on it which made them laugh even more, so they brought one back for me.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The 'Moving Image' Industry | General | Freelance

I've talked about Joanna Quinn who is....well she has a company now, but still dose freelance work.

I was reading about working as a freelancer on this website and, well, there's a lot of responsibility in it.

> managing you time
> managing your buget
> making lots of calls and get your self noticed
> negotiation skills
> know about legal stuff...contracts, the government etc. 

Reading from the website
 Being a freelancer you gotta be able to negotiate, don't give in to a price for a job which you think too little and you end up getting payed below what you are being asked to produce.

 Managing you time is obiously a big thing, you want to have everything done for the deadline, not just because you want to get payed, but because you want the client to come back to you or pass on the word that this guy is prompt etc...
So making sure everythings done on time will hopefully mean clients will want your work again and also pass on the word which means your building up a list of clients who would come back to you and also give a good reference.

 The website also mentions 'slow periods' which says that when clients aren't calling you for work you need to have money aside to get you through it...
 My dad's friend who's the author is also an actor and has a job which involves going to schools and giving a group of kids revision tips etc..
 So he may be working freelance but he also has a job (which it flexible) to bring in income. I was asked to do illustrations for 2 of his books (one which was a reissue and another new one) but him and the publishers havn't come to an agreement yet and one has even been canceled till further notice because the company/ publishers finding it hard to stay afloat! so for him he's having a slow period! but it dose help that his wife has a steady job, so he is able to have these periods of slow income because there is still money coming in. So being married/in a relationship helps!

So there's loads of things to take into account and it appeals to some people and not others .

Me, well,  i dont know. I dont think i'm ready to manage my work and stay alive at the same time...also your working on your own and that dosn't appeal to me, i would rather be throwing round ideas in a group....but we are 2 years a way from being let loose so things might change.

People like Joanna Quinn and John Lasserter had very strong student films and got noticed and then decided what to do, John went to work for Disney from showing a strong portfolio and Joanna became a freelancer. Two student films, two separate ways.


I went for my hair cut a month ago (i've had it cut inbetween then, but the conversation was from early july)
The barber a go to owns the his shop, he doesn't work for anyone, and we were talking about holidays and where I was going and where he was going (just passing the time while he chops my hair to avoid that awkward silence) he was saying he's going away in September for a week and i said "a weeks too short, why not two weeks instead?" and he replayed "because when this place isn't open, I'm not making money"

To be a freelancer you have got to be motivated to work.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

The 'Moving Image' Industry | North West | Red Vision

Another Manchester based company who also have a base in London. Red Vision are responsible for a few things for the BBC, one called 'ancient voices' which red vision claims was probably the first ever program to  introduce realistic virtual characters (ancient voices was a series on the BBC in 1998)
Also for the BBC they did special effects for a program called 'Battlefield Britain' which won them a BAFTA in 2005 for visual effects.

As well as work for the BBC they have done (reading from the 'about' section on their website) work for Hiscox Insurance...heres the ad (they did the cats bit!.....

As well as making loads of cats run across the screen, they also made 'a huge crowd' for a T in the Park campaign, but from what I saw this year when i was there, they didn't have to make one!

Their latest thing on their website which they have produced was in 2006...nearly 4 years since they did anything???? who knows but in 2006 they did effects for a program called 'Ocean Odyssey'
Although, saying that they did that show called 'Headcases' know, the one with the celebrities with big heads on ITV 1.....might have lasted one season but i have no idea when it aired, just says 'Sunday 6th April 10pm'. Anyway here's a picture of Katie Price and Peter Andre...this should help date the program (if you read The Sun)!!

(Wikipedia says 2008)

I don't know what to think of this place, some of the stuff they've done, which can be vieved on their website....