Pin Animation

How many animations can you make on the head of a pin??  Well, here’s one….

Son Lux – Change is Everything.


Writing Time Travel – beginnings and endings

Opening our eyes on day one of a New Year (in the UK), we find ourselves in the oddity of having to write dates on paper differently – having to remember to write the year as 2018 instead of 2017.

But what about Time Travel?  When did it start?  A few musings on this by Nerdwriter.

Nerdwriter’s discussion is punctuated with excellent video clips – a rather good reminder of many good science fiction films which are worth seeing again.

Creative Takeaways

If you like writing science fiction, involving time travel, then this is a good reminder of some of the most powerful stories told – so far – in the genre.  It’s interesting to see that society now concentrates on dystopian (negative) visions of the future, whereas about a hundred years ago, there were so many books about a positive future, a utopia.

If you’re going to seriously write story pondering cause and effect, then a deeper look at timelines in fiction would be this one, by MinutePhysics.


Rhythm of time – editing film/video

Youtube channel Every Frame a Painting (Tony Zhou) has featured on this blog before, illustrating action gags on film by Buster Keaton.  Today, I got caught up in another of his masterful short 10 minute videos “How does an Editor think and feel” – about finding rhythm in film/video editing.  However, as I listen, I hear it as more than that, it’s about finding rhythm in poetry, in speaking, in life – and the importance of time for thought process, belief and experience.

People aren’t machines – we need time to feel the emotion – and if the movie doesn’t give it to us, we don’t believe it – Every Frame a Picture


Moonshine, Dreamworks, animator, painter

What art do animation artists love to make?

Just today, came across this lovely little video about the art which Dreamworks animation artists make in their private life – and an exhibition of it – great variations in styles and materials.  The cherry on the cake, for me, is an endearing comment at the very end from Jeffrey Katzenberg that he’d love to live among the art on the 3rd floor of  the Musee D’Orsay m, Paris (the Impressionists).  My feeling exactly, when I first encountered it, I practically had to be prised away with crowbars.  And I had to revisit the next day.  Hands up anyone else who had the same reaction?

After watching this, it is clear that animation artists are indeed fine artists – and they love to paint and draw.  All the time.  Even while waiting in a queue for something too mundane to mention.  Keenness and enthusiasm is right there.  One painter even dislikes selling her art to someone unless she knows the purchaser, she feels such a personal bond with her pictures.

Huge talent quietly shown here by: Sam Michalp, Nicholas Weis, Griselda Sastrawinata, Christian Schellewald, Paul Duncan, Marcos Mateu, Nathan Fowkes.

The book itself will be featured in my next blog post.


Simon Armitage, videopoem, video, poem, travel, poetry

Making poetry from the ordinary: Travel

Proof positive that when you’re writing a powerful poem, its shape can be something as simple as a twist on an everyday voice/situation, or the banal pauses between events. And yes, it can include humour.  And it can be great in a video.

(Video by Faber & Faber to illustrate poem “Thank you for Waiting)

Creative Takeaway Prompt

Do you have a very ordinary, boring situation/conversation/speech which you hear everyday?  Take that form and write it so that you make it talk about something else, something you feel passionately about.  Increase the strength of your words at the end to the extreme.  (As Simon Armitage does, in this video).

Advanced – time how long you think it will take you to read your poem, allowing an extra 5-10 seconds. Have a friend video you on a mobile phone in that banal situation, then do a voiceover of yourself reading the poem.  Finally, have the courage to put it on Youtube and publicise it in social media (this could be as simple as your personal Facebook page or Twitter.)

More video work – look at your written poems so far – is there one whose atmosphere could be videoed in a setting which reinforces the message?

Response to Creative Prompt: Dark

Responding to today’s creative prompt: dark.  A homemade video in response to an everyday activity and the electrifying experience of reading W H Auden’s “Refugee Blues” poem and finding it shockingly up-to-date 70 years later.

I’m kindof cheating here as I didn’t make it fresh today, it is one I made earlier.  But I’ve got a virus today (sound of violin playing).  If I had a dog it would’ve eaten my homework.

A much better reading and visuals of W H Auden’s work was recently featured on the BBC – they put his words to modern news footage.  (I made my vid first, I wasn’t copying).