Rabbit Portal

For the last two weeks I have been working with the crazy yet great Matt Saunders (aka Rabbit Portal) who is a Leeds based freelance illustrator and animator. I had met Matt a few years ago at some art events and having made similar friends and connections at first but only now have I had the opportunity to work with him.

It was great to hear when Matt needed some help with the upcoming animation music for ‘Ellen and the Escapades’. I said yes to helping out straight away and he had then passed me the script he’d written up so far and the song to listen too. After a little bit of discussion over emails and then talking to him at the ‘NEST’ launch event, we set up meeting up to help him out with creating some the assets and just a general talk. It was nice to just chat to him about what he’s been up to as well as getting to know a bit more about the freelance world all its good and bad points! It’s interesting to hear how he got some of the projects and the scale and difference in others. He gave me quite a lot of advice about talking to people, networking and just work in general with how some projects turn out. This is where the first two images in the small gallery below come from, they were taken at his whilst we worked on some of the characters that are in the music video, I do miss General Porkington who never made it to the big screen….

The other images relate to the first few days of the shoot in which we just worked through the script and filmed the footage which Matt and Tom Saunders are currently editing at Manto Tv Studios where Tom works. It was great to work with both the two Saunder’s who have totally different experiences and areas but are so well-connected in terms of work. I took a lot away from the pair in terms of advice and general chats, it was nice to have a lot of fun over the shoot but still take a lot in and learn from the experience. Although I was some what an intern/helper it was great how much input I had with the entire animation over the time spent having done a lot of the animating, lighting and setting up the shots in terms of composition and sorting out Dragon Stopmotion.
It was an experience I’m very glad I have now with the crazy 8am – 9pm animating and long chats about everything we could possibly talk about. Matt, Tom and Paul (also from Manto TV) had a lot of tips, ideas and information that had they have shared with me whilst we were filming and it was a huge learning curve as I hadn’t actually done much stop motion or use of Dragon but I see myself as fairly competent with its attributes and by the last few days I felt very confident in animating, organising the shot and actually doing them.

I do have footage of us working on the music video, as it was mainly myself, Matt, Sacha and Tom, in short bursts using a software Matt told me about called Gawker which took images from my webcame every few seconds and ties them into a .mov file. I need to edit them together and probably take out moments where we took a break or simply went crazy with excitement. I felt so pleased when we actually finished with all the shooting as some points were fairly tense and some points just confusing with the lack of sleep or trying to figure out a shot, but overall it was great fun and I’ve now not just got something to be pleased about being involved in, but a lot more knowledge and experience within. Hopefully I’ll be able to work with Matt and Tom again some point and I guess I’ll just have to see what happens from this.

I’ll be blogging the footage this weekend or early next week as I currently am still helping Matt and Tom slightly and have a lot to catch up on it seems!

For now, do check out Matt’s work through the link below.


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