Adding Effects

I’ve filmed some blues sparks and and sequins and layered them on top of the harpy dance, to give drama and an element of the on-stage illusion. It looks like I’d hoped it would, but I’m still uncertain whether it actually improves the animation, or detracts from the character movement.

Royal College of Music

Yesterday the students from the Royal College of Music came and played us some really brilliant music that they composed for films. I’ve been in touch with the gifted Laura Stevens and she’s working on a piece for my animation. I’m really excited to see what she comes up with. It’s so great to have some original music composed for our films!

Here’s a link to Laura’s website:

She has composed some really beautiful music, I’m so glad she agreed to do some for me too!

More from Kurosawa


On Sunday I listened to lots of music to find the right mood for the rough cut. I’ve settled on Toru Takemitsu’s soundtrack for Kurosawa’s Ran. I had been listening to Takemitsu’s Rain Spell at the beginning of the project and now his music has come back to my ear. I don’t mean to sound prosaic when referencing Kurosawa in this Japanese inspired project but his oeuvre is so rich and often seems appropriate! I think it will be helpful to borrow some music just until we collaborate with the Royal College of Music students, something I am really looking forward to!

The Harpy Dance

I spent today working on Ariel’s Harpy dance! Some of it was quite nice, some of it looks a bit awkward, but the puppet did surprisingly well. She was good at the challenging Kabuki backwards bends and she held on to the feathers tightly! Unfortunately however today was the first serious puppet injury and her right hand came off completely. Thank heavens for the long kimono sleeves and some masking tape. Poor Ariel!


The second day shooting went a little better, I felt more comfortable with Dragon software, and since the lighting was already set up I could begin animating sooner. I needed to put in more in-betweens than the day before, so I re-shot some sequences and gave different camera angles. Hopefully it will work when I start cutting it together today. Yesterday I had to repair the puppets, repaint Prospero’s hooves and smooth out Ariel’s neck and wrists where the plasticine had cracked. I’ve also changed her costume ready to go back in the rostrum room on Monday morning.

Screen shots and photos on set:

First Kimono

Forgot to put Ariel’s finished first costume. Prospero playing the Samisen.