Animator’s Newsletter Spring 1984 Issue No. 8 Illustration: Scene from “The Three Knights” made by Mark Baker at W.S.C.A.D.
Issue 8 – Spring 1984 The Wind in the Willows – Cosgrove Hall John Hambley, chief executive of Cosgrove Hall Productions tells how they approached the adaptation from book to film. Cosgrove-Hall Productions Frank Baker looks at the past productions of this studio. The Brussels Super 8 International Film Festival 1983 Lew Cooper tells us… Read More »
JOHN HAMBLEY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF COSGROVE HALL PRODUCTIONS, TELLS HOW THEY APPROACHED THE ADAPTATION OF A CLASSIC BOOK INTO AN ANIMATED FILM.
The classics of English children’s literature are a privileged inheritance, treasures to be freely shared and lovingly passed on in the hope of fresh responses from new generations. Except for THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS. That, it seems, is a work which is taken immediately into the private and exclusive ownership of each one of its readers. How else to explain the reactions my colleagues and I have had to the news that we are turning Kenneth Grahame’s beautiful story into an animated film?
Yet from the beginning, producer-director Mark Hall and his team have aspired to something beyond historical precision: that is to be faithful not simply to the book, but to the book’s enchantment.. That ambition has taken everyone into uncharted areas of their craft. Designers and model engineers have been challenged to produce characters who’s physical… Read More »
A number of puppet animators have written to Animator’s Newsletter about the difficulty they had in keeping figures stood up or moving them about without falling over. What the puppet department at Cosgrove Hall use is a sheet of metal, which can be obtained from any local sheet metal firm, 20 or 22 gauge. On this the sets are built and the puppets have a small metal plate on their feet. Then a magnet is placed under the table to hold them in position.
ANIMATED PRODUCTIONS FROM COSGROVE-HALL RANGE FROM THE TV SERIES “DANGERMOUSE” TO THE FEATURE LENGTH “WIND IN THE WILLOWS”.
FRANK BAKER LOOKS AT HOW THEY GOT STARTED.
The early part of Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall’s story reminds me of two other animators, Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. As two students Brian and Mark met at Art College, and their paths were to cross again some years later when they both joined Granada Televisions’ Graphics Department.
Each model animation production shows advances in technique. By using modern materials Cosgrove Hall’s young designers and model engineers have taken animation into entirely new areas such as the facial movements and lip synchronization in THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS. Some of the techniques used by the company, including chemical formulae of modelling plastics and the design features of the puppet skeletons, are trade secrets.
Taking fourteen months from conception to completion, once again the Cosgrove Hall mark of quality shows through. This cartoon special tells a wonderful magical tale in the Walt Disney tradition with that extra punch that has been lacking in all the recent Disney features.
The characters are many in this cartoon but each holds his own.
LEW COOPER LOOKS AT THE ANIMATED FILMS. I have recently returned from the mind-blowing Brussels Super 8 Film Festival. When I started making my little animated movies a few years ago, I never dreamed it would lead to events like this. Sheila Hill, who is a leading light in the International Film Federation of Super… Read More »
I hope I have a fairly open mind about experimental work, I like to see people trying something new, but I have to say that I found 90% of the experimental films to be a complete waste of film-stock. Obviously there were good examples, I thought one of the very best films in the competition was an experimental film.