F&F Productions is gaining quite a reputation for producing quirky and fun animated music clips for children.
Our latest project is the music clip ‘HAIR’ by fleaBITE.
Stephen Templer is the director /illustrator, and sister Ruth Templer
is responsible for animation/design.
Stephen and Ruth made the animated video ‘The Wreck of the Diddley’ which was invited to screen at film festivals in Korea, Melbourne and London.
Here’s an interview with Stephen Templer:
How does the song affect your style of illustration/direction?
It dictates all the aesthetic and movement of the animation. Colour, vibrancy… everything is reflected by the mood, tempo and lyrics of the song.
What’s the first thing you start with …background, characters, colour palette?
I started with the backgrounds in this project, and then slowly developed the colour palette and characters. Producer Robin Nathan and I came up with the idea of Granny on her mobility scooter, the Hair Show, and we decided to include a caricature of fashion contestant ‘Mondo’ from Project Runway.
What sort of things do you have to keep in mind when doing illustrations for animation?
You have to keep the practicality of movement in mind when building or painting the characters and backgrounds. They all have to function independently, and break down into moving parts etc. So it’s a simple process of keeping that in mind and stepping back and looking constantly at how they will work… imagining them in time and space not just nice pictures. I enjoy this process, as I like working with depth and perspective. So for my part the logical, practical aspects of preparing characters and backgrounds for animation are quite straightforward.
How would you describe the particular style of illustration you used on HAIR, and why did you chose it?
It’s 2D computer generated illustration, but it all starts off as pencil sketches.
What software did you use for Hair?
The vintage program called Freehand for building the backgrounds and characters. Ruth used After Effects for the animation side of things.
What’s it like working with your sis?
Very fun most of the time. It’s a pleasure to be able to have the opportunity to work with my sister, and a great excuse to go to Auckland and hang out at my sisters pad, drink coffee and cook feasts.
(Ruth says: “Getting to work on a creative project with your family is such a blessing. Years of combined intensive crayon research and development come into fruition with a natural ease helped along by the type of telepathy only siblings have.”)
What do you particularly like about working on animation?
I like the process of story boarding and coming up with ideas. Imagining stories and the movement is a great fun challenge… it’s like a moving comic strip or a movie in your mind. With HAIR, I like the world the animation exists in. It’s weird and cute and hairy.