Saturday, November 13, 2010

My son is learning about Bodicca. Please note the cool spikes on the wheels. She's one tough lady. She liked green and so does my son. She had orange hair. My son does not. Rock on Bodicca!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Am currently working back and forth to Lille and the good people of Planet Nemo found me a lovely warm flat with a cat who likes to visit me and watch me cook. The handsome and rather intense Pimboli. He gives good guilt, scratches at the window pane and stares. Oh how he stares. I dare not make fish. He'd probably smash through the glass.

Nothing quite like a long weekend. A visit to the museum in Lille. The Beaux Arts is really a curator's dream. Vast spaces and a varied collection to mix and match. Clearly they have fun hanging pictures in ways that make each room like a game of 'spot the similarities'. Some of the connections between various pieces in a room are a bit oblique. (I think one room was just linked by various artists rendering of cloth.) Other times, like this copy of a Jordeans painting by Vangogh, its a bit more obvious.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween. We went as NHS budget cuts.

Who cares that we painted the door? Well... I do. Somehow, that little change has transformed the look of the place. If eyes are the window to the soul, then surely doors are the eyes to the windows door to the back gate's ears... wait, hang on, I had a metaphor there somewhere.

Ah pickups. It's a perverse thrill but I enjoy doing pickups and I think the actors do as well. Nothing like a second bite at the cherry... plus, as the animatics grow, so too does context. God is in the details, and that means that things get cut, tweaked, added ... and fine tuned with pickups. Last week we managed to sneak some time with Jonathan Bailey, our 'Tom' for Groove High. He's off to South Africa to film 'Young Leonardo' for the BBC. I'm guessing it'll be like Merlin, but with crazy inventions and hurling Machiaveli off a cliff in a hanglider. He worked all day with fantastic over the top energy. A work out and a half in that booth.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday was a family day. Sunday was a day catching up on script work (crazy polar antics of madness) and finishing up on some logo design, which for some reason, is still a hobby of mine. Sane people play tennis or build model railways. I don't know why, but I can't resist doing logos when people ask.

This one was a birthday present for our friend Alison Endenberg, who has treated me for hayfever with homeopathy and it works! I'm a walking (and breathing) testimonial. She's setting up an office on Harley Street with a few others, but they'll still make house calls in Sevenoaks. The brief was 'medical but friendly and balance'.

Thanks to my super talented sister in law Viv Tubiana, who helped with making a slick vector helix person on the week that my laptop hard drive bit the dust and left me adobeless. Thanks Viv.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gingerbread cake made with ginger, of course. Cinnamon. Yup, makes sense. But mustard?!! Pepper?!!?? Espresso?! What the heck? Did that really say mustard? Yes, yes it did.

And yet it was gorgeous. Outrageously good. Who knew that mustard would be good in gingerbread. Yum.
Recipe comes from Canal House Cookbook 2.
Mix up the dry
2 and a 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I'd add a bit more)
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon dry mustard (like Colemans)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (add more for wicked kick)
Then mix separate the wet stuff
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup molasses or sorghum (or dark treacle)
8 ounces of chocolate chips or chocolate, melted
1 CUP of espresso or very strong coffee, cooled
Preheat oven to 375 f or 190 c
Grease cake pan with butter then dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
Mix the dry stuff.
Mix the wet seperately use an electric mixer on low or med, doing the butter first until it's fluffy and then keep adding the rest in.
THEN - mix in the dry and the coffee bit by bit. Dry, coffee, dry stuff, coffee, dry stuff, coffee... until it all turns into a thick gooey slurry of deep brown smoothness.
Pour into the cake pan and bake until it the top springs back when you lightly press in the middle. About 40 minutes.
Either ice with cream and chocoloate icing or serve with fruit yoghurt drizzled on top .... yum.

The recipe is in here.

Me and Leonard Cohen. Yes his voice really is that deep. Yes, he really is that cool.

No I didn't gush... much. I'm going out to buy myself a new black suit and hat.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This is what I am doing these days as I'm working from Lille on Groove High. The show is for The Disney Channel and is turning out to be great fun. I get to doodle a lot too. More fun.
Nice to be writing again. Nice to be drawing again. Sometimes breaks are nice for recharging batteries, but sometimes, despite the battery being recharged, it needs a jump start to get going again.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

This is John Sutherland at Tamborine pointing to my favourite spot in the studio. It's gone!

They've remodeled the place and it's gorgeous and shiny and now has that new car smell. And the studios have 'silent air con'. I loved working there before. Now I love working there, and I sweat less and smell better.

But as for my favourite spot; a hole in the floor that they promised to name after me, is now gone. No longer will I twist my ankle with whirling delight. I shall miss that little gap of wobbly wood. It was truly, part of the charm. Still, new car smell! The place is awesome now!

James and I are busy with the puppy and his friends. Yes even someone as sad as Lamington has friends. Hey, look at Rob Patinson. Sulking never stopped him from being popular with the ladies.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Took a bit of a break down in Polzeath.
Amazing how the propylene wetsuit has transformed Cornwall.
Even more amazing, I took this photo from my phone.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Most sensible people update their diaries in January. Not me. You know how hard it is to find filofax pages that start in Sept 2010 and end in Sept 2011? The people in the shop look at you like you're Rip Van Winkle, and can't comprehend why you didn't buy your pages in the winter. "Have you been asleep since January sir?"

Well, ever since I was a kid, the new year for me starts at the new school year. Oh sure, the Jewish New Year was beaten into me as well as being the start of the year... but really, for me, it's all about new stationary! Autumn equaled a new Mead binder, the smell of new pencils and the sexual purity of a brand-new untouched white Staedtler Mars eraser. I still buy them and try to keep the cardboard protector on for as long as possible, peeling it back slowly... so as to keep as much of the protected bit 'clean' for as long as possible.

The new school year also meant covering textbooks with paper and decorating them voraciously. That tradition hasn't died. Except I no longer have textbooks. I just clean out my filofax and decorate the front with something new.

This is the year of many things, but it felt right to do a 'Mamboesque' painting of Lamington on the cover. I had to paint over Mickey Mouse, but that's how it goes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Working on a big new canvas for Tamborine recording studio's brand new lobby. As soon as I canfind a quiet Saturday afternoon, I promise I'll finish it.

I'm convinced that co-productions are keeping the Eurostar in business. It's actually quicker for me to get from Sevenoaks to Lille than it was for me to get across London. And I much prefer the Eurostar to the London underground. Loving it!

This is Samantha Barks, having just arrived in Galway, being absolutely sincerely excited to see the name of the show up in lights, well... Groove High written in pen, in the window of the cab... well it somehow means it's actually happening. So it was a thrill.

The show is being produced by Planet Nemo & Telegael for Disney Channel.

After a long day at the records, it's nice to go for a pint or two. Did I mention that we were recording in Galway?

Ah the lovely and talented cast of Groove High. Beth Gardiner, Rebekah Staton, Rasmus Hardiker, Frederick Puech (he has the best part), Samantha Barks, Rupert Degas and sitting on the floor is Jonathan Bailey.

Monday, August 16, 2010

So... in other news, I'm working in France at the moment.

Imagine this happening in my hack French and his equally unintelligible English. So, who knows, this conversation may never have actually happened. But it's how it seemed at the time.

I go in to an estate agent in Lille and tell the guy that I'd like to view one of the flats in his window - after laughing at me and saying that I can not live in his window, I ask if I could meet at the flat to view it, say next Thursday at noon. And he says, "but I eat lunch in my lunch hour which is from noon to 2pm" So I say, "so do I, but its when I have time to see a flat." And he says "how about 2pm?" And I say "I have to be at work by 2pm". And he says "so do I." And then he says, "Don't make me work during lunch hour and I won't make you look at a flat during lunch. Nobody on earth should do anything during lunch but eat lunch. French people eat lunch at lunch. We do not work at lunchtime, we work at work time!!" And I said, "Ah but what about the people who work in restaurants serving you?" and he said, "You are not fluent enough in my language to make such clever retorts you stupid English speaking swine, and that none of the people who work in restaurants will be able to show you a flat, so there!"

And in words I didn't understand, but in gestures that I'm fluent in, he essentially told me that lunch hour is a sacred two hours of the day and that I needed to get my priorities right.

And then I realised, with food this good all around ... I suddenly saw his point and found myself respecting the lunch 'hour'. But still, two hours? Every day? In my next life, I'm coming back as an estate agent in France.

Another voice direction, this time for the most adorable show ever. Well, apart from that other show that was also the most adorable show ever.

Sometimes working on preschool shows, you feel like the Aunty who wants to pinch little kids cheeks. Needless to say, there was a lot of 'aaaah'ing and general squeaking over all the cute bits.

Great fun to work with the Sophie Thompson again. We don't get to see each other enough. When last we worked together she was playing a Kung-Fu villiain. This time was far more adorable.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I've decided to kick start the blog again. Try to share some fun stuff, general musings and the occasional doodle. Life in animation is never dull. Sure it may seem that way, because it's all at 24 frames per second and takes so long,... but actually it's because we all sign NDA's and can't discuss much.

I had to have a head shot done recently. That was nerve wracking. To smile or not smile? I went with irony. Hopefully others will smile.
So, I'm back and forth to France at the moment on various things. Just did a quick bit of script punch up and voice direction on Bao Battle for Alphanim. It was the hottest day of the year. It's such a cute, cool show. I want the toys already.