Belle and Sebastian / I didn’t see it coming

Lesley Barnes (featured previously) sent me an email about her latest work — an animated MTV for the UK group Belle and Sebastian that’s made out of paper puppets and props. I asked her a couple of questions about it too, so read on below!

Tell us about the concept for the animation — what were you trying to convey?
B and S are a boy and girl in love, happy and somewhat oblivious to the world around them. But something is watching and waiting and is about to interupt their contentment. I think I wanted to get across the idea that even as your life seems to trundle along you never know what is coming round the next bend….

Was this your first animation? How long did the entire process take, from sketch to the full video?
No, I have done a number of animations. My first Herzog and the Monsters was about a little boy who gets lost in his books. I also just finished work with Jazz musician Kit Downes on a project fusing animation, live jazz and genetics at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival earlier in the year. We basically animated the history of evolution to a jazz soundtrack!

The whole process took about 4 months. I started by creating all the characters as paper puppets and drew all the landscapes before I began to animate.

And how did you put everything together for the video? Did you do it all by yourself?
I did all the designing and illustrating but I did have a crack team Matt Saunders and Bruce A. Cameron who helped me with the animation. I started by illustrating all the puppets, then scanned them in and animated them in after effects.

Were there any hurdles that you had to overcome to produce the video?
Matt had the responsibility of creating a sea from spinning circles and I think this nearly killed him! The computer got a bit confused with the hundreds (thousands?) of spinning shapes and the circles would mysteriously disappear…. but thanks to Matts persistance it looked great in the end!

Congrats Lesley!
And Pikaland readers, do stay tuned for a giveaway coming up in a couple of hours! :)_

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