We recently worked with illustrator Jack Noel, production company Verdant Films, comedian and voice-over artist Holly Walsh and a talented bunch of Reading Activists from Hounslow on a very special film project.
You can see the films below, and we strongly recommend that you do, because they are excellent. However, once you've done that you may want to hear more from Jack about the production of the films and check out some fun behind the scenes stuff.
I worked on this series of films with Guy and Emily at Verdant Films and the Hounslow Library Reading Activists. Our job was to tell people about all the different things that the Reading Activists do.
Emily and I met with the Hounslow group a couple of times we talked to them about why they liked being Reading Activists and how they explain what they do to their friends. We also ate about fifty-six slices of pizza each.
They told us lots of funny stories about the things they've done. Like an impromptu puppet show for the Royal Family and how once they stayed overnight in the library and ate KFC and watched vampire movies in their pyjamas. At the time they were in the process of organising an X-Factor style talent show.
Together we came up with some short films in which a voicover tells people about the Reading Activists. The idea was that the visuals keep going wrong and over the top and weird so that the voiceover would have to keep working to correct them and reign them in.
The weird, over the top ideas were easy to come by because we had done a lot of a consequences writing exercise in which we generated some very odd ideas that we could just lift and use untouched in the films.
Here are some examples
Here we have a human-snake wedding ceremony
This is the first time we met the almighty God of Pizza
We made rough storyboards (see above) for the whole thing and Emily, the Hounslow group and I read through them all to work out what was working (and what wasn't).
Then it was a case of just drawing every scene. In the end I think I did almost 100 illustrations.
Here is another inter-species wedding (human-sloth this time)
This is the God of Pizza
And this just silly (this didn't get used in the end, sadly)
Seeing the drawings come to life was quite an amazing experience. I particularly enjoy all the sound effects - they make everything seem that much more real. Emily and Guy did such an amazing job of bringing it all together. And then Holly Walsh's charming voiceover work is the icing on the cake. I'm really proud of how they all came out!
Aww, thanks Jack. And Emily, Guy, Rachel, Holly and all of the amazing Hounslow Reading Activists. You're great.
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