We’re sure you all remember two years ago when York St John Graduate Chris Hees headed to the Oscars straight off the back of his BAFTA win. Now we have news of his next project - equal in ambition and innovative as ever in subject matter.
Chris is producing the ambitious The Rumour Mill and he and his award-winning team have launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise £10,000 for their captivating film about energy.
The film is an accessible and unique stop-frame animated short that will ignite public interest in a debate around the future of energy. This is a subject that has become a passion for Director, Bexie Bush and something she believes art and film should play a big part in.
‘There is something magical about animation, it’s a lot more accessible than just words. Animation can reveal the soul of an important subject’ Bexie Bush, Director of The Rumour Mill
In 2015 The Open University invited Bexie to attend a two-week residency as part of the Stories of Change movement. This brought the animation director closer to the world of energy, it allowed creatives to mix with academics and it became a place to discuss new ways of working together to help fuel debate. It is during this period that Bexie found the inspiration for her film, an idea embraced by the Open University for being exactly the sort of project they wanted to support.
The animation team are now based in John Smedley’s Factory on the stunning Derwent Valley River. As well as using one of the rooms as a studio space the factory staff have also added their voices to the film, making the subject accessible and authentic.
Bexie’s previous film, Mend and Make Do (winner of BAA Public Choice), was a fantastically heartfelt stop-motion with a wonderful mix of techniques and the filmmaker has certainly stepped up her game for this ambitious short.
The Rumour Mill will include the production of 24 miniature sets in a stop motion animated film with a depth enhancing twist; a mixture of pixilation, cut out animation and object animation.
This film is about the beat of the Mill and how the objects and energies of the past can relate to our future. We can use animation to express imagined ideas through metaphor and imagery. The sets are designed and engineered to move and change to work interactively like puzzle which can be resolved. The techniques all come together to add layers of depth, sometimes literally, and take an audience on a tactile journey as we hear the John Smedley’s staff discussing the future of energy, while the images take you through a visual story of how a jumper is made in the Mill.
The team are also in good hands with award-winning film Producer Chris Hees. Chris’s previous animation film The Bigger Picture went on to fantastic global success and won the 2015 BAFTA for Best British Short Animation as well as being Oscar nominated. His love for strong storytelling techniques within animation is one of the reason he joined the project"_
‘Our technique is actually what makes our film expensive but it is an incredibly important part of animation, and I know first hand that the most powerful techniques can really make a difference to a film’s success.’ Chris Hees, Producer
Being part of the Stories of Change: Future Works has allowed the team to gain incredible support from The Open University thus far and this has moved the film on from design through to the practical build stage. With a little further to go the team are now building their community via Indiegogo.IndieGoGo Campaign here