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Over the counter culture

Directed by Knife Party, animated by Knife Party, Jonny Plummer & James Wignall

This is the first sequence I approached for the film. The idea was about showing a guy literally transformed into the object of his desires. I wanted to shoot this under camera and come up with a bunch of different materials from which to create his face; Cumin, seeds, rubber washers and soldering wire all found their place here. With this shot I also started my love affair (Or nightmare) with creating animation from different layers of coloured paper.

I developed a system (Which I’ve used all the way through my animation process) where I pre-animate a sequence in computer and then use it as a guide layer in Dragon stop-motion software. This guide layer mixes with what’s being seen through my live-view card in my Canon 450D, usually mounted rostrum style over my animation desk. Hey presto, I’m my own organic renderer!

Being super excited by this process I decided I wanted to swap from flat layers to three dimensional objects half-way through the shot, why not!? So the next shot shows the man’s car in the form of a simple balsa wood model hurtling down the road overtaking other balsa wood models. Having to lug a huge track down the stairs into Clapham Road basement hammered home the difference between making a tracking camera in software and real life. Interesting wake up call!

I enlisted the help of James Wignall, aka Mutant Hands to design and animate the man as he walks down the street and spots the car he loves at the beginning of the scene. James did a stand-up job. He’s now repped by Studio AKA, one of the best animation houses around. Easy to see why…

My mate Jonny Plummer jumped in to create the amazing cash till / tank / trainers sequence at the end of the scene. Jonny worked with storyboards I developed and took things so much further. The swirly light trails which appear around the trainers at the end of the sequence are a parody of slick modern trainer adverts designed to make kids part with wads of their parent’s cash!

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