August 9, 2010 § 3 Comments
Charlotte Blacker is a knitter an animator who lives in Wakefield, UK.
Charlotte did an animated short called “The Little Red Plane” using knitting. She was first taught to knit by her grandmother Joyce when she was seven years old as away of keeping her and her sister out of trouble. Being an animator myself, this blogger decided to conduct an email interview with Charlotte.
Be Sweet (BS): Did you knit everything for your short yourself?
Charlotte Blacker (CB): I drafted in some help from family and friends for some of the knitted sets. My sister Holly, my mum Linda and the lady who started my passion for knitting, my grandma Joyce. They all chipped in to make sure everything was done on schedule. I also received help from a very talented knitter and my best friend Vanessa Townley, a pattern designer who is also from Wakefield. Vanessa knitted the octopus.
BS: What programs did you use to make the short?
CB: The whole film was shot using Stop-motion pro, composited in Adobe After Effects and edited in Adobe Premiere.
BS: Where did you get your inspiration from?
CB: I have a very hands on approach when it comes to making a film and usually my first thoughts are about where the film is being set and how I could create such scenery with materials such as wool, felt and other bits and pieces I find when scavenging for new textures I can use. My main inspiration (as clichéd as it may be) comes from nature. There are so many awe-inspiring natural structures both large and small, so many differences of pattern and color. A drive into the countryside and a long walk usually help when I’m trying to think of new ideas.
BS: Non-animators don’t understand how such a short film can take so long to make. How long did it take you to film and do all the pre and post production?
CB: The pre production took around 2 months but leaked into the filming time slightly. I kept coming up with new things I wanted to include, such as the goose flying towards the plane. The filming itself took a solid 3 months to capture, mostly shot against blue-screen. Once all the scenes were shot they had to be composited in After Effects. This was a major part of the film making process for me as everything was shot independent of its background. It took around 2 months to complete this process.
BS: What is your favorite animated film?
CB: My favorite animated film currently is Pixar’s “Up.” Such beautiful use of color and textures make this film by far one of the most eye-catching feature films ever made in my opinion. The story is so sweet and deals with difficult subject matter in a sensitive, non-patronising way (makes me cry every time).
BS: What are your favorite things to knit?
CB: My favorite things to knit are probably clothes on a tiny scale. I love creating outfits for my films, it helps to convey a character’s personality on-screen and the more detail you can fit in, the better. A recent example of this can be seen in the animated feature “Coraline.” The attention to detail within that film was amazingly intricate.