Sunday, 11 October 2009

The Pedlar of Swaffham.

I've recently completed an unexpected short animation script entitled 'The Pedlar of Swaffham,' which I'm really proud of.

I had initial doubts in achieving the script as by nature it was different to my other animation shorts and was my first adapted piece.

The Pedlar of Swaffham is an english short story that derives from the legend and myth of said Pedlar who came into a fortune due to a dream.

The project came about through Bournemouth University and the new wave of first year animators there. Five short stories were available for adaptation and the best ones will be created into animations by a team over the next year.

This was an opportunity I thought was too good to be true and there was no way i was going to pass on it. I love animations and writing them and have been trying to get 'Book' and 'Vampire' made for awhile. And, here was the chance to potentially get a written credit on a short animation! Too good to be true, and yet it is. :)

So I got reading the short stories, found mine and got to work, and with a one-week deadline. It may have only been six or seven pages long but the story's essence had to be compressed to a mere 2-3 pages of screen time, which was rather difficult as there was a major section of dialogue at a crucial point, had a lot of beats in the story and was historical. And I had picked the easiest one to adapt!

But the more I cut certain beats out on the fly and under pressure, I realised that the audience could deduce for itself what was missing and I soon found out the story could work with its bare bones. It's fascinating now, how quick I am to cut my favourite things as from experience they're often the weakest link, and with this I went straight to them and with only a slight hesitation. The characters and story always comes first, not me.

One of the most fascinating parts of it was the research, and finding out about the Old London Bridge (which the Pedlar visits) and that there used to be shop buildings on there, which people also lived in. The pictures and info I found were incredible and took me off on a tangent for awhile. It was a really great discovery as I love finding out about these kinds of historical gems.

Only in London folks:

It was such an incredible project and exercise and went so fast that I really miss it. I hope it gets picked so I can return to it and improve on it and hopefully see it for real.

It has also proved once again and only in the words of George Mcfly:

'If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.'

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