"Happy Place" by Sharp & Jenkins

Happy Place from sharp & jenkins on Vimeo.

Grayden: Can you give a brief description of your film?

Simon: Happy Place is our latest short following the viral success of the Google Streetview film Address Is Approximate (https://vimeo.com/32397612) and projected car chase The World’s Tiniest Police Chase (https://vimeo.com/4323931).

Grayden: Who is one of your favourite Canadian animators?

Simon: Tom (my co-director) and I love all types of animation but we tend to heavily favour stop -motion and live action/animation hybrids - hence our style of work. One Canadian animator / director immediately springs to mind, Graham Annable for BOXTROLLS. We’ve watched that movie so many times and just love the quirky characters, comedy and all round tone of that film.  We’re also huge fans of CORALINE,  although he didn’t direct he was a story animator.

Grayden: What animation techniques did you use for this film?

Simon: Apart from the main ‘Forced Perspective’ technique, the way we animated the car was simply using our hands and rods to get our hero car to move/emote. We’d shoot an empty plate, then add the car and shoot another plate and then have my or Tom’s hand animate the hero car. In post we’d then remove our hand/rod where needed.

Filming the hero car by itself was fairly simple, it was a remote controlled car. To get all the cars driving together was much harder. We tried many different ways (glueing rods to their undercarriages, filming them one by one, etc). In the end we tethered them together with ultra thin fishing wire and removed the wire in post.