Hi everyone. I don't update this blog very often - you'd have more luck following me on Instagram & Twitter @LauraTofarides.
Anyway, I've been spending my lockdown time making a brand new Skillshare class called 'Animating Fire in Stop Motion' and you should check it out here skl.sh/2Xe7ioD
This class is great for beginners as well as hobbyists or animators already working in stop motion. You will learn basic studio set up so you don’t need any previous experience. This class will give you the skills to start creating your own stop motion effects straight away.
Its been almost a year since my last update so here goes...
I spent 3 months at Aardman Features as a Junior Animator on Early Man. Was really cool to finally get to work there and be part of the Aardman team. I had to re-learn how to shoot on doubles and get into a more cartoony style of animation which was a fun process.
I then went on to do a short stint on Isle of Dogs by Wes Anderson as an Assistant Animator right at the end of production at 3 Mills Studios in London. I was mostly animating background elements and characters but it was great to meet the crew over there and get to know how they work.
In January after lots of training and fundraising I left for India to volunteer in Maharashtra state with VSO ICS for 3 months. I was working on a womens empowerment and livelihoods project in rural tribal villages with the aim of helping the women to become more financially independent and to start their own businesses. It was incredibly challenging work but ultimately rewarding and something I have wanted to do for a long time.
After India things started to ramp up for Cardiff Animation Festival in April. There hasn't been an animation festival in Cardiff since the early 90's and so along with 5 other co-organisers we set about bringing it back. I think we all underestimated quite how hard it would be but the festival went incredibly well and we had some amazing feedback from those who attended so it was worth the blood, sweat and tears. Along with an industry day, talks, masterclasses, colouring, feature and short film screenings we also had an exhibition of sets and puppets from "Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires" and I hosted the "A Night with the Trampires" talk with members of the crew and exclusive clips from the film. Roll on CAF 2!
Since April I've been working back at Trampires in the run up to Annecy Festival where Chuck had its world premiere last Tuesday in the Bonlieu Grand Salle which was very well received. It was really exciting to FINALLY be able to screen the film that we worked on for so long and watch the audience's reaction. We also had a stand in the Mifa trade area where we set up an exhibition of sets and puppets from the film to show everyone who we are and what we can make. At our Mifa stand we also had a display of our exciting new projects in development, watch this space!
Chuck Steel- its been a hell of a ride! 640 days=32 months=2years 8months. 7017 frames=292seconds=4.8minutes of my approved animation in the film. 3 houses. 2 cars. 24640 miles .15days more and I would have circumnavigated earth which is 24901 miles in circumference according to google.I cant thank the crew enough for all their help. From pesky Trampires on Friday to mischievous Early Men on Monday, I'm off to animate at Aardman!
Its been all go at Chuck towers! In January I celebrated one year at the studio and I thought an update was in order.
Firstly, for the directors birthday I thought I'd make a terrifying rendition of Chuck's face in cake. There was a kind of macabre satisfaction all round as it was sliced into cubes.
The big hand shots are now done, below you can see one of the more challenging ones in which I tried to make a lump of clay look natural holding a magnum.
I also gave a talk at UWE to the current BA and MA students who were all lovely and at no point threw rotten fruit at me, which I appreciate as it was my first time doing a talk! See photo below for enthusiastic animation faces.
I'm super excited because today we were given CREW SHIRTS! I can now show the world my Trampire pride with all their widdle faces across my back in an adorable skull shape!
Not animation related, but I made a promo video for my brothers LAN gaming event which you can see below. If you love gaming in Mid-Wales you should buy tickets to the next one as they are on sale now! Go to www.skynetwales.co.uk for info and tickets.
Ive been included as part of the advent calendar again! I've been sculpting and animating giant hands for a few weeks now. They present their own unique challenges and are ridiculous in a good way. I love my job :)
On Friday I attended the NFTS Aardman Academy certificate in character animation course graduation at Gasferry Road. I made a morph, met some fantastic graduates and saw some awesome showreels! Best of luck to the new graduates!
I am in the Chuck Steel advent calendar for the 6th of Dec! Pulling an intense animation face and sticking my chin out like Chuck himself, obviously just getting into character :) Follow Chuck Steel the movie on Twitter for more advent calendar pictures and updates! https://twitter.com/ChuckSteelMovie
One of mine and Roos Mattaar's student films "Verglas" is being shown in Melbourne, Australia at a pop up film festival about Christmas being projected in public spaces from a bicycle! Fantastic idea, feels very Bristolian to me :)
Stop-motion animator and model maker. Watch my skillshare class at https://skl.sh/2Xe7ioD