Films : As the Crow Flies : all

animate! synopsis

An image of a bird migrates across the drawings of one thousand members of the public. In a process akin to Chinese Whispers the initial picture transforms and develops, producing an unpredictable narrative flight.

one sentence synopsis

A bird migrates across drawings from 500 members of the public.

short synopsis

A bird migrates across drawings from 500 members of the public. In a visual version of Chinese Whispers the image transforms producing an unpredictable narrative flight.

long synopsis

An image of a bird migrates across drawings from 500 members of the public. In a visual version of Chinese Whispers, the participants briefly observed and then redrew a simple line drawing from memory before passing it on to the next participant. The image transforms producing an unpredictable narrative flight.

The film tracks the drawing as it moves from hand-to-hand and town-to-town on a journey from Brighton to Aberdeen via London, Oxford, Birmingham, Leeds, York, Newcastle, Durham and Edinburgh.

key credits

director
Carolina Melis
Susanne Flender
music
Metronomy

Carolina Melis

biography

Originally from Sardinia, Carolina moved to the UK to continue her training in dance and choreography studying at London Contemporary Dance School and Dartington College of Arts. Her choreographic practice developed an interest in screen-based movement that led to an MA in Communication Design at Central St Martins specialising in animation and illustration.

Carolina has recently directed a new music video The Happy Sea, Colleen (Leaf, UK). In the past year her films have been shown at national and international venues and festivals including the National Film Theatre, Edinburgh International Film Festival and Onedotzero. Carolina is also known internationally for her illustration work, which has been featured in design and fashion contexts as well as gallery spaces.

Her animated work, greatly informed by her background in choreography, explores ideas of delicacy, organic development, life-cycles and living relationships, yielding elegantly tragic pieces with a subtle romance.

Carolina is represented as a director by Nexus.

13 September 2005

short biography

Carolina, from Sardinia, worked as a dancer and choreographer before moving into illustration and animation. Her animation In which a butterfly lands on a zebra’s head was included in the 2004 onedotzero festival. In 2004 she graduated with Susanne Flender from Central Saint Martins MA in Communication Design. She lives in Brighton.

July 2004

artist’s photo

July 2004

artist’s website

Carolina Melis

Carolina Melis’ website

Susanne Flender

biography

Susanne is originally from Oslo in Norway. She graduated at John Moore’s University in Liverpool specializing in graphic design and moving image, followed in 2004 by an MA in Visual Communication from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design.

She has received several awards including the Kemistry 2002 grant for screen-based design and Visulet05 for best graphic design. Her films have been screened by onedotzero Festival and the Grimstad Animation Festival. She lives and works between Oslo and London.

24 October 2005

short biography

Susanne practiced as a commercials animator and video artist in Norway, receiving a 2002 Kemistry award for screen-based work. In 2004 she graduated with Carolina Melis from Central Saint Martins MA in Communication Design. She lives in London.

July 2004

downloadable CV

animate_susanneflender_cv01.pdf

14 September 2005

artist’s photo

December 2004

artist’s website

Susanne Flender

Susanne Flender’s website

a film by Carolina Melis & Susanne Flender

direction

director
Carolina Melis
Susanne Flender

sound personnel

music
Metronomy

support

primary funding

An animate! commission funded through Finetake by Arts Council England and Channel 4

© Carolina Melis & Susanne Flender 2005

film still: *As the Crow Flies* front tile card

As the Crow Flies front tile card

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master copy format

format
DigiBeta
colour or black & white
black & white

video distribution format

video format
DigiBeta
screen aspect ratio
16:9
video standard
PAL
sound type
stereo

film distribution format

film format
none

distributor

LUX
info@lux.org.uk
+44 (0)20 7503 3980
www.lux.org.uk

production material

production notes

Itinerary notes for workshops to be visited from Brighton to Aberdeen
Itinerary notes for workshops to be visited from Brighton to Aberdeen
Itinerary map
Itinerary map
Text of explanatory sheet handed out to members of the public at the workshops
Text of explanatory sheet handed out to members of the public at the workshops
As the Crow Flies – Animation Project Details

Members of the public in fourteen country-wide locations (please see map) are invited to contribute to a game of visual ‘Chinese Whispers‘.

An illustration of a bird will be shown briefly to the first participant in the first workshop in Brighton – that participant will be asked to redraw the bird as accurately as possible from memory. This drawing will then be passed to the next person and the whole process will be repeated over and over again.

This process will continue, travelling northwards all the way from Brighton to Aberdeen and we hope to create up to a thousand drawings. These drawings, a single series created by up to a thousand ‘public illustrators’, will form the key frames to our three minute animated film which will in turn, through our own interventions, reflect the journey of the image as it is passed from hand to hand, from town to town, from region to region.

Families who work with us on this unique project can share our excitement as the ‘public illustrators’ become the artists behind this innovative project and see their work screened on national television, in cinemas and at international film festivals.

By taking part in this project each participant will become an official illustrator of As the Crow Flies and his/her name will be included in the film credits. If families would like to be kept up to date with the progression of the project and be notified of the animation’s screening time and date, parents or carers will be invited to give us an email contact address which we will add to our database.

As the Crow Flies is commissioned by animate!, managed by Finetake and supported by Arts Council England and Channel 4.

More information about the film and the commissioning body can be found at www.animateonline.org; the specific details of As the Crow Flies can be found at www.animateonline.org/films/asthecrowflies/.

reference images

Pre-production concept still
Pre-production concept still
Pre-production concept still
Pre-production concept still
The artists’ original drawing, ‘flashed’ once briefly in Brighton to begin the chain of visual Chinese Whispers
The artists’ original drawing, ‘flashed’ once briefly in Brighton to begin the chain of visual Chinese Whispers
The first drawing made by a member of the public, recalling the previous drawing from memory
The first drawing made by a member of the public, recalling the previous drawing from memory
Drawn by the next member of the public from their memory of the previous drawing
Drawn by the next member of the public from their memory of the previous drawing
The next ‘memory’ drawing…
The next ‘memory’ drawing…
... and the next…
... and the next…
... and the next…
... and the next…
A sequence of visual Chinese Whispers from later in the journey…
A sequence of visual Chinese Whispers from later in the journey…
... and a further sequence
... and a further sequence

storyboard

Draft ideas for animation action and transitions
Draft ideas for animation action and transitions
More draft ideas
More draft ideas
A sample storyboard page
A sample storyboard page

reviews

4-page article on the making of As the Crow Flies, including the full sequence of 500 drawings on a single page, in PDF format
animate_asthecrowflies_review01.pdf

first public screening

Channel 4 Television
6 December 2005