Tag Archives: brighton

Beach of the Dead 2011

 

I’ve migrated this post from my previous blog to try and get all of my zombie makeup effects in the same place. This is from Brighton’s Beach of the Dead 2011.

October meant one thing – zombie time! After having such a great time at last year’s Beach of the Dead, my friends and I were really excited about attending this year. Our zombie wedding theme from 2010 was fun, but we saw a lot of zombie brides that day and wanted to try something a bit more original for 2011 and decided to go as the Zombie Village People.

As you can see from our lineup we were missing a couple of members. Organising a group theme is tricky and our Leather Man, G.I. and Traffic Cop ended up dropping out at the last minute. We were left with Laurie as the cowboy, Roisin as the Indian and myself as the Builder. Later in the day my friend Sam stood in as our Leather Man because she had a leather jacket on. Clearly some people aren’t as dedicated to zombieness as others, but we were determined to make the most of it and we still had a great day.

I put more work into my base coat this year. I used black face paint and purple tones from my bruise wheel to shade around my eyes, contour my cheeks and give my lips a cold dead blue tint. I then coated myself in a thick coat of white face paint and blended the colours together. I picked up some of the purple bruise wheel on my sponge as I layered the white, which created a nice grey blue hue.

In my camp builder outfit I was showing a lot more flesh than last year so I had to paint my neck, arms and legs too. You can see my short shorts in this photo. Thankfully the weather was great for October so I could survive being exposed to the elements for a few hours.

Once my base coat was complete I used my red eyeliner to give my eyes a sinister, unhealthy look, which contrasted really well against the blue and white. I decided to use less latex than last year and created lesions in the usual way by layering it up, ripping it open and then applying reds, purples and finishing up with fresh scab.

I used left over latex from last year and I think this was a mistake as it had a gloopy consistency and went a bit yellow when it dried. It wasn’t as sticky as usual and the finish was more uneven. This wasn’t so bad though as it added to the decaying look. I’ll be sure to use fresher latex next time though.

We had a new kind of viscous blood in our kit this year that was great. It partially dries but remains glossy. It created a great dripping blood effect as it would run off wherever you applied it and then dry in big dangling drips. You can see some of it on my face above and I also had some on my knee.

You can spot us briefly in this video from the day at about 0:44

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Halloween Animation and SFX Make-up Workshops

The nights are growing darker and there’s a chill in the air. Halloween is almost upon us! To celebrate the season, I have some scarily good workshops for your school or club to enjoy.

Oak Grove zombie make up

Zombie Make-up Effects

Transform into a gory zombie using professional special effects make-up techniques.

 £150 for up to 20 people*

 

Apparition – Drawn Animation

Work as a group to make shape-shifting ghosts and ghouls materialise using hand drawn animation techniques.

£150 for up to 10 people*

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Haunted House – Paper Cut Out Animation

Use paper animation techniques to create a haunted house filled with things that go bump in the night.

£150 for up to 10 people*

 

Each workshop is a 3 hour session with all materials and equipment provided.

Workshops are suitable for all ages and abilities.

Email contact@evanwilkinson.co.uk to book now. Availability is limited so book early to avoid disappointment.

*Workshops are charged at £150 within the local Brighton area. Work outside of the Brighton area may necessitate further charges.

Zombie blog

Evan Wilkinson, Community Filmmaker

Evan is a local filmmaker with over 15 years of experience in delivering workshops and providing industry training. He is currently an industry tutor at the Brighton Digital Media Academy.

Visit http://evanwilkinson.co.uk for more information.

Tales of the City: Brighton Photo Biennial 2012

During the summer of 2012 I was working on an animation project for the Brighton Photo Biennial, working in partnership with Photoworks, Brighton & Hove City Library Services and the Youth Arts Project, part of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Youth Service. The brief was to provide a series of animation workshops for young people exploring the Biennial’s theme of the Politics of Space and to create digital stories for an exhibition at Jubilee Library. The project is called Tales of the City.

As an animator I am drawn to methods that are comparably low-tech by today’s standards. I’m fascinated by antiquities such as Zoetropes and Magic Lanterns and I love the organic nature of traditional drawn animation and stop motion puppetry. I think it’s important to be hands on and to have a physical connection with your work. Animation is a method of performance because your work is the result of your own personality. Your characters are born of you. The relationship between the animator and the world that they create is one that is very personal.

I was eager to introduce the young people to as many different animation techniques as possible so as to really allow them to experiment. Experimentation is what animation is all about. It was through experimentation that moving image was born and that experimentation allows the medium to evolve constantly. I wanted to include some examples of this evolution in my work for this project.

I started with simple optical illusions based around the concept of persistence of vision – thaumatropes, zoetropes and flick books. It was important to me to begin by demonstrating how animation can be created without the use of cameras and computers, especially when working with young people who may not have access to such equipment at home.

For me, the digital process is necessary to my work, but secondary to the drawings, puppets and sets that I create. The computer is there as a capture device and to refine the work in post-production but what an animator can produce with their own hands is the true magic of the medium.

The young people began by making thaumatropes – optical toys that create an illusion by combining two images on either side of a disk when it is spun quickly. I wanted to start with something small and simple that would produce an instantaneous result. Animation can be so time consuming and requires such patience that it can be off-putting for beginners and the real joy for someone having a go for the first time is to see their creation come to life in front of them. As important as it is for people to understand animation methods and techniques, it is vital for them to experience that little bit of magic for the first time.

As well as an understanding of techniques, it was important to also build an understanding of the Biennial’s theme into the work. The Politics of Space is a difficult concept to engage with and the challenge was to distil it into something that would engage young people and lend itself to creative work. The key was to make it relevant to them, to allow them to engage with the ideas and relate them to their own experiences. I decided to focus on local identity and the relationship that the young people had with their environment, using this to introduce them to the underlying politics within their space.

To begin with, we explored Brighton’s identity through discussion and drawings, creating a palette of Brighton iconography to draw into our animations. The young people created imagery that typified Brighton and then translated it into a beautiful hand drawn animation.

We then explored particular spaces on a closer level, discussing where the young people felt safe and welcome, where they liked to hang out and what places they avoided. It was interesting to explore Brighton from their perspective and to examine the different atmosphere and personality that you will find in different areas around the city. I wanted to make the young people aware of the politics of space by getting them to consider the rules and social norms they observe around the city and how these can change or influence their behaviour differently in different places.

After discussing Brighton’s various neighbourhoods I asked the young people to choose one space which they had all been to and that they thought had potential to explore through animation. The young people selected Brighton Marina, which is close to where a number of them live.

Brighton Marina is an interesting example of the politics of space at work in our local community. By its very location it is separate from the city with only one main route in and out by car and minimal pedestrian access, making it an almost self contained space. There is the obvious geographical divide between land and water. The residential part of the Marina is gated, restricting access to only those that live there, creating a landscape of barriers and exclusion. There is also a social divide as the expensive boats of the Marina are symbols of a lifestyle that only few can afford and yet its location, just south of Whitehawk means that some of the city’s least affluent residents use it as their nearest source of leisure.

The young people explored maps and aerial photos to create a bird’s eye view of Brighton Marina, which they animated using paper cut out techniques. We started by creating our set and then breaking it down into moving elements such as the sea, cars, buses and boats. All of these were then combined to create a day in the life of Brighton Marina.

The young people then discussed their own relationships with the Marina – how they get there, what they do when they’re there and where they do and don’t go. These experiences were recorded as voice over, so that each member of the group could tell their own story. Finally, each member of the group made a paper cut-out version of themselves to animate their part of the story.

Every Saturday throughout the Biennial, the young people shared what they learnt through drop in animation workshops or children aged 5-11 at Jubilee and Whitehawk Libraries.

All of the work created for this project was exhibited in the Young People’s space at Jubilee Library during the Photo Biennial.

About the Author:

Evan Wilkinson is a Community Filmmaker based in Brighton. As well as producing videos and community film projects, Evan teaches workshops in filmmaking, script development and animation. For more information please visit: http://evanwilkinson.co.uk

Why Your Business Needs Video

For a filmmaker like me, it makes sense to have video on my website. Video is my product. Video hosting sites like Vimeo and YouTube allow me to upload my work and embed it on my site. I can display a selection of my best or most recent projects as well as a showreel giving an overview of my work as a whole. Keeping the rest of my work on my YouTube channel allows me to direct potential clients to previous work that is relevant to their project.

The evolution of digital technology has given video a home on the Internet and revolutionised the industry. Before the Internet and digital video, filmmakers like myself would have a very limited output for our work and getting our films seen by an audience was a huge challenge, especially for short films. You could enter festivals and competitions with the hope of being selected, you could organise a screening of your own or you could send out DVD screeners. Your audience was always limited. Online, videos can be accessed by people all over the world, 24 hours a day.

Filmmakers were early adopters of online video because we were quick to see the benefits, but the boom of online video has spread across all industries as more and more businesses are using video within their marketing strategies, even small businesses and start-ups.

If you’re running a business you’ll already have a website and be active across social media, but are you using video yet? You should be. Here’s why:

Video Creates a Personal Connection

You already do a great job of representing your business, so why not put that on show for the rest of the world to see?

Online video:

  • Allows you to pitch your business in your own words
  • Allows you to demonstrate your passion and energy
  • Allows you to convey your knowledge of your industry
  • Allows potential clients to get to know who you are
  • Allows potential clients to see you at work
  • Allows potential clients to see feedback and testimonials from existing customers

An online video is a great way to gain the trust of your potential client base as it gives them a face and personality to relate to and connect with.

Video Drives Sales

  • People can gain a better understanding of a product or a service when they see and hear someone explain it
  • A recent Video Rascal survey showed that 85% of people are more likely to buy a product once they have seen an explainer video
  • Axonn Research found seven in 10 people view brands in a more positive light after watching interesting video content from them
  • Diode Digital found that, before reading any text, 60% of site visitors will watch a video if available
  • Video promotion is over 6 times more effective than print and online

If a client is curious about the product or service that you provide then a video that allows them to see it in action will give them a sense of what to expect and why it has value.

Video Improves Search Engine Optimisation

  • Websites with video on the front page rank higher in Google
  • YouTube is the number 2 search engine in the world
  • YouTube is owned by Google, the number 1 search engine
  • YouTube has more than one billion unique visitors every month
  • Google’s search ranking algorithms take into account how long a visitor stays on your page
  • Visitors are more likely to stay on your site for longer if you have video

Social Media Loves Video

  • Video is the most shared brand content on Facebook
  • Videos are shared 1,200% more times than links and text combined

Every business needs to consider SEO within their marketing strategy. Online video gives you content that can be uploaded to YouTube, embedded in your website and shared across all of your social media channels. If your followers like it then they’ll share it too.

Video isn’t just an addition to your website, it’s becoming something that visitors to your site are expecting to see.

No Business is Too Small

No business is too small to use video as a marketing tool. In fact, I’d argue that it’s even more important if your business is small. Online video isn’t just about marketing; it’s about telling people what you do and why it matters. It’s a great way to demonstrate the value that you offer.

I run my own business and I understand the difficulty of having to cover every role that in a larger company would be shared across a team of staff. Keeping active with social media and marketing can be a challenge when you’re also delivering work and dealing with clients. You can’t do everything at once.

If you run a small business like I do, you’re used to relying on your online presence to do some of the work for you. I consider my website to be my shop front and I’m reassured knowing that it can be accessed 24/7 by potential clients no matter how busy I might be.

I also know how important it is to be able to represent my business in person when the opportunity arises. No one can describe your business better than you do. Being able to talk directly to a potential client is usually the best way to win their confidence but we aren’t always available to make new connections as often as we’d like to. An online video does some of that work for you, enabling visitors to your website to get a sense of who you are and hear you talk about your business with the passion and enthusiasm that you bring to your work every day. An online video can be accessed at anytime of day or night from anywhere in the world, meaning that whether you’re busy at work or it’s out of hours, people can still hear your pitch and engage with what you do.

As for the cost, digital technology has made video production more affordable and more accessible than ever before. A video for your website may not cost as much as you expect.

Case Study

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I’ve been making promotional videos for arts organisations and theatre productions for a while and I’ve recently extended my services to include local businesses. I’m a Community Filmmaker so my interest is in creating content that people can connect with on a personal level.

My latest video is for Octopus Alchemy, a social venture in Brighton that talks food politics and educates people about traditional foods. Octopus Alchemy is run by Darren Ollerton, who has an obvious passion for his work. I used an informal documentary style to make a video about Darren and to showcase his talents as a workshop leader. The aim of the video was to show what his workshops are all about.

I filmed two of Darren’s workshops and an interview with him about his work. The workshop footage conveys a sense of the atmosphere of the workshops and gives potential participants what to expect. I was also able to film participants enjoying the workshop and get their feedback. The accompanying interview gives a sense of who Darren is, how much he knows about the subject he teaches and most importantly, how much he cares about it.

“Whilst I’ve done a bit of it, in various guises, being in front of the camera is not a favourite pastime of mine and filming a promo piece for my project came at quite a difficult time for me. But Evan’s confidence about the project was infectious; he remained very objective about the whole process throughout which was reassuring. Evan definitely has a craft – he works with people, not just film – and he puts community at the forefront of his filmmaking, which really chimes with my politics.”                                – Darren Ollerton, Octopus Alchemy

Ethical businesses and social enterprises like Octopus Alchemy are on the rise in the UK. There is a clear market for personal, local businesses that customers can relate to. Faceless corporations are out of fashion, so letting your client base get to know you through video makes sense.

I have no doubt that your business could be improved by using video and if you’re local to Brighton then I can help you do it. I specialise in working with the community and creating video that has meaning. I can work with you to create a video that is true to your identity as a business. Visit my website to find out more about my work and how to get in touch.

*A lot of these stats were sourced here.

About the Author:

Evan Wilkinson is a Community Filmmaker based in Brighton who creates video for the local community. As well as producing videos and community film projects, Evan teaches workshops in filmmaking, script development and animation. For more information please visit: http://evanwilkinson.co.uk

Beach of the Dead 2010

If you don’t know by now, I love zombies, so I jumped at the chance to take part in Brighton’s zombie crawl, Beach of the Dead. I’d had a lot of fun designing zombie looks for the short film Outbreak, but this was the chance to turn my makeup sponges on myself as I descended on Brighton seafront with my zombie friends.

This was our first year at the zombie crawl as work and other commitments had kept me away in previous years. We opted for a zombie wedding theme. I was the groom (that’s me in the suit) and my bride and I were accompanied by a nun, a vicar and a bridesmaid. Getting ready in the hotel room was hilarious, by the time we were finished the bathroom looked like it belonged in the Bates Motel.

I love working with liquid latex so I decided to go with the broken skin look that I developed on Outbreak, with the addition of some creepy white contact lenses. I also did the makeup for my friends Tam and Laurie, the vicar and nun, after my makeup artist friend (and zombie bride) Roisin gave us a base coat of white with her airbrush kit.

BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAINS!!!

I’d spent a lot of time thinking about creating the look for the day, and getting organised early in the morning. What I hadn’t really thought about was the parade aspect of the day. My friends and I were all quite taken aback by the amount of spectators that turned out to watch us zombie our way down to the seafront. It was a bit intimidating having so many people watching me and taking my picture. I’m usually the one behind the camera! Wearing so much makeup felt like a protective layer though, like hiding behind a mask. I got into character and just got on with it and was quite surprised to see pictures of myself popping up online after the event.

Here is one taken by Samuel Justice at the start of the day and another by Dogtemple, which was taken towards the end of the night after peeling had set in! Both photographers have been very kind in letting me repost their work here.

Zombie walk 2010Zombie blogIf you’d like to take part in a zombie make-up workshop then please visit my website to find out more.