The first trailer for Ethel and Ernest, the hand drawn, feature length adaptation of the graphic novel by Raymond Briggs (The Snowman, Fungus the Bogeyman) has arrived. The film will be released in cinemas 28th October 2016.
The film has been faithfully adapted by Lupus Films who previously created the sequel to The Snowman, the TVC classic perhaps best associated with Briggs. Directed by Roger Mainwood the film spans the relationship of the titular Ethel and Ernest Briggs, parents of the acclaimed author/illustrator as they live out the 20th century and all of it’s social and political developments. The idea to translate this film was originally the late John Coates who passed the baton to Mainwood and Lupus Films. Mainwood has been documenting the progress of the film on a well maintained blog which charts the progress of the film (which you can see here).
Forty years, one love, countless cups of tea…
Heart-warming, humorous and bittersweet, the film follows the lives of lady’s maid Ethel and milkman Ernest from their first chance meeting in 1928, through the birth of their son Raymond in 1934, to their deaths, within months of each other, in 1971.
From the socially stratified 1920s to the moon landing of 1969, the film depicts, through Ethel and Ernest’s eyes, the most defining moments of the 20th Century: the darkness of the Great Depression, the build up to World War II, the trials of the war years, the euphoria of VE Day and the emergence of a generation from post war austerity to the cultural enlightenment of the 1960s.
Echoing the lives and concerns of the London working classes through momentous social and political change, Ethel & Ernest is a heartfelt and affectionate tribute to an ordinary couple and an extraordinary generation.
Ethel and Ernest was animated using a software called TVPaint. When the film was first being developed, way back in 2007 (!), we were going to animate it on paper. That was how all the other Raymond Briggs films had been done (The Snowman, When the Wind Blows, Father Christmas, The Bear, and The Snowman and Snowdog). However, technology has moved on and in the intervening years TVPaint has become more and more the industry standard for hand drawn animated films. Using a Wacom cintiq to draw on, the animators can reproduce a line quality that is virtually indistinguishable from a line drawn with a graphite pencil on paper.
Many of our crew were new to TVPaint, but tutorials were given by Lupus Films’ animation supervisor Isobel Stenhouse, and also Elodie Moog from TVPaint was always on hand to answer any questions.
With the release of Kubo and the Two Strings, it is a perfect moment to go back in time and see the evolution of stop-motion animation throughout the years.
The films included are:
– The Enchanted Drawing (1900)
-Fun at the Bakery Shop (1902)
-El Hotel Electrico (1905)
-Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906)
-The Cameraman’s Revenge (1912)
-The Night before Christmas (1913)
-The Lost World (1925)
-The Tale of Fox (1930 version)
-King Kong (1933)
-The New Gulliver (1935)
-The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)
-It Came Beneath The Sea (1955)
-Earth vs Flying Saucers (1956)
-The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
-Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
-Closed Mondays (1975)
-Star wars IV: A New Hope (1977)
-Star Wars V: Empire Strikes Back (1980)
-Clash of the Titans (1981)
-The Terminator (1984)
-Wallace and Gromit: A grand day out (1990)
-The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb (1993)
-The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
-James and the Giant Peach (1996)
-Chicken Run (2000)
-Corpse Bride (2005)
-Mary and Max (2009)
-Fantastic Mr.Fox (2009)
-The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (2012)
-Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
-The Little Prince (2015)
-Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)
Jason is a Senior Lighting Technical Director at Weta Digital, and has previously held similar roles at Framestore and Sony Pictures Imageworks when he lived in the US. Born in New York, Jason studied Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University, where he learned practical model-making and lighting. These skills, along with practical construction knowledge, turned out to be perfectly suited for VFX.
Jason made the journey across the Pacific in 2009, joining Weta with an already impressive filmography under his belt. Jason has worked on films such as Ice Age, Matrix: Revolutions, Fantastic Four, I Am Legend, The Dark Knight, and The Chronicles of Narnia. His more recent projects with Weta include: Avatar, The Avengers, The Adventures of Tintin, and of course, The Hobbit.
Meet a group of professional animators (AAU alumni) working in the industry (at Pixar), and now teaching classes at the Academy of Art University with the goal to be working along side the graduates one day.