Visiting the Isle of Spagg

The brothers McLeod, Myles and GregThanks to Brothers McLeod for a great evening previewing their new pilot Isle of Spagg, a full half hour of animation – that’s a lot of blinking Flash frames! We were also treated to a 30 minute presentation from the  Greg and Myles (animator and writer respectively), walking us through the whole process of creation, from concept, holiday, sketching, drinking, through to working with actors and musicians, raising funding, and final production.

The Brothers talked of the three years it took to bring the Isle of Spagg to life. Greg told us that the idea for the film came some 10-11 years ago when they were in Cornwall and saw Monkeys Head Island. He said “I got to wondering whether there was a community on the other side [of the island]” and the idea was born.

Partially funded by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union the project started by the brothers “taking a week out of the office” writing and drawing, and generally trying to make each other laugh as they created the characters and drew up their animation bible for the film. Commenting on the process Greg said that they needed “to love the characters as a 30 minute film meant they would be a round for a very long time!”

Although the brothers felt that the music brought the film to life it was the actors who played the characters who really made the difference. “The original read through was not funny, but as the actors got into it they made us laugh as they brought the characters to life”.

Brothers McLeodGreg and Myles paid tribute to the production team:

Voice Artists: Lu Corfield, David Holt, Louis McLeod, Myles McLeod, Lucy Montgomery and Richard Ridings. Design and Animation Greg McLeod. Lead Animators Tom Evans and Kirsten Thacker. Turnarounds and Animation Robert Brown. Animation Nick Wade, Hamish Baird and Louis Hudson. Character Rigging Lizz Lunney. Sound Paul Johnston and Dave Peacock. Music Mark Dean, The Reel Note Ceili Band and Strumpit. Script Editor Hayley McKenzie. Producer Helen Brunsdon.

They also thanked: Tom Angell, Thomas Crook, Camilla Deakin, Lucy Fawcett, Rebecca Papworth, Andy Wyatt, the animation students at University College Falmouth and their families.

The Brothers are fully socialised, so go befriend them, twitter them, and watch films on YouTube.

Next month we’re taking a summer break, so we’re back at OFVM Film Oxford on Thursday September 15th.

In the meantime, if you have any ideas for a talk, or topic for the night, do get in touch. If you want us to approach someone who’s been an inspiration to you, in design, illustration, animation, the web, anywhere – we can make the approach for you, just let us know.