Things I Learnt from Bob Godfrey

When I was studying animation at Southampton, Bob Godfrey used to come down to teach once a week. I knew Bob’s name from the TV series “Roobarb and Custard”, which aired on BBC1 when I was about eight, and later learnt that he was a legendary creator of animated shorts, mostly slightly risque ones that were generally shown in front of ‘Carry On’ films. Bob was the embodiment of the ‘less is more’ school of animation – if you can make your point , or tell your story, just as effectively with fewer or simpler drawings, then do it that way. Don’t make work for yourself.
Bob saw a film I’d made in my first semester called “Advice for Hamsters” and gave me his card. Once I’d finished studying he gave me my first job, on a satirical series called “Margaret Thatcher: Where Am I Now?”, written by Steve Bell.
One of the key lessons I took from Bob was the importance – and delicacy – of timing. I’d animate a scene that needed to be funny, but for some reason wasn’t quite working. He’d check it, play it a few times, then tell me to add or remove a few frames – often only two or three – then suddenly the scene would be funny.
As well as being a legendary animator, Bob was a legendary character. I’ve tried to capture some of that in a little tribute film. Here’s a trailer. The film itself in currently being submitted to festivals, so I can’t show the whole thing yet.

Things I Learnt from Bob Godfrey: trailer from Dennis Sisterson on Vimeo.

Dr Who Lego kit timelapse

For my birthday a couple of months ago, my friend Sam Wooldridge bought me a Dr Who Lego kit. I hadn’t played with Lego since I was about 12 so I was overdue to revisit it. As if that wasn’t justification enough, I thought I’d take the opportunity to make a little timelapse film. Lego is a lot more sophisticated than it used to be – I think if they’d had these kits when I was a kid, I’d have stuck with it a bit longer.
This took about four hours to shoot, plus setting up the camera and lights, changing the memory cards and camera batteries and so on. The camera was set to shoot once every two seconds, and took 5,450 exposures. I added a bit of stop-motion animation at the end just for fun.
I used the wrong piece in the Tardis console a couple of times, which is why I have to take it apart again later on, and was left with a few pieces at the end so either there were some extra ones or I made a few other mistakes. Let me know if you spot any.