‘Quite Normal’ @ The Ramsgate International Film & Television Festival 2021


Quite Normal was the short film I made back in July 2020 for the Kick-About #5, in response to Alice Neel’s 1932 painting, Symbols. The film was made very directly and simply, and without any actual video footage, the visuals in the film deriving from still photographs of poor reproductions of magazine advertisements from the 1950s.

As an experiment between me, myself and I, I decided to submit Quite Normal to a few film festivals. I was happy with the film – happy with the thematic world of it, with the tone, with its ad-hoc limitations, and very happy with the performance by Charly Skilling. I also had no expectations for the film, knowing it to be the product of straightened times and non-existent budgets.

Yesterday, I was contacted by the organisers of the Ramsgate International Film & TV Festival to notify me that Quite Normal has made the festival’s official selection and will be screened as part of their online event (COVID having put paid to its more usual location-based film screenings). What a lovely surprise, not least because it should encourage anyone else who might be reading this that you don’t need all the bells and whistles to make a short film that other people might be interested in supporting and watching.



Red & The Kingdom Of Sound @ LA Shorts


Some exciting news for myself and the whole team who worked together so tirelessly on Red & The Kingdom Of Sound in and around our actual day jobs! Our award-winning, globe-trotting animated adaptation of Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra has just been added to the LA Shorts International Film Festival YouTube channel!

LA Shorts International Film Festival ranks among the most prestigious and largest international short film festivals in the world. The festival is accredited by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Now in its 24th year, LA Shorts is the longest-running short film festival in Los Angeles.



Red & The Chamber of Architects

The Viola District from Red & The Kingdom of Sound

Back in October 2019, Red & The Kingdom Of Sound was selected and screened as part of the Istanbul International Architecture and Urban Films Festival.

I submitted the animation to the festival on a whim. Nothing about this festival’s remit aligned with classical music or the visualisation of sound, and yet our ‘kingdom of sound’ did represent something of an architectural fantasia, what with its fifteen imaginary realms derived entirely from the structures of musical instruments. One of the guiding principles underpinning the commission of our animated adaptation of Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra was to diversify audiences for classical music, so when the Chamber of Architects (Istanbul Metropolitan Branch) agreed to include the film in their screening programme, I was very happy.



“Since its foundation in 1954, the Chamber of Architects has been endeavouring intensively in order to enhance architectural culture, protect historical heritage, and improve quality of life. In order to introduce a new aspect to such endeavours, the Chamber has been organizing an event named “Istanbul International Architecture and Urban Films Festival”. The event aims participation by anybody interested in that field, in particular the architects. The festival is scheduled as a part of “Architecture and Urban Festival” organized by Istanbul Metropolitan Branch of Chamber of Architects by virtue of the “World Architecture Day”, a day widely celebrated in the world in the first Monday of October every year.” www.archfilmfest.org

Selma Erdem, festival secretary, got in touch via email a few days ago to ask if Red & The Kingdom Of Sound could be shown again as part of the Chamber of Architects Istanbul Branch’s response to the COVID19 lock-down. Of the film’s original selection for an architecture-themed film festival, Selma has this to say, describing Red’s adventures in the kingdom of sound as a ‘a great explanation of the connection between time, space and sound.’ Of the decision to show it again as part of their COVID programming, Selma thought Red’s adventures would ‘give people hope and joy.’

What a satisfying thought, that on May 4th, people will be listening to Britten’s music while watching Red swim down into the dreamy depths of the Cello District or dodge the wrecking ball in the much-less relaxing Percussion District!


The ‘Tuba’ Palace from Red & The Kingdom of Sound
Inside the Tuba Palace from Red & The Kingdom of Sound
The Bassoon District from Red & The Kingdom of Sound

Imagining and making the architectural follies that feature in Red & The Kingdom Of Sound was no small creative feat and took a dedicated team many months to produce. Take a look at this short ‘making of’ for a glimpse behind the scenes.