Serendipity is a word I discovered many years ago- to be embarassingly honest, I found it in the Target book 'Dr Who and The Green Death'- and it means ' A happy accident'. It one of those words I loved so much, I try to find excuses to use it! I mention this because a lot of my animation production this year has been directly steered by serendipity, and the wonders of the 'street of plenty'. Here in South London, people have a wonderful habit of placing stuff they are finished with in their front gardens. There are also many skips which are filled with wondrous items- from timber, to metals, furniture, toys, technology- almost anything. If you are a skip monkey like me, you soon find yourself rooting in such places, and there is rarely a day now when I leave the house without returning with something culled from the world, and recycled into something new( actually three different items today alone)- usually for stop motion animation purposes. I've also frequently gone wandering on a day when a project demanded specific types of object, and the streets seem to miraculously provide more often than not...I mentioned this to fellow animators at The 'Animation 4 Life ' conference, and was surprised that others didn't have the same experience- I recall Barry Purves telling us how he discovered the clock that appears behind his Shakespeare puppet at the end of 'Next' in a skip on his way to work one morning, and I just kind of extrapolated from there that this must be everyone's experience- but apparently not.
Nick Kallincos, Australian artist, animator, (and Punk Rock musician) told me he hardly ever can find the prop he needs. I'll mention Nick again- here is his website
he has a fantastic short film called 'The Luminary' which I found absolutely beautiful, and a perfect blend of idea and visual concepts that works so well as a short stop motion film- you can check it out here-
But back to finding things- I think also it is a matter of developing an eye for what things can BECOME. Toothpaste tops as cups was where it began, but lately I've found such items as defunct metal connectors for TV stands, that with one cut of a saw have become wonderful machined feet toe sections, with predrilled tapped cavities for tie- down feet...
But whatever, I'm writing this because where we are going to go with this blog, and the projects I'm currently developing have been hugely influenced by what the world has brought to me. There is no way I could make the projects I've done recently without serendipity being on my side- I would hazard a guess that over 3/4 of the materials I've been through this year have not been bought, but found.
So THANK YOU UNIVERSE, KEEP IT COMING.