The Little Matchgirl & Other Happier Tales

I’ve spent the last fortnight working all hours to create this animated trailer for Shakespear’s Globe Theatre along with my co-creator & animator Greig Johnson. It’s a piece of work we’re both very proud of and so far the reception to it has been fantastic.

A lot of the style here is that of old Victorian etchings. Many etchings from that era are collected in books & online and there are no copyright restrictions on them, so you can use them in commercial work like this.

So I’ve taken a lot of content from such sources. In some cases I just coloured it (originals are mostly black & white), but in many cases I’ve had to chop and change bits, arrange arms and legs, swap one head with that of another, in order to get things how I wanted them to look. And then for a few bits here and there, I drew from scratch. (The opening city & little girl scene is all drawn from scratch).

It’s been a satisfying mix of work: cutting stuff out and collaging, designing & composing the scenes, blowing up patterns and textures, and trying to get everything to have that same vintage ‘storybook world’ aesthetic. One of those times where me being more of a ‘Jack of all…’ type graphic artist is quite advantageous.

I should also say a few words about the amazing work Greig has done in animating here — give it a rewatch and pay attention to how well action is synced to the beats of the music, and how motion has a delightful realistic little ‘bounce’ to it, and how little extra sound effects just help bring it to life. All his fine work – and my visuals would be flat and lifeless without it.

It was a real treat to watch it all for the first time and spot all the little details he’s worked on to give it an extra bit of polish. Very proud to have had him on board for this (it’s the first time we’ve worked together!). Hopefully more animated work from us to come in the future.

This was a daunting amount of work with no time for any back-and-forth. The first time Greig would see the artwork is when I’d send him the finished files for each scene, and the first time I saw it animated was when it was finished(!) – we just had to trust one another but I’m pleased at how our process worked.

Thanks for watching!

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