We made lots of amazing things
Shafiullah, 14

Today inspired me to have more confidence in my art work
Jack, 14

I learnt how to take pictures and animate them into a movie
Aaron, 14

Silas began by showing an animation by Jeff Keen. Keen’s films are an explosion of found imagery, paint, photographs and words. Toys scurry across the screen, comic book characters find themselves in very surprising situations. Silas explained that the workshop would explore some ways of using chance and found imagery as a starting point and that the group would end the workshop by making a collaborative animation.

The first session was spent building up series of drawings, and collages that would all be used in the animation. First of all, everyone drew a portrait of the person next to them over a found image from a magazine. Next they were given part of a face from a magazine and they redrew the missing features. Then, over the same drawing, they added a drawing of the insides of
the person next to them.

Then they explored the way that two images together can begin to suggest a story. Everyone cut out an library of images from magazines, newspapers and comics. They chose one, then passed it to their neighbour who added another. Looking at each
collage in turn, it was possible to see connections and narratives between these chance pairings. Then one image was removed and another added and saw how that changed of developed the previous narrative. Finally, a headline was added.

Then everyone worked with pages from comics, cutting out all the action words they could find. Everyone filmed each other acting out the words. Then, they drew the words they’d found and tried to make the sounds of the drawing. Finally, they made collages with more images, this time drawing over them, cutting things out, adding and removing to alter the narrative.

Silas took away the sound and video footage that had been recorded. He printed out, frame by frame, the boys acting out the comic action words. When the group came to the RCA for their second session they were each given a bundle of frames of themselves to work on. They could draw over and around the image, add found images and word, and develop fleeting narratives in the 24 frames they had been given. Those who hadn’t been filmed worked on frames from found footage.

Once their frames were complete, they worked in groups to produce a series of collaborative drawings of faces. Each person was responsible for a particular feature. Working together in this way, characters emerged that might never have appeared
otherwise. Throughout the session, each boy had the chance to record the frames for their part of the animation so that Silas could edit everything together to make one spectacular film.

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