Written & Directed by Alex Turvey
It was over mushrooms on toast that Nathan and I decided to recreate his childhood portfolio of animal illustrations on a mammoth scale. Originally rendered in pencil under the guidance of a trailer-park drawing class in Edmonton, Canada, when Nathan was just seven years old, the repertoire of very strange-looking owls, lions, lynxes, polar bears, and monkeys were painstakingly copied from wildlife photographs. In honor of such young talent, we decided to create Nathan's Place, a huge 2D landscape of his childhood animals, and an homage to Canadian children's TV host, Fred Penner (who climbed through logs into magical worlds and had an enviable collection of wooly jumpers).
The making process took two weeks of solid graft. We rigged up a projector so that Nathan could redraw his illustrations with paint marker and charcoal. Simultaneously, hugely-talented propmakers Mark Connell and Omar Lado of MADE moved their tools and materials into my flat where they worked day and night, sawing, sanding and drilling until the set was complete—resembling a pop-up book where each animal had a hand-operated, movable function, from bobbing heads to roving eyes.
After a sweltering two-day shoot smack bang in the middle of the July heat wave, followed by a week of solid animation, I then took the footage to Paris in order to grade the final edit with the wonderful people at La Pac. All in all, the project has been a labor of love for everyone involved, the only problem now being, what to do with the eight-foot owl in my living room and the lion at the end of my bed.
If your ears want more Cheatahs, visit here myspace.com/cheatahssuck
Director / Producer - Alex Turvey
DOP - Andrew Farrar
Art Direction - Alex Turvey
Set build / Art Department - MADE
Illustration - Nathan Hewitt
Edit / Animation - Alex Turvey
Grade / Flame - La Pac
Stylist - Laura Clayton
Production Assistants - Nathan Jenkins / Oliver Page
Puppeteers - Lauren Mortimer / Mathy Tremewan / Elly Shepard / Nick Scott / Alex Lewis
Label - Young & Lost Club