Two unicyclists find each other in a dark forest and fall in love. They embrace and their unicycles join and work together as a bicycle.


Credits

A film by Thomas Hicks
Sound Aaron Lampert
Editor Paddy Molloy
Camera Assistant Nick White
Performers Julie Bower & Glen Sheppard
Prop Makers Jane Hicks & Richard Hicks


Synopses

Two unicyclists join together and fall in love in a forest.

Two unicyclists find each other in a dark forest and fall in love. They embrace and their unicycles join and work together as a bicycle.

In a dark forest two unicyclists find each other and fall in love. The manís heart beats and the womenís lungs inhale and exhale. They dance together as they cycle through the forest. The unicycles join and the mechanical workings of the unicycles work together as with the hearts and lungs which join together and work in harmony. The solitary unicyclists find each other and fall in love. Their unicycles work together in harmony.


Technical information

A combination of traditional and more modern high-tech animation techniques were used in the making of Unicycle Film. The live action performance was shot with my digital SLR cameras using time-lapse controls. All live action performance was shot in extreme slow motion and then sequenced in the computer. The backgrounds were drawn on miniature fabric rollers and then filmed and composited back into the shots. The live action, rollers and drawing were layered together. Within the film big props were made. Especially the unicycle stands which the unicycles were mounted onto.


Full credits

A film by Thomas Hicks
Sound Aaron Lampert
Editors Aaron Lampert & Paddy Molloy
Additional Animation Paddy Molloy
Camera Assistant Nick White
Performers Julie Bower & Glen Sheppard
Prop Makers Jane Hicks & Richard Hicks

Thank you: Abigail Addison, Nicky Bentham, Martina Bramkamp, Ben Brown, Joey Clark, Nick DíAguiar, Justin Driskill, David Margolis, Passion Paris, Passion Pictures, Vincent Steinbeck, Kathy Whitehouse

Executive Producers Jacqui Davies & Gary Thomas


Sound

Aaron Lampert works with animation, illustration, music and sound design.

He has worked at various London-based animation production companies including Trunk Animation, Picasso Pictures, Passion Pictures, Tandem and Sherbet, working on short films, music videos, commercials, idents, documentaries and art installations. He is currently studying for a masters degree in animation at the Royal College Of Art.

Aaron has collaborated with Thomas in various capacities since meeting on the Illustration/Animation degree course at Kingston University.


Animation/Editing

Paddy Molloy graduated in Illustration and Animation from Kingston University, and has since created work for a broad range of clients. This includes collaborations with theatre companies, Theatre O and Pentabus, creating animated sequences that integrate into live theatrical productions. Paddy lives and works in London.


Performance

Glen Sheppard has been working in experimental and commercial theatre for the past thirteen years. In Toronto he has been an integral part of the experimental and new works theatre scene since graduating from Ryerson Theatre School in 2001, shepherding new works by local and international theatremakers and developing and presenting his own works both locally and internationally (Summerworks, Theatre Pass Muraille, Tarragon Theatre, Grand Theatre London etc). Glen also has a history in film and music, collaborating on several film projects, primarily experimental, and appearing with a number of critically lauded 'indie' bands out of Toronto, as well as freelancing for major international film and media festivals. Presently Glen spends most of his time writing long-form fiction and screen scenarios as well as creating music and theatre works.


Artist's update April 2009

In the last few months working on Unicycle Film I have tested out many ideas and ways of working for the film and keeping the process quite fast and spontaneous and working on a far larger scale than what I am used to. I have really enjoyed having some time to test ideas and work with some new materials and processes.

The big investment I made into the film was in a pair of high spec Canon stills cameras. I started off generally using one camera to animate with and a second camera to document the animation being made as a kind of time-lapse documentation of the work. Initially these were very separate elements, but a lot of my interest now is in finding a way to combine the two, where the process of animating and the animation itself become intertwined within the same film and a dynamic is found between the creation and the final shots.

Also I have become far more resourceful in the film I am making, limiting technology and imposing my own rules on the production. I suppose in a way I am searching for a kind of simplicity and purity in the work, where the ambitious and complicated ideas I have are achieve and solved in the simplest and most effective ways possible.

The animation and music is growing together and I am just about to go into a full production for the next four months. I have hired a second studio space as a set for the time up to delivery of the film to work in which I am leaving as a stage to build my new models in and create the animation elements in. Itís a very simple white space and I am keeping the whole room as a blank canvas to build the models and animate in. It is somewhere I am able to be quite messy which will be really useful as well.

Over Christmas and into the New Year I did a new music video and documentary for this band Animal Kingdom for a track called Chalk Stars. It was exciting because it was testing ideas I was working with for Unicycle Film and has been really useful getting to get grips with working bigger and working with stop motion and this time-lapse process. The band has been touring with Snow Patrol in the UK and when they have been playing Chalk Stars they have been projecting the video live and syncing with it which has been really exciting, especially in the O2 arena.

I am excited to go to the next stage with Unicycle Film. Itís a really great experience and I am treating it as a real experiment of filmmaking and production. Itís having a big influence on my way of working.