Hopefully better late than never!
Before writing Hiding Heidi I’d been working freelance in the animation industry in London for over fifteen years. Working on a mix of animated films and commercials. I ended up working in quite a niche area of predominantly hand drawn painterly work. Sometimes art directing, but often being one of the team translating an illustration style into moving image. Projects include working as Lead Assistant Animator on ‘The Snowman and the Snowdog’ at Lupus Films and doing animation artwork for a short film illustrated by Quentin Blake for the West End Stage production of ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’.
Alongside the animation work I was always developing my own illustration work and ideas.
I’d had a few ideas for picture books, but it wasn’t until I thought up Hiding Heidi that I made the transition to the printed page.
But of course my background in animation proved invaluable, because there are a lot of transferable skills when thinking about narrative, pacing, character design etc. And it also comes in quite handy when it comes to producing an animated trailer, which I did alongside my good friends Maki, Jason and George. Here are a few words from Maki and George re how they approached working on the trailer…
Maki (Animation) –
“For me, the big challenge was to see how to animate Fiona’s lovely illustrations. There were many pages in the book I would have loved to animate, because all the characters have a lively energetic movement in them, like they were paused in mid action. As an animator, it’s always fun to take those images and make the characters move around on the screen. In the end, we decided to animate the spread of Heidi and her three friends bouncing up and down on their space hoppers.
I animated the bounce in flash and then recreated Fiona’s pencil work in photoshop. It was all combined in photoshop using the original artwork textures, to make it look as close as possible to the illustrations in the book. Jason the editor and After Effects compositor put all the layers together and added effects to it. He also did additional animation and added depth and movement to the wood scene and the balloons.” – Maki Yoshikura https://vimeo.com/153752014 Jason Guest www.jjguest.com
George (Music) –
“I’ve known Fiona for a while so knowing her personality and illustration I couldn’t help but hear a ukulele. We have a few lying around the house and my two kids are always picking them up and larking about. The sound of fun. Thinking of a simple rhythm to match Maki’s bounce animation and silly songs I sing with the kids, the ditty basically wrote itself. Add to this an old jaw harp we had lying around and hey presto, the song was born”. – George Thomson from Sounds and Sons www.soundsandsons.com
I am thrilled how the trailer has turned out and I can’t wait for more people to see it and be introduced to Heidi – if they can find her! Fiona x