Mon, 13 Sep 2021 14:55:21 GMT
Chris Cray is an animator and director based in London. His work is digitally hand-drawn, with an emphasis on bold design, well crafted motion and quirky character performances.
Chris studied Fine Art and History of Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Character Animation at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.
He has directed and animated commercials, short films, apps, sitcoms and music videos and is the founder of the animation studio Somesense.
Name: Chris Cray
Repped by/in: Somesense
Chris> I love scripts with a playful spirit and a clear idea. Animation is the most direct link between a creator’s mind’s eye and what we see on screen. So, animation is the perfect artform to express a unique point of view and have it seen in every element of the production, from character design and world building to a nuanced character performance.
Chris> I’ll start with a broad exploration of the project, doing a deep dive into the brand and the concepts informing the spot.
This will help find the best way to express the script in terms of design, film making and animation technique.
Holding a clear vision of the core of the project in mind, I’ll work on character and background designs. Including designs and style frames is a very direct way of communicating a vision for the project, though it’s often only the starting point of a collaborative process of design, so I may include a mood board of references to show the direction of the project outside the scope of the treatment.
Chris> By the end of the research, I’ll invariably be fascinated with the brand and market. It is a wonderful feeling having your eyes opened and experience broadened by a project. Animation is a very collaborative art form, so I never hesitate to reach out to experts in areas I’m new to, either to be part of the team or to consult.
Chris> I believe the most important relationship is the connection to our industry as a whole. We all work in concert with each other, creating an amazing body of work from an amazing pool of talent. I very much believe in Brian Eno’s notion of ‘scenius’ the genius of the scene, going beyond the isolated genius of the individual.
Chris> I find a lot of joy in both comedy and optical illusions. I find that their quirky worldview helps give me a fresh perspective on things. That moment of surprise and amazement, where all is not what it seems, is so magical and is equally true of a punchline of a joke or when looking at an Escher staircase.
Chris> I think it’s surprising to see how expressive and relatable character animation can be. That so much more is possible than simply taking an illustration and moving it around, when you invest in an animated character performance.
Chris> We had a situation where the filmmaking and storytelling approach of the project was completely changed mid production. We had to take a step back and effectively remix our own work in real time and it turned out to be a rather freeing and exhilarating experience!
Chris> An idea is such a strong entity that all it needs is nurturing and amplifying. The best approach is for everyone to get onto the same page with the idea early on and then we can all get behind executing the idea with the elegance and panache that it deserves.
Chris> I’m so happy to see the increasing diversity in our industry. In a time when opinions are often split and divisive, I love how impactful authentically authored storytelling can be in broadening our minds and affecting positive change.
Chris> The pandemic forced us all to be flexible in the way we work and I believe flexibility has a major role to play in the inclusivity of our industry. With virtual office tools like Slack, we can work towards blending the experience of the office with the home office and increase the chances of having our dream team on a project.
Chris> There is a rigorous logic and structure behind animation production, that lends itself well to working with many different formats. The key is to create a workflow that anticipates versioning, and has a modularity built into it. The earlier the formats are considered, the more integrity they can have with the creative vision.
Chris> Each development in technology creates new opportunities in animation. Some technologies suggest new approaches and others are an exciting expression of traditional animation techniques. As all technology comes back to being an expression of human creativity and ingenuity, there’s always the opportunity to turn any new technology into a creative medium.
Chris> Illusion Dimension
I had an exciting opportunity to blend hand drawn animation with interactive CGI when creating this VR Exhibition. It was wonderful to have a dialogue between new and traditional technologies. Illusion dimension indulges my love of optical and animated tricks, such as morphs, ambiguity and isometry.
It’s very fun to dial up the whimsical charm, with bees reaching for a stripy umbrella and having their ‘clothes’ blow off. I leant into the organic line quality of frame by frame hand drawn animation and for the character design had an opportunity to write a love letter to classic children’s illustration.
I have great fun writing and directing this animated comedy web series. In this brightly coloured sketch comedy world, I have an opportunity to poke fun at all the hypocrisies and silliness of our daily lives, from commuting, plastic pollution, to finding a soul mate. This series is also a great opportunity to hone my comedic storytelling, design aesthetics and animation workflow, which can all then feedback into my commercial work.
It was a great honour to create the legacy film for this incredible charity that has changed troubled lives through encouraging a relationship with the natural world. The animation needed to express a full range of emotional experiences, from trauma, through depression, into a burgeoning sense of confidence through a connection to community and nature, embodied by a friendly tree. It was incredibly fulfilling creating an animated world that contained all of these complexities with warmth and hope.view more - The DirectorsSomesense, Mon, 13 Sep 2021 14:55:21 GMT