< HOW THE PROJECT BEGAN >
< Short animated explainer coming soon >
I met Tony Pritchett by chance at St Martins College of Art London.
I was attending a student event. He was attending a retrospective. I asked him if he was an animator. He said yes. We watched The Flexipede on his ipod.
I was in awe.
Tony kindly accepted my request to keep in touch and it wasn’t too long before I asked if he would mind me making a film about his work. He was a very modest man but he said yes.
He gave me and my friends many a guided tour through the world of early CGI (ie. the amazing archive stored in his home).
We filmed documentary footage with and with a crew.
We also visited No.W.Here film lab in order to view Tony’s 16mm CG work.
The archive was full of materials. Full of stories – times and places to explore.
It became apparent that a short film with a classical narrative was perhaps not the best way to go about things. the storytelling mechanics just weren’t working.
After a lot of tinkering, we solved our problem in an elegant and fun way:
We decided to create a mix of experimental film and animation, photographed materials, scanned documents, audio materials, prose, technical notes and links to further study.
Tony unexpectedly passed away in 2017. He left us at his humanist funeral to the sound of the Tardis dematerialising. (He was a huge Doctor Who fan).
Dr. Nick Lambert and I were kindly given permission by Tony’s family to transport the archive to my home in Essex. The van we hired inexplicably had someone’s furniture left in it. Huge great big wardrobes and suchlike. It was all a bit of a squeeze! I can’t help thinking that Tony would have found this amusing.
Once the archive had safely re-materialised in my house and garage, I continued to explore Tony’s work, but things weren’t the same without my friend/tour guide/translator. To coin a Tony phrase – the project got “stuck in the mud”.
That was until four very kind and generous people came along:
> Dr. Victoria Marshall
> Dik Leatherdale
> Prof David Duce
> Prof Bob Hopgood
And so the eBook project continues! It shaping up to be:
> A mix of animation, live-action, text, photographic and printed materials by Tony.
> A mix of animation, live-action, text, photographic and printed materials by myself.
> Internal and external links to further study.
> Huge thanks to The Computer Arts Society for hosting the documentary and archive content.
Does this all sound a bit serious and sad? I hope not.
Tony was a lovely, funny, jolly, wise and cultured man. He was great company and this documentary project/portrait should reflect this!
“I hope I haven’t given you mental indigestion” – Tony Pritchett.