About "Villains"

"Villains" is my final film I created whilst at Middlesex University and is my most ambitious film to date. As of 3rd April 2015 it is now available to watch online!

This Stop Motion Animated film features themes of Infamy, Notoriety & Legacy - three things that strongly resonate with Main Character Kevin, a 36 year old film buff living alone with no job. Deciding to finally make something of himself, he forms a collective of misfits and crafts an anarchistic plan to leave his mark on the world. Join Kevin and his team of self proclaimed Villains in this comedic tale of teamwork, antagonism and style in this nail biting adventure.

Completed in May 2014, "Villains" is currently being screened at various film festivals around the world, listed below.

"Starlite Film Festival"
"Visions 5 Festival"
"Holland Animation Film Festival 2015"
"ReAnimania Film Festival 2014"
"Thurrock International Film Festival 2014" won "Best Animation" by Judge Dane DeBlois, director of "How To Train Your Dragon".

If you are viewing this from www.villainsfilm.com, please visit my main website, www.crowleyfilms.com.

If you are interested in how I made Villains, please scroll down!

Posted on 26 Feb 2015 by Alex
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VILLAINS Production Blog

This is the first entry into my production blog for my upcoming animated film currently titled "VILLAINS".

After spending several months in pre-production this week I have finally began to work on animating the film. As of right now I have completed 25 useable seconds and hope to have at least a minute completed within a week.

Below is a still from the opening of my film:

I feel very pleased with the results of my opening shots, however there have been a few issues with compositing which I hope to resolve soon.

The colour grading is also inconsistent but is something I will work on after completing primary animation.

Posted on 16 Feb 2014 by Alex

VILLAINS Production Blog Week 2

This week I have been working on the flashback scenes introducing each character and have now completed Christina's and most of Kevin's.

I found that these were very quick to animate in comparison to the previous scenes due to the fact that there was no dialogue therefore no lip sync required.

However, I feel that the scenes with dialogue are superior in quality as I find that suitable characterisation comes more naturally when I am syncing it with voice!

I spent the middle part of the week constructing the set of the court house for Christina's flashback which was an enjoyable break from the constant animation on either side.

I planned on creating some walking and running cycles with Steven's model and my new rig today but have misplaced the allen key so I cannot adjust the rig - this is a problem as I essentially must halt animation until I recieve the new ones I have just ordered in the post!

Posted on 23 Feb 2014 by Alex

Villains Production Blog Week 3

I spent most of this week preparing my showreel which I sent to a company when applying for an internship. This took some time away from Villains but I have since shot Steven's flashback and have now almost finished the set for the next shot, Kevin's garage, which I will be shooting tomorrow.

By the end of this week I hope to have the entire first act of the animation completed. Then I will be starting work on the large city set that I have been dreading!

Posted on 02 Mar 2014 by Alex

Villains Production Blog Week 4

I have now finished the opening 1 minute and 40 seconds of the film almost entirely (not including reshoots or grading). I am very happy with this result and am excited to continue animating.

However I now have to build the City set which may take some time - thankfully I have been given an assistant from second year which should help speed this along nicely. Today I will be planning out each individual shop design and will start to build them tomorrow.

Posted on 11 Mar 2014 by Alex

Villains Production Blog Week 5

This week I have made great progress on the city set. All five shop fronts have been made, the wooden back board is now finished and all that is left to do is make the fountain and improve the pavement.

I am hoping to begin shooting more scenes for this film late next week! Antonia has been a great help and is currently working on designing the shop interiors.

Posted on 20 Mar 2014 by Alex

Villains Production Blog 6

Sorry for not updating the blog for a couple of weeks. I completed the set before April and have been animating almost non-stop since. The entire City scene is now animated - minus Kevin's parts.

As Kevin is located on the roof of a tall building nearby I decided to animate him separately with use of a green screen. Fortunately Kevin's shots are all fairly straightforward dialogue scenes so this should not take me too long to animate.

After I have finished this I will animate the final scene, the reprisal of Kevin's House with the newspaper. Once that is finished all that will be left is to edit the film, which I have been doing frequently as I go. It's looking very likely that I will hit the deadline!

Posted on 14 Apr 2014 by Alex

Villains Production Blog 7

So as the uni is shut I have been working at home editing and have done what I consider to be the current limit of my capabilities.

Things left to do:

-RECORD KEVIN MONOLOGUE & "Understood. Over and out."
-Speak to Alex Robinson regarding Chase Shot 2, Blueprint scene & Rooftop Greenscreening

If there is time left over:

Posted on 21 Apr 2014 by Alex

Villains Production Blog 8

I have been working practically non stop on this film and am very close to completion. The first cut of the film at an almost complete stage has been rendered and I am currently working alongside Michal, the composer of the Villains Soundtrack, to get the score to be as perfect as possible.

I still have the following to do:

-SHOOT BOTTLE SPLASH - I did already shoot a scene where the bottle begins to erupt inside the fountain but an extra will be needed of the bottle splashing into the fountain. I plan on achieving this by filming a glass tank in front of a painted grey surface.

If there is time left over:

I'm really looking forward to having this film completed.

Posted on 02 May 2014 by Alex

Villains Production Blog Week 9

I'm rapidly approaching the deadline now and the film is doing great. Here's a huge image dump of what i've been doing this past week.

First off I decided to go ahead and shoot the bottle splash I mentioned in my last post. Using a glass tank filled with water in front of a grey material I was able to make a convincing shot that appears to be the inside of the fountain. However, I made the decision to use video for this shot as animating real water in stop motion is basically impossible.

I took the prop bottle and inserted part of it into the top of a lucozade bottle full of water so i could shoot the prop bottle into the tank very quickly with a large splash of water - just dropping it in alone made a tiny little drip, I wanted a splash more like a real sized bottle would make when hitting a fountain.

I then decided that I would try and make a fountain jet underwater as well to match the continuity of the two jets in the ordinary stop motion scenes. To achieve this I attached an Alka Seltzer stomach tablet to a pound coin and dropped it into the water, making a fizzing reaction that looks a lot like an underwater jet!

After this, I decided to reshoot the "Beef, Pork, Any kind of flesh" scene from the opening of the movie as the original shot was pretty sub-par to be honest. This time I spent half a day lighting the shot and making sure every part of it was well composed. I also took a look at one of my favourite disgusted facial expressions to base Kevin's on, which is from Arrested Development.

All that I have left to do is animate one more part of the above shot, colour grade the film and also record foley, which I will be doing tomorrow morning. Below is the list of all the sound effects required for the film - I didn't think it would be so many!

I'm really looking forward to having the film done and it shouldn't be too long now - the end is in sight!

Posted on 06 May 2014 by Alex