We love: Gulp

31 May, 2012 9:37am

Right, from Tuesday's The Sandman to a real life sand man. We're big fans of Gulp, the world's biggest stop-motion animation, so we thought we'd have a word with the guys behind that beachy scenery - Sand in Your Eye. Meet Jamie Wardley, artistic director.


It's quite a unique profession - how did you get into sand art?

There was a chap lying in the sand making a sculpture in Norway.  I just said ‘hello’ and everything went from there. 

You were making enormous designs that must be hard to see coming together when you’re up close - like Neil Buchanan and his giant Art Attacks. Did you have a camera placed above so you could check sure everything was in place?

Generally we rely on the techniques we use to make our images, however we were lucky enough to have a camera and so there was a little bit of toing and throwing. 

What were your first thoughts when you were approached about helping to create the world’s largest stop motion animation?

At first they were interested in doing it with a sand sculpture but I suggested using our sand drawings as they can be much larger and are more versatile.  We had already done a smaller animated image and so I was confident we could do it. 

Can you explain the process you went through to achieve these stunning designs? I know stencils were involved…

I am afraid all the processes are strictly top secret!

D'oh! How long did the whole thing take?

Five days of shooting and months of planning.

How difficult was it working around the tide? You must have had tight deadlines every day to make sure you got all the filming done that you needed before the tide came in?

We planned as best as we could and in some shots we worked right up to when the tide came over our image.  That was then the end of the day.

Were you lucky with the weather? Presumably a bit of rain would have ruined everything?

The sand drawings themselves are quite robust but we were also using cranes and film equipment so we did indeed have to reschedule the night shoot due to poor weather. 

There looked to be a lot of people on set – were you constantly getting footprints all over your designs that you’d have to rake over?

Wear flat shoes and pick hard sand to work on and don’t walk on your image.  Follow that and you are OK

You shot at night too – how difficult was that?

It was very interesting indeed as we had to bring a full lighting rig down onto the beach with cameras galore.  And everyone was of course very tired as we had been working in the day as well.  It was certainly a challenging shoot but also very peaceful with the full moon. 

Find out more by watching the Making Of video, and reading the Sand in Your Eye blog.

Got a favourite short you want to tell us about? Email shorts@virginmedia.co.uk and wax lyrical.

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