My name is Chris and I’m the current series director of “Shaun the Sheep” series 2.
Welcome to my first blog. Over the coming months I will be posting updates and news from the studio floor as we create the next forty episodes in the “Shaun the Sheep” series.
Those of you familiar with the “Wallace and Gromit” website will find this similar to the reports Beeky wrote during the production of “A Matter of Loaf and Death” last year. Although unfortunately I don’t have as interesting a nickname as Mr Beek (a few people used to call me “Salty” at University but that’s another story...)
And so to the story so far...
We started writing episodes for the new series back in September 2007. Some of the scripts were written by people here at Aardman (Look out for one written by none other than Mr Nick Park), but the majority were by professional writers who worked on series one or on other children’s series.
The storyboarding and model /set build took off in July 2008. A lot of sets and props from series one were reusable, but we still had to build quite a few characters from scratch.
As “A Matter of Loaf and Death” was shooting in the same studio, we had to wait for them to finish in October 2008 before we could move our sets in. Thankfully, they finished right on time (Thank you Beeky!).
We finally started recording on January 5th 2009 (at around tea time) with a shot of a weather vane in the shape of a sheep, turning in the wind. (Animated by the glamorous Wendy Griffiths)
It’s now mid March and We’re well and truly settled into the shoot. We presently have ten animators beavering away across almost twenty sets, all under the benevolent guidance of our two episode directors, Seamus and Richard.
I know you must have many questions to ask and I will try to answer as many as I can during the course of the production. Of course there are a few things which will be kept secret as we don’t want to spoil all the surprises for you! However, I can now reveal the following juicy information...
• Most of the cast will be returning in the new series, including baby Timmy and the naughty pigs.
• Some of the characters that appeared in series one will have a greater role (such as Pidsley the farm cat).
• Some characters have been slightly redesigned (but not the sheep!)
• We will be introducing some brand new characters for this series.
• We are recording in HD (Although I can’t guarantee it will be broadcast in HD where you are as that decision is down to the individual broadcasters.)
Finally, I had a question passed on to me regarding how big the sets are so I hope the attached picture helps...
In the picture you can see, from the left - Seamus (Episode Director, standing in the “animator access trench”), Alison (animator) and Charles (Director of Photography), setting up a shot outside the farmhouse. I can promise you they all looked a lot happier a second before I took the photo... tut, Typical eh? Note all the animator’s paraphernalia scattered about. We’re not a tidy lot, especially when we’re trying to meet a tight deadline, but we’ve got very good at making sure none of it ends up in shot!
That’s all for now, I need to go and catch up with those pesky storyboarders...
Catch you next time Shaun fans,