Trunk’s Alasdair + Jock create an engaging and joyful short for the mighty IMO.
Having previously enjoyed creating a film to celebrate the Day of the Seafarer for the International Maritime Organization, Alasdair Brotherston and Jock Mooney were chuffed when they were asked to create another short for this prestigious body (www.imo.org) This time a short was needed to draw attention to the IMO’s role in protecting the world’s ocean environment. Overseeing the transportation of 12 billion tonnes of freight to every continent on earth requires the IMO to actively work with environment, academic and government agencies to embed environmental protocols and best practice initiatives across the entire planet.
Building on the previous films success a concept, script and look were developed that gave the guys at Trunk a lot of creative freedom. The proposed short would form part of an educational pack that will engage and start a conversation about the oceans environment with children aged 9-14 in the classroom.
For Alasdair and Jock working on a film for this particular target audience was new territory as Jock notes. “ We have never created something entirely for children before but adapting our style to engage with such a young age group was a joyful process. Both me and Alasdair ended up putting a lot of work into the short that was not perhaps strictly necessary, but we became engrossed in the details!” For the sharp eyed there is a reference to ‘Blinky’ the three-eyed fish from the Simpsons while some of the hand drawn textures have been influenced by Japanese printed textiles. Alasdair notes “The boat went through 15 different incarnations before we cracked it” the tooting funnel was lifted straight from the early Disney classic Steamboat Willie “We wanted a boat that was not babyish or too simplistic yet would not be too realistic” Jock continues “We wanted the short to be engaging without being schoolmarmish or preachy”
The short is certainly neither of those, and is a joy to watch, displaying a beautiful colour palette with plenty of trademark Alasdair + Jock elements. Jock’s favourite element in this piece was the pod of narwhals at the end. Overall the short perfectly informs and entertains.
A highlight for both Alasdair + Jock was working with the immensely talented Joanna Scanlan. Alasdair notes “It’s always frightening meeting someone whose work you love but Joanna was a true professional, charming and funny and we had a great time directing the voice over to our script, Jock even pitched in providing the whistling used on the soundtrack”. Trunk’s friend and internationally respected composer Daniel Pemberton provided a superb score that neither smacks of Blue Peter or Captain Pugwash! And as always Fonic provided the sound and mix.
Created using Photoshop, Flash and After Effects the short has become one of Alasdair + Jocks favourite works. They both emphasise that it was a great opportunity to work on a commercial job that enabled them to be involved in every element of the production from script through animation to sound design.
Directors: Alasdair + Jock
Animation: Stuart Doig, Alasdair Brotherston, Layla Atkinson
Illustration: Jock Mooney
Composer: Daniel Pemberton
Sound Design and Mix: Marty O’Brian @ Fonic
Voice Over: Joanna Scanlan
Producer: Richard Barnacles
Commissioner: Karine Langlois and Lee Adamson
Client International Maritime Agency (IMO.org)