Sunday, 2 March 2014

Goodbye Blogger!

After over a year without a single blog update the time has come for me to close this blogger account.  Due to my work commitments and just life in general I have been finding it difficult to keep up to date with my blog like I did back in the day.  

The good news is that I have a brand new portfolio website to replace this blog and my old flash website.  This contains a lot of new work that I haven't put online before and is also phone and tablet friendly. :) So please click the image below to have an explore!  


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Xiao Xi in China

I recently came back from a trip to Beijing. A place I have been desperate to visit for many years now.  My sister is currently living over there which presented the perfect opportunity for me to go and visit the city I had spent so much time reading about back in 2008 when I was researching my graduation film.
Beijing really is something special.  Pretty crazy, dirty and busy but brilliant all the same! :) I spent a lot of the trip doing touristy things.  We went to the Great Wall, visited some beautiful parks and the Summer Palace, explored the 798 art district, did crazy Chinese shopping and headed down to Tiananmen Square (which was over National Holiday - so completely mental!)  Tiananmen Square was one of the locations featured in my graduation film Xiao Xi so when I went to visit I took my business card featuring Xiao Xi along with me to photograph her on location!  I had dreamt up the idea of this photo many years previously when I thought I would be travelling to China.  So its about 4 years late but I got it in the end! :)
I am really interested  in exploring Beijing further and am hoping to return to the city next year with a stop off in Shanghai too! I just thought I would have a little flashback moment and feature my grad film which I haven't watched for many years now.  After finally visiting the city, seeing Tiananmen Square and wandering around the hutongs the only thing I would change in my film would be to make the crowd scenes 100x busier and louder. Enjoy :)

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Chopper Skate Shop - 10 Year Anniversary Artwork

When I was about 15 I used to spend pretty much all my time hanging around Kettering and going out skateboarding with my friends.  One of our favourite places to hang out was our local skate shop, CHOPPER. Last weekend the shop celebrated their 10 year anniversary! Something that makes me feel extremely old. O__o  As part of the celebrations they invited lots of the old arty types back to create some  artwork on some old decks for a display.  So naturally I got involved! :) I haven't created anything by hand for a long time so it was really nice to have a break from the computer screen.  Here are the results! :)

So, Happy 10th Birthday CHOPPER! and congrats to the owners of the shop Amanda and Mark who have over the years built up a truely awesome skate community for the little town of Kettering.   you guys!
All the artwork on display

Monday, 27 August 2012

A Personal Reflection on BB's World

My personal blog has been a little neglected over the last couple of years.  This is because I took on the gigantic film project that was BB's World.  When I finally finished, I decided I wanted to write a personal reflection on my experience. Considering I finished the film in April this post is now a little overdue but I wanted to put it out all the same.  The project has been a big part of my life for the last year and half and I wanted to thank all those who were involved and to share my experience with others who might be thinking of taking on a similar project.  


Since graduation all I wanted to do was make another short animated film.  When the BB and his World project came to me it was something that I couldn't refuse, although I must say we were all fairly delusional when first receiving the brief.  We believed that 3 of us would be able to complete research, development and animation in 9 months on a part time basis.  This was my first lesson of many since November 2010.

I was already in full time work so all my work on BB's World was done in the evenings and weekends.  I spent a year and half as a hermit, working and battling with myself and others to pull the project together.  I neglected my family, friends and myself all in an effort to get the film finished.  I was determined to reach the goal and deliver the highest quality finish possible. 

This project has taught me more than anything I've ever done.  I've learnt about: managing time and people, the highs and lows of working with friends, how passion can drive you and how negativity can bring you down.  It has been a series of ups and downs and I have experienced extreme happiness, stress, excitement and sadness. The whole project was an emotional ride for me, particularly half way through the production period when my boyfriend's Mum passed away after a 7 year battle with cancer.  This was an extremely distressing time for me and all my family.  I was extremely lucky to have a great team on this project to support me.  Yes it's been a series of extremes but I'm happy to have made it through and reached my goals.

It has been a great experience and I am amazed of what we were able to achieve in such a short space of time, especially with the majority of the team working part time.  I want to say a big thank you to Rosalind Stoddart for giving me the opportunity to create this film.  The next mention is for my nearest and dearest, Ryan, Rachinta, Andy and Simon.  These guys were there with me through the best and worst of times and I can't thank them enough for their continued support and contributions to the project. On top of that I have the dozen lovely animators, artists, musicians and others who helped this project come together.  So thank you to: Ralston, Chloe, Mui, Alex, Filip, Vale, Nicole, Phil, Robin, Gregg and Nick.  Team work is everything and without all those wonderful people BB's World wouldn't be finished today.  I am proud of what we have achieved and I hope the film does as intended and promotes the spirit of BB.

A few of us from Team BB
To wrap this up I just wanted to write something for all you creatives out there who want to achieve just that bit more in your lives.  No matter what happens in your life I believe it is possible to do anything you want as long as you put your all into it and just keep going.  When pushing yourself to your limits to achieve your dreams it will be tough.  Unexpected things will always get in the way and even though it can bring you down at times its important to remain positive and surround yourself with positive people. You should do the things you want to do and not what others think you should do.  Throughout my time working on BB's World the majority of people have been extremely supportive.  However there were always one or two who every so often were critical of how I was choosing to spend my spare time.  I love my full time job and I need it to keep the money coming in, but there are other things I want to do that I just can't do at work.  People might not understand why I work so hard but I'm a workaholic and I love it! I get a buzz when I'm creating things off my own back.  If you get that buzz too, then don't let other people's negative attitudes affect your decisions.  So a big thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged my choice to be a workaholic over the last couple of years. 

In the future I want to write a series of posts about everything that went into producing BB's World.  I hope I will be able to provide more insight into what running a project like this takes, from basic people management to the technicalities of putting the film together.  At my lowest points during the project I often scoured the internet late into the night looking for anything that could help me get my project finished.  So if I can help at least one aspiring producer/director then I will be happy.

I am taking it easy from now on but I am planning a refresh for this blog alongside my main website stefflee.co.uk hopefully before the end of the year.  See you soon guys!  :)