Man With Issues
A psychotic monologue by an old man with some serious problems and a disturbing secret.
A short claymation about an old guy with some serious problems and a disturbing secret. A quirky classic from the workshop of Tom Reilly.
I’d heard that creativity flourishes when restricted and it turned out to be true. We originally made Man With Issues for the Wellington Fringe Film Festival Competition. It had to run less than three minutes and be based on the theme, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”. With no budget we realised we could only build one puppet so our character had to encompass all these traits in one personality. Walking is one of the most tedious things to animate in stop-frame and making him psychotic also meant he could jump around the frame as his mind leapt between topics. Much of his dialogue came from a friend in a stream-of-conscious monologue which I recorded one night after a few whiskeys. The fantastic puppet was created by my good friend, sculptor Helen Back. I had originally envisaged him as young and emaciated and had to re-record the dialogue myself after I picked up the fat little geriatric from her studio. Suzi Dykes-Smith created the amazing set in just a couple of days. I tried to give the whole team free range to bring their own ideas and talent to the project and the production had a real sense of fun which I think shows through in the final product. It took me seven days to animate which is really fast for stop-frame. Again, I think, because I was cracking up the whole time watching this ugly little fella coming to life. I was working with Al Kincaid (Frank Flash to 80’s What Now viewers) and Mike Kelland on a series called Animation Station at the time and they chipped in with their expert services in sound and post. We won the Fringe competition but we’d always planned to make the film work independent of the competition theme and, as it turned out, audiences really enjoy it. It’s now played in festivals all over the UK, Australia and New Zealand. It’s great to remember that this was done with no budget (although SIPF gave me a much appreciated $1000 grant for tape dubbing), just some very clever people with some pretty standard equipment.