Hi, my name is Tobe and I'm a freelance Animation lighting cameraman working on "CCUSA" as we know it here in Bristol. I thought I'd post up a few notes from the studio floor as we hit the final month of shooting and the sets are coming in thick and fast!
I work alongside a very experienced Director of Photography called Dave Alex Riddett, who lit all of the Aardman shorts I was watching open mouthed as a young stripling at college. Recently he lit Chicken Run and the curse of the Wererabbit so you get the idea...
Together we work with Sparks (electricians) and Camera Assistants to light and shoot all the shots using HD cameras.
We have to work very closely with the Art Director, Manon, who herself runs a team of set builders and dressers. They usually build everything completely from scratch, and we "mock up" all the sets in advance using card and foamcore so they only build exactly what is needed. I lit the sets shown below on this blog like the Poodles and the Flies on the burger, and when they are as fantastically well built as those you only want to simply light them and hope you don't muck them up! Other times you have to carefully work together to hide or accentuate areas of set to create the illusion, and this is usually more so with scale cheats like big landscapes or heavily effected underwater shots.
Dave and I have a look at the upcoming shots in story board form and try share them out equally, bearing in mind workload, shot complexity and personal preference( he insisted on the Tequila Worm, likewise me with the space monkeys..).
This week I'll get some work in progress shots and start going through some of the processes involved.