Raymond Briggs visits Goldcrest

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Raymond Briggs visited Goldcrest post production studios in London today to view some of the film for the first time on a cinema size screen. He also called in on one of the sound mix sessions.

Animation director Peter Dodd was on hand too and brought along a cake baked by his wife Sally. Sally has provided delicious cakes for the crew throughout the production !

Raymond also found time to sign several copies of his Ethel and Ernest book for Lupus films production staff who have worked on the film.

Raymond Briggs at Goldcrest with Peter Dodd, Richard Overall, and Camilla Deakin

From left to right: Peter Dodd (animation director), Richard Overall (editor), Raymond Briggs, Camilla Deakin (producer), at Goldcrest 25th May 2016

Raymond Briggs signing his Ethel and Ernest book

Raymond Briggs signing his Ethel and Ernest book for members of the crew


Editor Richard Overall

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Richard OverallOne person who has been with the Ethel and Ernest film from the beginning is our editor Richard Overall. These past few weeks have been the busiest ever for him as we head towards the delivery of the film in a few weeks time. This week there are the final sound mixes taking place at Goldcrest in Soho. Then on Thursday and Friday of this week are the first sessions of picture grade. Last week Richard was very much involved as the music was recorded at Angel studios, and we also did some ADR sessions (voice pick-ups with the lead actors) at Goldcrest.  This is one of the most exciting times for the editor as everything starts to come together and they can fine tune the cut of the film. As the finished scenes come through from the compositing team at Cloth Cat studios there is the chance for those all important tweaks to timings right up to the final delivery.

Richard Overall editing Ethel and Ernest



Animator Sarah Airriess

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Among the many top animators working on Ethel and Ernest was Sarah Airiess. Sarah’s animation and posing opens the film, and she also animated the whole of the Christmas decoration sequence that is depicted on page 50 of the book.

Working from her home in Cambridge she always produced scenes full of wit, charm and brilliant observation.  She has produced some stand out sequences for us.

To discover more about Sarah and her work visit her blog here.

Sarah Airriess working on Ethel and Ernest

Animator Sarah Airriess working on Ethel and Ernest from her home in Cambridge.

Attention to detail on the sound

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As we enter the final stages of production attention turns to the sound design for the film. To make things as authentic as possible trips were organised yesterday to various  locations to record engine sounds. From old ford engines, to a 1950s Lambretta scooter, and from World War 2 Spitfires to old London buses, editor Richard Overall (Lupus films) and Supervising Sound Editor Adrian Rhodes (Goldcrest films) got it all. Even a very old bike from the 1930s was recorded to get exactly the right sound of a spinning wheel.

Here are some shots taken at a location near Billericay in Essex where David Wilkinson buys up really old and dilapidated London buses and renovates them as new.

Adrian Rhodes recording

Adrian Rhodes (left) from Goldcrest Films post production is the supervising sound editor on Ethel and Ernest. Peter Warnock (centre) is sound design assistant, and the driver and renovator of the bus is David Wilkinson.

Recording of a renovated old bus for Ethel and Ernest

The bus is taken for a drive and the sound crew get every splutter and engine murmur for use in the film.


Editor Richard Overall

On the left of picture is Ethel and Ernest editor Richard Overall

Old bus interior

Recording the engine sound from inside the bus as it goes for a trip around Billericay

Denise Dean – Head of Assistant Animation

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Yesterday was the last day for the assist team on Ethel and Ernest.  Head of assistant animation has been Denise Dean who has done an amazing job to finish the project on time within a very tight schedule. Denise has conquered what at times felt like an impossible mountain to climb, working tirelessly to get scenes ready for her team of assistant animators, both in London and at Studio 352 in Luxembourg.

Denise Dean_Head of Assistant Animation

Backing Denise up all the way were John Walsh, the supervisor of assistant animation, and Isobel Stenhouse the animation supervisor. All three knew each other from when they worked together on Sylvain Chomet’s 2010 animated feature ‘The Illusionist’.

Denise Dean and John Walsh

In the foreground are Denise Dean and John Walsh at a Lupus films lunch – April 29th 2016. This was the last day on the film for the assistant animation crew, and a good excuse for a get together for many of the key members of the production team.



Pizza time !

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The animators on Ethel and Ernest finished their scenes a few weeks ago. But that isn’t the end of the process. In order to bring the animators’ scenes to the screen a talented team of assistants and clean up artists have to provide the final line work. The key drawings that the animators do also have to be “in-betweened” by a crew of people and any matte work is also dealt with at this stage.

This is the final week for all the Assist/Clean Up team who have done the most amazing job working all hours and at weekends to get the film finished on time.

A welcome break in the evening’s work load is provided by the delivery of pizzas handed out here by head of assist Denise Dean (on the left) and animation supervisor Isobel Stenhouse.

Denise Dean and Isobel Stenhouse_Ethel and Ernest_April 26th 2016

Clean up workinglate_April 26th 2016

Dominika Brodowska and Patrick Collins at the start of another long evening

Ethel and Ernest Assis department_April 26th 2016

Some of the Clean up/Assist team working late to get the film finished. This was taken at Lupus films’ main studio in north London, while another team are hard at work in the nearby annexe studio.

Cloth Cat studio in Cardiff Bay going flat out to the finishing line…

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Another visit to Wales this week to the Cloth Cat studio where the ink and paint department, CG department, and the compositing department are all working flat out to get the film finished on time.

Cloth Cat are housed in the Gloworks building, which is next to BBC Cymru Wales and the Doctor Who Experience in Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay.

Gloworks building Cardiff Bay

The Cloth Cat crew on Ethel and Ernest

Cloth Cat’s Ethel and Ernest crew in front of the Gloworks building, Cardiff Bay

The Cloth Cat crew working on Ethel and Ernest_April 2016

The Ethel and Ernest production crew at Cloth Cat.

Compositor working on Ethel and Ernest

George Petkov compositing a shot using Nuke software

Neil Martin and Sam

Head of Compositing Neil Martin (left) and Sam Wright head of the CG team, discuss a shot involving the integration of CG animation with 2D hand drawn animation.

Two of the compositors on Ethel and Ernest_April 2016

Compositors Jay Murray and Alesja Surubkina



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