Raymond’s help with the making of the film

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As well as being an executive producer on the film Raymond Briggs has also been invaluable in providing reference for ‘Ethel and Ernest’. He still owns many of the objects that belonged to his parents, so being able to handle them and take photos of them was a fantastic opportunity to give authenticity to our backgrounds.

An example below shows one of the candlesticks that feature a lot in the film. There are two of them that sit either side of the mirror that Ernest brings home one day and puts up on the mantlepiece.


One of Ethel and Ernest’s candlesticks that Raymond has kept. They feature a lot in the book and also the film.

Raymond Briggs with milk bottle and jug

Raymond Briggs (March 2016) holding the type of old Royal Arsenal Cooperative Society  milk bottle that his father used to deliver when he pushed his milk cart around the streets of south west London. In Raymond’s left hand is a jug of the kind that hangs from the dresser in the kitchen (see P.49 of the book).

From a thumbnail for the book to a scene in the film

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Here is the process whereby an initial thumbnail sketch for a scene in Ethel and Ernest becomes a page in the book and eventually a scene in the film.

The thumbnail, drawn by Raymond Briggs, shows the scene that is depicted on page 61 of the book where he has been picked up by the police and brought home in a ‘black maria’ police van. He was caught “breaking and entering the golf club and stealing valuable billiard cues”. The police threaten a stint in borstal, a type of youth detention centre, if it happens again.

What the thumbnail page also shows is Raymond’s meticulous crafting of his text to go with the pictures. As executive producer on the Ethel and Ernest film Raymond kept a close eye on any additional lines of dialogue that were added to make sure they didn’t vary from his style of writing.

The third image below shows an early line test stage of the same scene as it appears in the film. This particular sequence was animated by Liane-Cho Hahn.

Borstal scene

Raymond Briggs’ sketch book showing initial ideas for the borstal scene

Borstal scene from the book

This is how that same scene ended up in the book

Borstal scene from the film

The animator’s line test for that same scene


The finished scene in the film


Visiting Raymond for the ‘Making Of…’ documentary

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Raymond Briggs was filmed today for the ‘making of’ documentary that will accompany the release of the Ethel and Ernest film.

Raymond Briggs being filmed for 'The Making Of...%22 documentary_March 14th 2016

Jess Bassett, the director of the ‘Making of…’ documentary, is seen here filming Raymond as he looks through one of his unpublished books ‘Into the Dangerous World’

Raymond Briggs and Camilla Deakin_March 14th 2016

Raymond Briggs with Camilla Deakin, the producer of Ethel and Ernest, during the shooting of the documentary.

Into the Dangerous World by Raymond Briggs

The front cover of Raymond Briggs’ as yet unpublished book ‘Into the Dangerous World’. It was a particularly interesting discovery for us as it features a child’s eye view of the house in south west London where Raymond grew up. The same house of course that is the setting for Ethel and Ernest.


Last week for animators !

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The animators at Lupus Films are completing their last scenes this week. So a sense of sadness that their time on the production is over, but also relief that that they came in on time! That’s not the end of the process of course. There is still the assist work to do on their final scenes, plus ink and paint, and then compositing the scenes in Nuke. So there is still lots to do. But the dedicated crew is working extra hard and putting in extra hours to make it happen. A nail biting race to the finish ahead of us!

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Trainee working on Ethel and Ernest wins prestigious animation prize

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Last night Alice Guzzo, a trainee assistant animator working on Ethel and Ernest, won an award from the Royal Television  Society for her film ‘Riflesso’.

Many congratulations to Alice!

Alice Rizzo

Alice Guzzo working at Lupus Films on the animated feature film ‘Ethel and Ernest’

Alice’s first job after graduating from the Arts University of Bournemouth was working on Ethel and Ernest. In this interview she talks about her award winning film and also about her experience of working on the Ethel and Ernest production.


Last weekend another of our production team was up for a prestigious Cesar award. Animation assistant and junior animator on Ethel and Ernest, Ludivine Berthouloux, was nominated  for ‘Sous tes Doigts’, a film that she art directed. She also did storyboard, layout, and animation on the film.