Clare Herbert of Cosmic Carrot gives a behind-the-scenes look at how the new five-minute film about Capability Brown was made
In December 2015 Cosmic Carrot was commissioned to produce a short film for the Capability Brown Festival. The concept is based around bringing Brown to life as animated character and allowing him to tell his own story in a way that will appeal to family audiences and those less familiar with the man and his work. The film has a chapter-based structure to allow viewers to dip in and out and has also been designed to be watched with or without sound – both important considerations as the film will be shown on ‘continuous play’ at many Brown sites across the UK as well as online via the Festival and partner websites.
An inspiring workshop with the Festival team a few days before Christmas provided a great starting point from which the initial content was developed with a final script agreed mid January. Based on the Richard Cosway portrait, the Brown character was developed through December and January together with the overall visual approach, which draws on children’s television such as Horrible Histories and other popular animation styles.
Keen to connect the historic Brown with the present day, throughout January and February generous volunteers and festival partners across the country braved wind and rain to ask Brown some key questions about his life and landscapes – filming themselves just using phones or tablets, social media style. Why was he called Capability? What’s special about his landscapes? How long did his landscapes take to build?
Back at the studio February saw Brown brought to life. Alongside some intense animating the voice was recorded and a music and effects soundtrack produced. By mid February the film was almost complete allowing a final couple of weeks for tweaks and enhancements, ready for a ‘go-live’ launch in March.
About the author: Clare Herbert is a producer and writer for Cosmic Carrot, the production company hired to make the five-minute film about Capability Brown for the 2016 festival.