From Mansfield 66/67 (Dir: Todd Hughes, David Ebersole 2016) - Anton On The Mountain (Animation Dir: Elroy Simmons)
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From "Mansfield 66/67" - "Anton On the Mountain" (2016). This is the second of two animated sequences I directed and designed - and animated a lot of, for the aforementioned live-action documentary "Mansfield 66/67" - which was directed by Todd Hughes and David Ebersole (The Ebersole Hughes Company). I was working as a Part-TIme tutor in Animation on the degree course at Leeds Beckett University/The Northern Film School, at the time.
The documentary follows the unconventional relationship that developed between the Hollywood actress Jayne Mansfield and Anton Lavey (the controversial founder of the Church of Satan) - particularly, the events in the last six months of Jayne Mansfield's life leading to her untimely death in a car crash.
In the two sequences I made, which were based on 'true' events, the first ("Jungleland") covers Jayne's boyfriend (Brody) taking Jayne and her four children to a fairly 'ad hoc' theme park for retired 'showbiz' wild animals: Anton Lavey lived with a pet lion and Brody wasn't happy that Jayne's son Zoltan idolized Anton and his lion). During the visit, an horrific incident occurs, injuring Zoltan - and in desperation, Jayne asks Anton (who it is implied she sort of blames for the incident) to do what he can to help - hence the 2nd sequence's title - "Anton On The Mountain". The film these sequences come from, features a lot of clips and interviews - notably including a contribution from Tippi Hedren(!).
I made both sequences with Animation students on the course (sometimes they broke down sound in Premiere, or transcribed the broken down sound on to dopesheets/X-sheets; some scanned, one tested effects animation, some assisted - and two animated - namely James Gandy, and in one instance (Venla Linna), Venla assisted on both of these sequences and animated several shots from "Jungleland". It's worth mentioning that I was presented with the completed soundtracks (voice and sound effects) - like two short radio plays, and I storyboarded the action to fit the sound. In the end, the guide music I got used to hearing, was unable to be used (A familiar tale, I know...).
UPA - and US Saturday morning 'Kids Cartoons were mentioned by the film's makers as a wanted stylistic influence: I crowbarred as much "Mister Magoo" as I legally could - and as much as Todd and David allowed - for Anton. For Jayne, I mixed elements of a female character I'd designed for "A-Z", with elements of Hanna Barbera's "Penelope Pitstop".
Massive thanks to Spider Eye Ltd for carrying out the Scan/Colour, to Cranrust VFX for the final render and tweaks, to Alex Zepherin-Pinnock, for the huge amount of compositing she tackled brilliantly - and to the film's makers for asking me - and for their most heartening feedback.
I'm going to include this link to an interview from "Animation World Magazine" featuring myself - and the Animation Course head...
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