Thursday, 15 December 2011

Winter Coats for Cloth Magazine

I have recently finished another live-action short for the wonderful folks at Cloth Magazine. I made this short promo film with Chris Collier as part of the viral campaign for the winter issue. We followed the events during a day of shoots at different locations and documented the garments from glamourous collars to warm winter coats. The film was shot at one of the Creative Editor's flats and the Wardrobe Theatre where I'm working as an associate artist at the moment facilitating Closer Each Day (an improvised Soap opera).

It was great working with the team at Cloth and Real Design and Media again. Music by my brother.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Website update

Quite simply, I have updated my website.. Check out some more image-friendly menus and watch some new work here:

Also, my graduation film The Man Who Was Afraid of Falling has been picked up by the BBC to show on their big screens across the UK. Read more here.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Animations in BBC film

Earlier in the summer I created animated sequences for a short film called Love Struck. This was a live-action film for the BBC directed by Leyla Pope who saw my work in Wales and asked me to get involved. I usually work in puppet animation but for this project I created 2D drawn animations which in the film are used to represent a small boy's imagination. You can read more about my process and the film on the Love Struck website.

My set-up in the studio whilst animating

The film premiered in Wales at the beginning of November to a warm reception, was broadcast on the BBC last week, and you can now see the film on BBC iPlayer until Tuesday 20th December 2011 here:

Composer Jack Westmore, me, and Director Leyla Pope
at the Love Struck premiere

Monday, 21 November 2011


My good friend Péter Vácz from Hungary who I trained with on the Animation Sans Frontières course (09-10) has posted his beautiful graduation film Patakiskola online. The film was developed on the ASF course along with my graduation film, The Man Who Was Afraid of Falling along with a bunch of other projects. We both gave each other a lot of support and input into each other's projects and I helped Peter with the English translation of the original Hungarian poem.

The film is made using a mixture of stop-motion and cut-out computer animation using scanned textures. You can read about Peter's process on his blog here and see more of his work on his vimeo page. He is currently working on his post-graduate film at MOME in Budapest at the moment, keep your eyes peeled!

About Péter Vácz
I'm kind of an animation filmmaker, storyteller and illustrator. I have done my Bachelor degree in Animation in 2010 and still doing the Master on MOME Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design. I took part of the ASF Animation Sans Frontières - The Animation Production Workshop in 2009 which was one of my greatest experience in animation. I attended the 15-week 3D Professional Character Animation course at The Animation Workshop in Viborg in 2011. I studied Graphic design in Secondary School of Visual Arts in Hungary from 2003 to 2007. Acting makes me happy. I play the cello since I was 8 and it also makes me happy. I play in a symphonic orchestra and had 2 solo concerts.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Une Vie De Chat

I have just come from the Watershed in Bristol having watched Une Vie De Chat, or A Cat in Paris as the English release is titled. This is a film from the French company Folimage, creators of Boniface and Bisclavret and I am really blown away. I'd been excited about this film for a while after seeing the trailer as I'm a big admirer of the directors Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Feliciolli and love their previous short films. I was hoping to catch Une Vie De Chat somewhere on the festival circuit but luckily it happened to have a one-off screening at the Watershed as part of their Fresh Flicks film festival for young people. The film is being distributed in the US by GKIDS but as of yet has not found a distributor for the UK which is all too often the case with some brilliant European films.

Une Vie De Chat (2010) Dirs. Alain Gagnol & Jean-Loup Feliciolli © Folimage, Palace Films

The film tells the story of Zoe, a quiet police commissioner's daughter, and her cat, who by day is a sleepy pet and by night is a thief's accomplice. Whilst her mother searches for the criminal who killed her husband, the same crooks kidnap her daughter and it's up to Nico, a renegade jewellery thief to save Zoe from the gangsters. The duality of the cat's life gives the audience a unique perspective on the story and the social layers in Paris and the film moves from apartments to the Notre Dame across the beautifully realised rooftops of Paris. The film is visually breath-taking. Every frame is richly rendered with oil-pastel backgrounds and the characters have a raw graphic energy to them; imagine a Picasso painting animated. The use of light, shade and colour is stunning and the films feels incredibly tactile and three-dimensional whilst having a wonderfully illustrated look to it and almost the feel of a graphic novel. This is an animated representation of Paris that will go down in animation history along with the likes of Pixar's Ratatouille and Sylvain Chomet's La vieille dame et les Pigeons.

Une Vie De Chat (2010) Dirs. Alain Gagnol & Jean-Loup Feliciolli © Folimage, Palace Films

I don't usually do films reviews as such but I think this film is a really important example of animation being exploited for its inherent qualities in a brilliant way. Whilst the film might adopt many codes and conventions of live-action cinema (filmic language, music etc) this could not have been made as a live-action film. The quality of movement, the striking aesthetic, the expressionistic presentation of Paris, the illustrational feel and use of light is exclusive to animation and this is one of the most interesting looking 2D features I have seen in a long time. See the trailer below.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Encounters Festival 2011

I will be at Encounters International Film Festival next week with my graduation film The Man Who Was Afraid of Falling which is in competition. This is a great festival I've attended a few times before. In 2007 my short animation Showdown at Yohoko Valley was shortlisted for the DepicT 90 second film competition and screened at Encounters. This year I'm looking forward to: UK/Europe Animation Schools Discussion (particularly interested as I've been fortunate enough to study at both, inc. briefly Gobelins), John Kricfalusi (creator of Ren & Stimpy), Future of Short Film Talk (how do we get them made? Who can fund them?), NFTS Cinematography masterclass (great speakers) and... Studio AKA talk with Philip Hunt (can't wait).

The Man Who Was Afraid of Falling (2011) © Joseph Wallace

My grad film will be screening at the Arnolfini on Weds 16th at 6pm (£7) and Fri 18th at 12pm (£5). For more details on the screenings click here. I'll be knocking around the fest for most of the week with RCA pin-up Peter Millard who's new film Hogan is also screening. If you're around, come find us, we'll be the ones drinking free champagne in the corner.

Hogan (2011) Dir. Peter Millard © Peter Millard/RCA

One last thing, I am also now 'tweeting'. Trying to get my head around all this #@linkylinky business but you can follow me on it here:!/josephwallaceuk

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Abergavenny Food Festival

Abergavenny Food Festival 2011. Photo: Jenny Hardy, Fork Magazine

I recently made a film for Fork Magazine about the Abergavenny Food Festival. Chris Collier (my partner in filmic crime) and I spent the weekend in September running around with Publishing Director Cathy McKinnon filming talks, tastings, stalls, interviews, demos, discussions and parties. Joanna Blythman of Observer Food Monthly said of the festival, “Abergavenny is to food what Cannes is to film...”, it was certainly a great festival with many great speakers and lots of fantastic food!

The film will now be used to promote both the festival and Fork mag, both virally and through screenings. Thanks to the festival for their help in making the film and letting us get up close and personal with our cameras!

The team with friends & family of Fork Magazine. Photo: Jenny Hardy

Monday, 7 November 2011

Curiouser and Curiouser article

Creative editor of Fussed Magazine Maxine Harris has written a really lovely piece about Curiouser and Curiouser my film of 2007 (which feels worryingly old now...). Fussed is an online mag put together by students of Winchester School of art and is really nicely put together with some great articles.
Check out the Curiouser and Curiouser article here

Curiouser and Curiouser (2007) Dir. Joseph Wallace © Joseph Wallace

Monday, 31 October 2011

Flip Festival 2011


I went to Flip Animation Festival in Wolverhampton which was small but fun. The festival organisers were a cracking bunch including Drew Roper who programmed the esteemed guests from US 2d animator Bill Plympton to UK old-timers Cosgrove Hall. My graduation film The Man Who Was Afraid of Falling was screening at the festival and I was reunited with my trusted companion Emma-Rose Dade. It screened in the competition shorts along with Hogan by Peter Millard and John & Betty by Alex Hancocks and Luke George, all Newport Film School grads.

Esteemed animator Barry Purves shows off his Tchaikovsky puppet to a captive audience

Highlights included the Bill Plympton masterclass, Cosgrove Hall talk, the Brothers McLeod's entertaining talk through the making of their new film Isle of Spagg produced by the brilliant Helen Brunsdon. Plus, catching up with Barry Purves and seeing his new film Plume which is amazing. This is Purves' first personal short film after a thirteen year gap due to an unfortunate lack of funding during which Barry has made countless theatre productions, written books, directed children's animation and taught animation at nearly every school imaginable across the world. Plume was the next film in the programme after The Man Who Was Afraid of Falling and to be shown in the same screening as Barry's work was a real honour. Having followed the development of the film through Barry I was excited to finally see it up on the big screen. And it looked simply fantastic.

Plume (2011) Dir. Barry Purves © ARTE France & Dark Prince

This is a short that demonstrates brilliantly Barry's incredible grasp of visual storytelling and the beauty of puppets. It felt fresh, it was striking, the characters pierced through the screen and demanded attention. This is a poetic and lyrical film, a film that invites the audience to not only take pleasure in, but read the imagery on screen and it does things which I strive to do in my own work. The film carries Barry's unique style of animating, a brilliant gestural, stylistic and instinctive quality of movement which is fundamentally theatrical but is placed within a very cinematic and beautifully shot film. Controversially, Barry also used computer animation in the piece and pulled it off wonderfully without breaking the illusion of the film and I was left trembling in my seat. This is one of Purves' most successful films to date. To hear Barry articulating the process of Plume and to see extracts, watch the making of video below (although be warned, it does contain spoiler clips).

Most of the festival was spent catching screenings, drinking the free beer and getting cheesy photos with the guest speakers. See below...

Spot the joker: Peter Millard, Alex Hancocks, Bill Plympton, Joseph Wallace, Luke George

Creators of Danger Mouse, BFG, Wind in the Willows: Cosgrove Hall
Joseph Wallace, Brian Cosgrove, Mark Hall, Emma-Rose Dade

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Cloth Magazine

Since graduating from Newport Film School (I got a first class honours degree, thanks for asking) I have been working on a few very different projects. I'm still busy finishing one of them but I'll post about the others. The two behind the scenes fashion films I made with Chris Collier for Cloth Magazine are now live. Check out the videos below which are part of the viral campaign for the Autumn issue.

Thanks to all involved, it was great fun. Music by my wee brother. Cloth is published by Real Design and Media who I look forward to working with again very soon. More info on the Cloth site.

Friday, 22 July 2011


I've been gradually archiving all my work onto vimeo and The Life and Death of Isambard Kingdom Brunel was recently featured on a really great blog called kuriositas run by R J Evans. Check out the Brunel post here

Friday, 15 July 2011

Skillset Showcase

I've just got back from London where I was selected to exhibit work at the Skillset Soho Showcase. This was a day of talks, meetings and presentations aimed at bringing together industry with new talent. Various schools had stands with work on display and it was a great opportunity to try and break into the London network. I met a few really useful people and the calibre of guests was great although there was a large emphasis on CG / compositing / VFX work so not many relevant companies for the kind of work I make.

Greg Boardman of Three Stones Media talking about the making of Rastamouse

There were a few good talks including Greg Boardman talking about producing Rastamouse, a very home-grown children's show made in the UK and one of the only stop-motion series being produced at the moment. The animation was done by Dynamo in Cardiff and a few friends of mine worked on the project. Interestingly one of the main creatives on the show was Derek Mogford who trained with the great Ivor Wood and was animator on Charlie Chalk, Bertha and Gran and he bought a charming nostalgic feel to the show.

Christian De Vita, lead storyboard artist on Fantastic Mr Fox talked through the process of boarding the film with Wes Andersen. He's just finished pre-production on Tim Burton's Frankenweenie and is about to head to Paris in September to direct a children's series for Nickelodeon.

One of Christian's sketches for Tim Burton's Frankenweenie
© Christian De Vita / Burning Windmill Productions

 Vladermersky of the London International Animation Festival did a presentation about the festival, its history and development and the kind of work they champion. He screened three films which demonstrated the variation of the films they show including A Morning StrollStudio AKA's recent bizarrely brilliant short. He then went on to chat with Chris Shepherd director of the now dormant Slinky Pics
about a career in which he's balanced commercial and artistic work which was very entertaining.

Who I am & What I Want (2005) Dir(s) Chris Shepherd and David Shrigley
© Slinky Pictures

After the talks and seminars (and a nice lunch) there was a speed-networking session which was a chance for students to share their work with industry, make connections and talk about the next step.

Me with producer Mick Foley discussing career options...

Lots of the London animation network came along to look around the exhibits and talk to students. Much chatting and exchanging of business cards all helped along by the bar, sponsored by Adobe! Check out skillset's write up of the day here 

Guests and graduates have a drink at the Vinyl Factory in Soho, London

All images of the event from the Skillset Flickr album here

Show Me The Animation

My graduation film The Man Who Was Afraid of Falling was screened at Show Me The Animation: New Talent Showcase on Tuesday in Bristol. It was a night of selected films from Newport, Falmouth, Bournemouth, UWE and the NFTS. I've been to a few of the Show Me The Animation Screenings over the past few years which are run by Vicky Brophy (of Wonky) and producer Helen Brunsdon and they're a really great chance to unite the Bristol animation scene.

The Man Who Was Afraid of Falling (2011) © Joseph Wallace

At this particular screening I met Derek Hayes who is a big figure in the UK animation scene. He directed The Miracle Maker, a touching and brilliantly animated feature about the story of Christ told through the eyes of a young girl. I wrote about the film in my dissertation The Performativity of Dolls: Puppets in Animation and Theatre in regard to the naturalistic style and the way the puppets were very much actors. The puppet animation in the film was done by the brilliant Christmas Films in Moscow, Russia, a company with a very theatrical feel to their work which includes Shakespeare the Animated Tales as well as animated operas. It was fascinating talking to Derek about his route in the animation business and about the working relationship with Christmas Films.

The Miracle Maker (2000) Dir. Derek Hayes © Icon Entertainment International

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Ffresh Talent

Joseph Wallace Ffresh

I've just answered some questions for Ffresh Festival - the student moving image festival of Wales. We won the Best Animation award at Ffresh last year for We Weren't The First Ones Here and they recently did a lovely write up of the Animation Newport 2011 graduation show here.

I wrote a bit about my work and the animation course at Newport for a profile on their Ffresh Talent page. Check out the profile here.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Švankmajer at the Barbican

I went, very briefly, to London last week to see a veritable hero of mine, Czech film legend Jan Švankmajer. The Barbican held a screening of Švankmajer's first, and perhaps most widely known, feature film Alice followed by a detailed question and answer session hosted by writer Peter Hames. The digitally restored version of Alice was a joy to see on the big screen and was all the more enjoyable when surrounded by an audience of obvious fans of the director.

Alice (1988) Dir. Jan Švankmajer. © First Run Features

Alice has always been a film close to my heart for various reasons. I saw the film at a fairly early age and I remember it having a profound effect on me. I had never seen anything like it, either visually or aurally or as a total filmic experience. On first viewing as a youngster I'm not sure I particularly liked the brutal, visceral world presented, or understood the subtleties of Švankmajer's vision, nonetheless I never forgot the images or the experience of watching the film. One thing I did take away was a seed of motivation; this notion of 'I could do that'; not in an arrogant sense but in the same way that Quentin Blake's lively illustrations are not intimidating to children as they have a familiar purposeful and excited approach. Alice was filmmaking on a more suggestive and non-literal level, a hand-made feel, rough around the edges and yet full of spirit and energy. On watching the film again recently after countless other viewings it struck me just how humorous it is; from the abrupt close-up dialogue of the main character to the movement and physicality of the supporting puppets, the whole film has a real whimsy to it.

The man himself on stage with Peter Hames and translator

Seeing Švankmajer talk in person was brilliant. He was everything you could have wanted him to be; understated, reserved yet animated when talking passionately about his themes and ideals, respectfully casting aside any intellectual allusions often read into his work. He spoke about the restrictions of making films in Czechoslovakia in the eighties, about how the claustrophobic visual style of Alice came about through circumstances and constraints as opposed to any major artistic vision. When he made Alice the Czech authorities ran all of the film studios in the country and none of them were interested in making this film with him. The money to get the project made came from all over; Switzerland, Germany and the UK in the form of Channel 4. The whole thing was made on the sly, behind closed doors in Švankmajer's studio which was an old bake house in Prague.

I was particularly interested to hear about his motivations as a filmmaker and what kept him still making work, what he felt his films were about and why he had a desire to tell these stories and make these statements. He talked about how freedom was the only issue worth still making art about and I remembered a statement I'd read recently in an interview with Peter Greenaway, another director I really admire, in this interview for the Guardian. He spoke about how sex and death were the only things left for him to make work about; the very beginning and the very end. I find it fascinating to hear what continues to motivate filmmakers who have been making work over several decades. Švankmajer made a poignant statement when asked why his work still focuses on the regimes that dominated Czechoslovakia during his time. He said communism and fascism were abscesses on human society and the atrocities committed up until the Velvet Revolution were so terrible that he had to continue making work about these subjects.

A bit of a fuss driving through rush hour traffic in London but worthwhile for an inspiring evening. Check out the other events in the season on the barbican site.

Sunday, 5 June 2011


Words and Pictures

...and a comic

Friday, 13 May 2011

Exhibition and US screening

Transformation and Revelation Exhibition- Bute Theatre.
Photo: Kirsten McTernan via T&R page

A couple of weeks ago I went to Cardiff to see a massive theatre design exhibition called Transformation & Revelation. Held at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, the show was a huge amalgamation of work from theatre designers all over the country. On display were costume drawings, set designs, models and artefacts and it proved to be a very inspiring afternoon as I was modelmaking for my graduation film at the time. My good friend Chris Gylee had work on display in the exhibition, here's a picture of his design process as a storyboard. Fun stuff.

Chris Gylee explains his design process through design

Two of my films are being screened at the brand-new NW Animation Festival in Portland, Oregon, USA. The festival is run by animator Sven Bonnichsen and takes place at 5th Avenue Cinema in early June. Sven had come across my work at Stop Motion Montreal festival in Canada and had contacted me to tell me about NW. This is an exciting festival to be a part of as it's in a really great place. Coraline creators Laika are based here and it's up the road from California where other great American animators like Jamie Caliri are working. The films I have showing are The Scientist and The Omnipotence of Dream (2008) and We Weren't The First Ones Here (2010). If you are American, or indeed live in the states, you might consider going along!

Also, Fairground, a theatre company in Bristol I have done a lot of work with have a lovely new website. Check it out here.

Sunday, 3 April 2011


Don't forget the mothers!

Joseph Wallace Mothers Day

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Joseph Wallace Siamese Twins
The siamese twins of the Green Meadows Circuis, Ohio, USA

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Tim Allen visit

The prolific animator Tim Allen recently visited Newport to do film surgery sessions and a talk. Tim's credits are as varied as they are extensive, from Disney's The Lion King to Tim Burton's Corpse Bride. He works predominantly in stop-motion and has worked on all sorts from commercials to series and features, most recently as a character animator on Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr Fox.

Tim Allen inspecting a puppet with 3rd year stop-motion students at Newport

Tim joined us for a morning seminar where he went talked through our graduation films and gave excellent feedback on character performance, timing and readability of the images which was really useful at this stage. He had a great approach and genuinely seemed to care about the work and gave a really effective commentary on the films.

Tim discussing LAV (live-action video) with Tim and Merlin Crossingham on screen acting out goats for 'Creature Comforts USA' by Aardman

Later in the day he did a talk to a packed-out auditorium in the new city centre campus in Newport which included talking through various projects in detail; the practicalities of animating, the differences between shorts and features, problem solving, acting and performance. A really inspiring day with a brilliant animator and all round nice guy!

For information and visuals on my graduation film, see the blog here...

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Newport Art Gallery Exhibition

We Weren't The First Ones Here was selected to be screened in a 7 week long exhibition of Newport Animation at the Newport Art Gallery. This exhibition marks the arrival of the new city centre campus and the return of the Film School to central Newport. The article below talks about our involvement in the exhibition and our Ffresh win.

Article and photo: South Wales Argus, Wednesday 2nd March 2011

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


Joseph Wallace building

Architecture of the mind: drawings made whilst in a department meeting
Biro, Newport, Feb 2011

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Feeling Ffresh

At the closing ceremony for Ffresh Festival in Wales, we won the award for best animation with our collaborative film We Weren't The First Ones Here. The film was made in eight weeks during a project in our second year at Newport Film School. To our surprise we beat graduation film competition but luckily no one lost out; my friend Luiz Lafayette Stockler won the best animation Royal Television Society award and my other friend Ben Cady won best film of the festival.
Big thanks to everyone involved in making the film, the composer Jack Vaughan, the actors Catherine McKinnon, Adam Peck, Edith Woolley and thanks to Ffresh as well as Tom Brown and Dan Gray from Holbrooks who judged the award.
We Weren't The First One's Here can now be viewed on my website here.

Ffresh Animation Winners (from left): Helen Dallat, Kate Braodhurst, Emma-Rose Dade, Joseph Wallace, Ben Cady and Luiz Lafayette Stockler

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

We Weren't The First Ones Here

An old house holds memories and stories of its past inhabitants

A film I made last year with a great team at Newport Film School has been nominated for an award at Ffresh Festival in Wales. The team were: Kate Broadhurst, Emma-Rose Dade, Helen Dallat and Daisy Gould with music by Mr Jack Vaughan. Vocal talents: Catherine McKinnon, Adam Peck, Edith Woolley.
The film is being screened in the same programme as a couple of friends of mine, Ben Cady and Luiz Lafayette Stockler. For screening details go here.