Whatever happened to Signal Film Unit?

Ken Clark has been finding out about a puppet animation unit that followed in the footsteps of George Pal. When Britain went to war in 1939, Gerard Holdsworth had already joined the cloak-and-dagger brigade. His wartime exploits included the organisation of the Helston Flotilla and the Norwegian Resistance; groups operating from South Africa; finally the … Read more

Whatever happened to Signal Film Unit? – Page 2

Managing-Director Holdsworth relinquished his position as Time neared completion. Retaining a directorship on the board of Signal Films, Gerry left to take over the full-time running of live-action studio Wallace Productions. Robert G. Leffmgwell, an ex-Disney man, came in to take his place, with the inevitable result Gerry failed to get a mention on The … Read more

The puppet workshop at Cosgrove Hall

The puppet workshop can produce anything from a miniature suit of armour to a two foot high model giant, writes David Jefferson. All around the puppet workshop evidence of fine craftsmanship can be seen. On the workbenches are plaster moulds and rubber animals in various stages of construction. A miniature suit of armour caught my … Read more

Beowulf in Plasticine – cameras might fly – Page 2

The next step in camera movement after this is to liberate the camera from its earthly existence altogether, and give it wings. This is achieved mind-bogglingly-well in the many adverts and title-sequences on television which now use sophisticated 3D computer animation: the Indesit advert, and the absolutely outstanding new title-sequence for Weekend World are the … Read more

George Pal Puppetoons – the early years – Page 2

Our biggest problem with puppet film making was the lighting. This required a great deal more attention than live action filming because the little wooden figures were round, with painted eyes (sometimes mere dots), mouths were probably no more than straight lines. These were the factors which conveyed character and personality. A villain might have … Read more