Reader’s Letters


Dear David,
Thanks very much for the copy – my first – of the Animator’s newsletter, which I found very informative and entertaining. It’s good to know there are many more people starting off at my
non-existent level of experience. I’ve always drawn pictures, serious drawing and cartoons, but for some reason I ended up in university studying biology, something which I now half regret.

Anyway, you say that you would like contributions to the Newsletter. I have been drawing a strip cartoon about the savior of the British Film Industry. His is the fight for films everywhere, fearlessly, and death-defyingly rooting out evil wherever it may be. It harkens back to my Marvel Comic days, which, I think, more than anything, caused me to pick up pencil.
Yours faithfully,
Douglas Finnigan,
Hillhead, Glasgow.

P.S. Could you please inform subscribers about the newly formed Glasgow Film and Video Workshop Association. The Workshop is just in its teething stages, still to sort out finance and equipment purchase. We do have ambitions however!


Dear David,
I give you here my personal vision about some the Spanish film makers, specific in animation.

We had had in Tarragona a movie makers club. After a time of splendor, it began to die. The club was founded in 1968 and disappeared in 1980. The number of memberships was near to 150, but really movie makers only a dozen, who deserted gradually. A lot of clubs all over the Spain had disappeared too. I began to work in animation due there­fore a loneliness problem. But I have discovered a fascinating field.

Tarragona is a town with 120,000 habitants, more or less, and I do not know in it not one animator. Four or five first class animators can to be counted in the Barcelona area, 58 miles from Tarragona. The rest, in all over the Spain, experimenters, beginner’s and interesteds, may be thirty odd.

Normally I was making documentary and argument films, participating in competitions. In the year 1974 I had obtained a reward of 25,000 Pts. (£125), but it was money of 1974…

In animation I am really beginner. I have done one five minute film, explaining three short stores. Last year I had the boldness to send it to Selection UNICA, of course it was not selected. Actually I am working in a cartoon documentary didactic film about the atom. Apart to treating to do short stories with the idea of recasting in five or six minute films. I like AUBREY’S style, a character we can to see sometimes in the Spanish TV, I think it is a cartoon made in England. Aubrey never talks, only emits expressive grunts, and the movement has priority.

To study movements I use the formula to record cartoons in video from TV, and afterwards filming in Single 8 from TV screen the movements and passages really interesting. Then I can study the developed film on an editor.

I use very much too a following system, when I wish to represent a flock of birds, or other animals, or cyclists, for example. I draw a complete cycle, for example a flight of a bird, eight draws, and putting the eight drawings on my sheet, I do some reductions by Rank Xerox, and after tracing on cels different size birds forming the flock saving a lot of work.

I use up anyone real image film for to do animated titles. I send you a fragment of a rejected film (I hope it will arrive well at your hands, it is Single 8 film resisting well crooked). You will see in it letters and a flock of pigs running. And you will can to have a little idea I am able to do. Belongs a real image film about “Matanca del porc” (The expression ‘Mantanca del porc” means in Catalan language, killing the pig, more or less. It is a typical little “Fieata” in Catalonia, consisting of the operations of killing and preparing a pig, in presence of the group that will eat the pig at the end of its operations, with wine flowing in abundance, “tintorro”).

Well, my English is not as fluent as I would like, I hope to enhance it. I read English every day, principally Animator’s newsletter, Image 8 (Single 8 Association issue) and Movie Maker.
Yours sincerely,
Ramon Agullo Sola
Tarragona, Spain.


Dear David,
Thank you for Newsletter Issue 4. If those enthusiastic New Zealanders can run an animation club we in Britain should certainly be able to.

I have finished a six minute 16 mm film using the puppets I wrote about in Newsletter Issue 3 and hope to use it to interest financial backers for a. T.V. series of puppet films. Obviously I can’t be objective but I think it’s technically adequate, though whether it comes of it will depend more on how they like my ambitious scripts, a sort of cross between IBSEN and FIREBALL XL5, and whether I can get an international ‘deal’ which is the only way really to ensure a proper budget.

I am now going to try a cut-out film on a rostrum I made of plywood and Dexion, a bit like the ones you have probably seen articles about making, but about twice as big. It is stable and not much more, as I am no handyman, and riot at all technical. I shan’t bother with a platen unless the shadows look too ugly. I wish I had a zoom lens on my Bolex H16, which would allow me to select areas of the artwork for close-up rather than having to draw a section of the picture larger.

Quite how 1 should do the sound track which will be all sound effects I am not sure, as I have sound equipment only for 8 mm. Not needing it for the experimental and pilot work I have done so far in 16 mm. I use household bulbs for lighting but correct the colour temperature by using a behind the lens blue filter.
All the best,
Cohn Dunn,
Newbury, Berkshire.


Dear David,

Unlike so many other spheres in which news letters are typically similar to each other Animator’s newsletter has, to date, maintained a lively and useful start. The articles aimed at beginners like me have to date proved extremely useful and enlightening especially as I am unable to attend the nearest film club meetings some 40 miles away owing to utterly useless public transport.
I found the articles on constructing a camera rostrum and puppet making invaluable. The authors who offered names and addresses of firms supplying suitable materials were most helpful,
and Lea Ranyard’s item on flash was of equal value to raw beginners such as I. It is to be hoped that fellow readers will maintain their present interest in this venture and that the newsletter will not deteriorate’ from it’s present high standard.

Ernie Martin,
Brigsteer, Cumbria.


Dear David,

I enjoyed the newsletter, I hope it continues to grow. I’m about to start work on another film. I was making two at the same time a few months ago one in plasticine and the other in cels. I’ve now made two cel films, and the experience has taught me that I have a great deal to learn. My first film LEGEND OF BOLSTER had too few drawings, my second film BEACH BOY had twice as many drawings for half the ‘running time. It’s an improvement, but is still not right. I’ll just have to keep my nose to the grindstone.

Best wishes,
Lew Cooper,
Portsmouth, Hants.

Originally printed in Animator’s newsletter Issue 5 (Summer 1983)