The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas – Northern Ballet

Here’s a thing I co-directed with Craig Bush, as part of a series of videos promoting Northern Ballet‘s production of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas. Craig decided it would be interesting to pair John Boyne‘s voice with animation to get across the themes discussed in the film. After discussing the beats of the interview, I started sifting through some very sombre reference material.

The visuals took their cue from Mark Bailey’s costume designs, so I went about playing with Kyle Webster‘s watercolour and pencil brushes to find a style that suited. I’m continually impressed with how life like an effect you can get from his brushes. However, it’s still pretty essential to be familiar with how to handle the real thing. 

It was then a constant balancing act of using some visual drama, and treating the subject matter with the respect it deserved. The comping, reveals, ink bleeds, and camera work were done in After Effects. I was pretty pleased with how ink runs turned out. The ballet performance was rotoscoped in Photoshop, using its increasingly versatile video/animation tools. I hope they continue to build on them. 

Directed by Craig Bush & Louis Hudson
Animated by Louis Hudson
Music composed by Gary Yershon
Produced by Joseph Bell