Greg Mcleod, along with his brother Mr. Myles Mcleod, are illustrator and writer of their company The Brothers Mcleod. Greg, along with his brother, have worked with BBC, Disney, Dreamworks, Joss Whedon, the London Science Museum, Aardman and much more. Their 2008's short film Codswallop was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Short Animation at 62nd British Academy Film Awards. Now, their latest Animation short film, Marfa, also got nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Short Animation at 72nd British Academny Film Awards. Take this time to get to know Greg Mcleod and go discover why Marfa has gain so much attention and even premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
1. Could you give a brief summary of Marfa?
A town on the borderlands of Texas. A place out of time. A desert where strange lights dance in the night sky. A mecca for lovers of minimalist art. A landscape of lost horses, freaks and food trucks. And then there’s the giant lemon.
2. How did you come up with Marfa?
I was travelling to Marfa Film Festival to screen my film ‘365’ and took the opportunity to make a short animated portrait of the town.
Marfa is a unique place. It's evolved in its own bubble. It's reminiscent in some senses of the spaghetti westerns I watched as a child. It's a big sky place. Its characters have great stories and are warm and welcoming and generous with their time.
3. What was your writing process like for Marfa?
We created an audio track first. We selected all the interesting moments that seemed to have their own internal narrative, but also the ambient sounds that created a sense of place. I also wanted to include music that had caught my ear on the trip. Once we had crafted the audio track I then worked through the vignettes corresponding to the audio.
I asked Myles to write the poem as soon as I returned. I provided him with all the materials I gathered. I wanted a beat poem feel, similar to the work of Allen Ginsberg. Myles really liked all the names of things: signposts, building names, product names. He realised that by organising them carefully they created their own poetic rhythm.
4. In one word how would you sum up Martfa?
5. What research did you do when making Marfa?
All the work was done while I was there, collecting images and interviews and recording ambient sounds.
6. When you’re an aspiring director/screenwriter, who did you look up to most?
David Lynch Chuck Jones Buster Keaton Alejandro Jodorowsky
7. Congratulation on the BAFTA nomination, are you thinking of making Marfa into a feature-length film?
8. How did you hear the news that BAFTA Awards had nominated Marfa?
9. At the BAFTA Awards ceremony, who were you most excited to meet or see?
Richard E Grant and Alex Honnold
10. If a self-published author is seeking a director or screenwriter, how would one get you to read his or her story to see if it would make a compelling animation film?
Find out if the animator works with writers. Some do some don’t.
11. If you are interested in adapting a novel/novella/short story into an animation feature, what type or genre would you be interested?
SciFi or Documentary
12. Do you recall the very first Animation Short you ever did? What lessons did you learned from it?
Keep things short.
13. What was the first live concert you ever attended?
Romany Gypsies playing at a hotel I was staying at circa 1975
14. What cartoon character best represents your personal philosophy?
15. What do you wish you had known when you were starting your career?
How to animate.
16. What advice would you give someone on breaking into the entertainment industry?
Put in the hours.
17. Last question, what was your favorite and least favorite cartoon/s as a child?
Fav- Battle of the Planets - Least - Sylvester and Tweedie Pie
I greatly appreciate Mr. Greg McLeod for answering my questions. If you want to know more about him or his work just visit his website by clicking the link: http://www.bromc.co.uk/ Thank you once again for reading my blog posts. Take care and come again soon.
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