David Knight - 15th June 2016

It's a big international festival for the creative community in design, direction and digital, and a couple of months ago the 16th annual edition of the OFFF Festival took place in Barcelona. And this year it was kicked off by a splendid titles sequence created by British co-directors Gavin Strange and Merlin Crossingham, and produced through Aardman Animations in Bristol.

The film features dancers Keir Moffatt and Clare Billingon, together with their animated character 'Little OFFF Dude' who transforms their dull lives and gives them OFFF identities. Just as importantly, rapper/musician P.O.S. provides the soundtrack, offering musical namechecks for the great and good appearing at OFFF Barcelona 2016, including several well-known names from the world of music video - Hiro Murai, Pensacola and Matt Lambert included - supported by titles on-screen.

Strange and Crossingham had an open brief from festival founder Héctor Ayuso, Aardman kept giving them more studio space and resources as their idea grew bigger. "We knew we wanted it to be a celebration of fun and creativity, and that it had to have energy and bounce," says Strange. "Our first call was to look at OFFF itself and what it represented; looking at the logo we noticed it looked like a winking face. Straight away that spoke to us, and we knew we wanted to make a character that embodied the spirit of OFFF."

The titles were revealed at the OFFF festival, in the main hall at the Design Museum of Barcelona in front of 2,000 attendees, followed by Gavin Strange and Merlin Crossingham showcasing how the titles themselves were made. "We designed fake money, ‘Creative Coins’, for the shoot - to pay homage to rap videos from the past," says Strange. "We printed out over 1,000 notes to take with us and give out on-stage in Barcelona. We ended up throwing that money from the stage and it lasted about 30 seconds!

"We had [another] surprise for all the attendees - thanks to the kindness of Héctor - we had a vinyl toy version of the main character, named “Little OFFF dude”, to give away to every attendee, as a gift! He’s a perfect replica of the clay original!"

Credits

DirectorGavin Strange
DirectorMerlin Crossingham
Production CompanyAardman Animations
ArtistP.O.S.
ProducerSami Goddard
EditorBen Craske
Sound designResonate
ColouristChris Lyons
Director of PhotographyNathan Sale
Stop Frame AnimatorMerlin Crossingham
Stop Frame AnimatorAbbigale Austin
Motion GraphicsGavin Strange
Motion GraphicsCiaran O'Connor
Other creditsGraphic Design: Gavin Strange Set Build: Mick Strange Model making & Prop build: Merlin Crossingham Photography: Dan Pask Camera Operator: Adam Cook Compositing & VFX: John Biggins, Paule Quinton Massive thanks: AARDMAN ANIMATIONS, HEATHER WRIGHT, DAVID SPROXTON, PETER LORD, CHRIS ENTWISTLE, HÉCTOR AYUSO, NATHALIE KOUTIA, VMI BRISTOL

David Knight - 15th June 2016

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