Red Rum - A film about a deeply disturbed rodent

Why hello there. It is of nice of you to have stopped by for a little bit of SQUIRREL INSANITY!!! This blog is for the production of my short film entitled 'Red Rum'. It concerns a paranoid red squirrel by the name of Rum, and the stress that is struck into his life by a certain grey squirrel moving next door. There is also a funny looking fox, by the name of Fox, involved.

Here I shall showcase the progress of my film. And perhaps a tad of the insanity that shall come with making it.


This is Rum. The main character of the film. Which is probably quite obvious. Another obvious statement is that he is a red squirrel. And a bit mental.

Pam and Animation

So why animation? 

Sometimes I ask myself the same question... But the answer is quite simple: I love drawing.

Ever since I can remember I have loved to draw, and art in general. That weekly visit from the art teacher in Blackness P.S was the highlight of my week. It was when I was 10 that I realised how much I loved art.  I always remember my teacher at the time telling me how she thought I should go to the DOJ Art College. That made me really happy, the thought that maybe I could do art for a job when I was older.

As most children I imagine, I really enjoyed watching animated films and television series'. Disney of course was always a popular choice. I was never into the typical girly princess stuff though. I only liked the films with animals  as the main characters. The Lion King was always a favourite (and definitely still is), although as a younger child Mufasa's death was devastating every single time I watched that film! Oliver & Company was another favourite of mine, as I have always been a great dog lover. All Dogs Go To Heaven 2 was also a very well used video tape, even though I hadn't seen the original as a child I adored the film.

It wasn't until I was 16 that I considered animation as a career. Until then I had been focussed on becoming an art teacher. Of course by this age, everybody had already realised that there would be no changing my mind as art was the only thing I wanted to do. Apart from that one week where I considered doing an apprenticeship as a car mechanic...

By this time I was watching a lot of films and realised that animation could be a way of getting into the film  industry. Visual effects was my main interest, as I had visited many degree shows at the DOJ and had seen what the students had managed to produce. After finishing my Highers at school I decided to leave after 5th year for Dundee College instead of enduring yet another year at the Harris. There I did the Portfolio Preparation course and it was an amazingly fun year.

After college I finally go into the DOJ into the General Art course. That was an interesting year, full of crazy quick projects and quite a lot of work. My main focus was still animation and I was determined to get there.

So there it was. How I got here. Now I'm in third year at the DOJ and away to complete my degree year and go onto my Honours degree. Things have changed a bit. Visual effects is not my priority anymore. My 3D skills are less than perfect... to say the least. I do think my drawing skills have improved though and 2D Traditional animation is what I enjoy. I miss painting and arty things though, as I do spend a lot of time with paper and a lead pencil (or sometimes even a blue pencil).

Inspirations and Influences

I love films. I don't really have any favourite type of film. Action films are definitely one of my favourite genres, but good action films, not just any old explosion/gun filled feature. Terminator 2, Con Air, Equilibrium, Die Hard and Desperado are just a very small selection of my favourite action films.

My favourite action films have to have great characters and a decent storyline. I think films are definitely down to characters. If I don't care for the characters, I don't care for the film. A film can have a really basic storyline, but so long as the characters are interesting enough then the film is a hit with me. I think a good example of this would be Arizona Dream, a film by Emir Kusturica. The film has a very simple storyline of a man returning to where he grew up and meeting some oddball characters. Spending most of their time solely inside their house, it's the characters, their conversations and the things they do that make this film one of my favourites.

Another one of my favourite films would be Withnail & I. This is another example of a film where I think that the characters definitely make it such a success. Once again the story is quite simple, and yet the film is fantastic and it's all down to the characters.
I think that is definitely films such as these that have made me so interested in the art of film making.

I have always been a big Tim Burton fan also. His style is very unique, especially in his earlier films. Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice and Ed Wood are all amazing films in my opinion. Sweeney Todd is definitely another one of my favourites films, the overall look of the film is brilliant and... I just love that film in general! Though I won't forgive Tim Burton for Alice in Wonderland... Let's hope any more films he makes are nothing like that.

Here I am just going to list a few films that have definitely inspired my film making ideas.

An AMAZING animation, great characters,
great story and (personally) great animation.
Animation that can be enjoyed by all ages
is definitely something I feel is very important.

Another of my favourite films of all time, In Bruges. A film with
a brilliant script, great acting, lots of black humour and violence.
What more could you want?

Empire of the Sun. One of my favourite ever war films.
Only problem being it makes me unable to control myself
because it is just THAT sad. Lovely film.

Benny and Joon. My favourite romantic comedy EVER!
Extremely unusual, touching and very funny. So much better
than all those comedies that come out now.

Well, that's just a very very select few of my inspirational films. I have not so many inspirational film makers, as I feel most have their good and their bad days. 

I also love watching world cinema as I find foreign films so different from the usual Hollywood stuff. They tend to have a different way of looking at things, often more realistic, which is much needed with all the fairy-tale endings in Hollywood films. I don't need a film to make me cheery and happy once I've finished watching it. I often find if I cry during a film then it must be good, as it clearly has affected me a lot. Only something that gets you truly involved can make you lose control of your emotions. I do also enjoy films of course that leave you grinning as you leave the cinema, such as the French film Amelie for example. Or, films that leave you in a state of shock as you leave the cinema, such as Black Swan for example.

That's my view of films anyway. I could talk forever about different films I like and why, but that would take quite a long time and the likeliness of anybody reading even this far is slim I guess.

Aspirations for the Future

To be honest, I am not sure now what I want to do in the future. I do really enjoy storyboarding and would love to develop skills in this area further. Storyboards are needed in many forms of entertainment, so there may be a chance for me in this field. 

2D animation is something that I also enjoy a lot. Drawing is very important to me, and I would love to work somewhere where I can put my drawing skills to good use.

I would love to work in a different country. I have many different ideas for my future, and although I am not sure at the moment my plans for after university I am sure I will get them all sorted out.