Tim Blackwell and Ashley Dean of Leeds Beckett
Clare Burnett

Member Article

Leeds Beckett animators commissioned by Kaiser Chiefs for latest tour

Two Leeds Beckett University animators have been commissioned by rock stars the Kaiser Chiefs to create animations for their latest tour, which culminated in a sold out concert at Leeds Arena.

Senior lecturer in Broadcast Media Technologies, Tim Blackwell, was approached in December for the group’s upcoming arena tour which kicked off in the New Year.

Tim said: “They specifically wanted some video to accompany ‘The Occupation’, a poem written by Ricky, which featured on last year’s number one Kaiser Chief’s album, ‘Education, Education, Education and War’.

“During the tour the poem was narrated in a pre-record by actor Bill Nighy. The only direction from the band was that they wanted something poignant to reflect the mood of the poem and a moment in their live set.

“I suggested I work in collaboration with my colleague and award-winning animator Ashley Dean in developing a film.

“We discussed Raymond Briggs, Pink Floyd and Terry Gilliam as points of reference.

“The finished product was a true collaboration of ideas and a blend of production and post-production skills.”

The first that the Kaiser Chief’s saw of the animated film was a week before their UK Arena tour was due to start at the Liverpool Echo Arena.

Ashley, who is a lecturer in Computing and Creative Technologies at Leeds Beckett, added: “The animation was a joy to produce.

“With Ricky’s words and Bill’s voice, we had brilliant material to build on, plus the goal of seeing our film played out to tens of thousands of people across the country was a great motivating factor.

“Working with Tim reminded me how productive and satisfying the collaborative creative process can be.

“Our ideas started out in very different places from each other, but we finished with a superior product that neither of us could have envisaged at the start.”

The gig in Leeds was also crewed by two Leeds Beckett Broadcast Media Technologies students, James Teague in his final year of study and Ted Burch in his second year.

They worked to produce a live video mix of the show for the band, which will form part of James’s assessed university module work.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Clare Burnett .

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