Martha R. Ford : Illustration

A collection of works-in-progress, works-finished and 'things' I like.

Category: Animations

And more rough pencil tests

Sorry, youtube seems to be cutting off the ends of my animations, nevermind, they are only rough tests. I shall remember to add a bit of darkness at each end when I have something better to show:)

Anyway, here are a few more tests.

Pencil tests

Some very rough pencil tests. I think a lot of it might be a bit stiff but Im improving!:) First cut on friday, hopefully have a bit more done by then. I think I took a little too long on the pre-production, lesson learnt.


Here is the majority of my first draft storyboard for this latest script (minus the start section which would show the father and the older sister leaving the house). The ending still needs to be properly worked out also.

Update on grad film

This is a post all about the new film developments.

At the beginning of November, we had to present a rough animatic of our film. It didn’t go fantastically yet it did have a really good outcome for me. The animatic wasn’t the worst animatic ever but it wasn’t great(it was pretty bad:)). It didn’t flow or hold together as an interesting structured film. There were bits the class liked about it- both bits of the visuals and of the story but a lot of it didn’t read quite right. From making this animatic, I found that my film idea had become an awkward quest/journey movie- not a great idea for a 3min or less film.

I was pretty stuck for a while, there was a lot of sitting and staring at my computer screen but now, after LOADS more script drafts and conversations with lecturers and classmates, I have a story! And it has decent structure and much more depth to it.

I cut out a whole load of the story and now it is mainly set in the back ‘garden’ of the house on the hill/island.

Quick’ Script for my film ‘Grow up!’:

It is all about a neglected little girl whose parents always argue and whose older sister left home to get away from it all(this plays out in the title sequence- it is the very beginning of a day).

She is isolated with only a captive fish in a bowl to play with. The fish wants to go back to the sea though and will no longer play. Eventually she is drawn over to the high fence that surrounds the garden- keeping her captive, as the bowl does the fish. She wants to release the fish(and longs for that freedom for herself) but the fence is too high and she is too little. She stays by the fence, holding the fish, even as the day moves on and it becomes late afternoon.

Behind her is the sound of a car, then doors slamming and the arguing begins again. It is too much for her and she squeezes her eyes shut, wishing she could get away but not knowing how.

Suddenly she grows upwards. She keeps growing and as she grows she gets a little older until she is a young woman and as tall as the house. She is now tall enough to step over the fence and moves down to the waters edge. Once there, she slides the fish into the water and it disappears. Not knowing quite what to do, she turns back towards the house but sees that that world is now far too small and confining so she turns and steps into the water.

She smiles whilst holding her breath and revels in the feeling. The fish zips around her and then swims away. She suddenly realises that she is not like the fish, the sea is not her escape and she begins to panic as she starts to drown.

An arm reaches down from above and pulls her to the surface. She is in a small row boat facing her sister who has come back for her, to help her get away and show her a new world that she discovered when she herself left home. They do not hug but they smile and then the sister turns the boat.

For the first time, the young woman(girl) and the audience see the vast city which lies along the coastline behind the house and its island. The sister begins to row towards the city and as she rows, the sky gets darker, the lights of the city begin to turn on and the small house on the hill disappears into the darkness.


I’m off to start on the new animatic as I have 2 weeks!eeek. Also got my dissertation draft to do alongside it so I better get working.

Hello again- This is what I have been doing(not grad film).

Okay so it wasnt the next afternoon.

Over the past month(+) I have been quite the busy girl:

I worked for ArthurCox for the day, helping at their wonderful screening event in Bristol- I loved it all. Also got to go to the Depict! screening to see George’s film on the big screen. The panel were really interesting too.

I finished a little 14 second piece for a student documentary- its a simple asteroid hitting the earth sequence. I hope they like it, they didnt really give me much to work with in terms of what they wanted. Sorry about the jerkiness, its a rough animation but the avi version isn’t THAT jerky(it would also take ages to upload).

Here it is:

Some visuals

Over the past 6 weeks or so I have been working on my graduate film idea. After many many unsuitable ideas and a load of drafts I have settled on a ‘story’ etc.

Here is some concept work so far:

The story is about a young woman who, since she was a small child, has had a fascination/obsession with the sea. Through her longing, she eventually creates a small ball of light which turns into a fish and guides her through said sea. The swim ends with her swimming away from the fish who has grown large and aggressive. She is then rescued by her mother(although you never actually see her mother except for the arm) and she goes back to the comfort of home. It all ends with her sitting on a beach staring at the starry night sky when another glowing ball appears, signifying another possible adventure.

The whole film is essentially about ambition(the glowing ball being ambition itself), leaving the comfort of home and change(good and bad).

I have started a decent storyboard (after a few really rough scribbly ones) and next step is complete a rough animatic; to have a look at the timing/pacing of the film. Might have a little play with sound for my scratch soundtrack in the next couple of days too.

Summer 09 continued- Work Experience

Later in the summer, after coming back from Scotland, I was lucky enough to be able to gain some ‘work experience’ at ArthurCox studio in Bristol, working on a short film by George Sander-Jackson. I had a really good time as everyone there was lovely and the work was fun (need more practice in getting people tea/coffee though).

The film (Title: Plot ) was entered into Depict!: a 90 second animation competition in Encounters Film Festival. Congratulations to George as the film was shortlisted (according to the site, only 11 got picked out of 340 films from 39 countries).

You can see the film(and rate with lots of stars if you like it :D) here:

(the ratings and comments help towards the Shooting People’s Audience Award).

The summer 09

So… I have just started my third and final year at uni and have decided I wanted a fresh new blog showing anyone who’s interested what I’m getting up to over the next year(and possibly beyond, we’ll see).

To see my old blog(and old work from the last two years at university) see:

Anyway, I had a fairly productive summer although I managed to completely fail on the job-seeking front=no money for Martha:(. First of all, I entered an animation competition called The Great Animation Challenge. Brief was to create an animated music video to one of the songs provided. After a good two weeks of work, I came up with this:

(unfortunately I couldnt get the whole film uploaded to YouTube but heres the start bit that did upload).

Obviously it has it’s lovely amateurish flaws but overall I was quite pleased with the end result. I didn’t win (that pleasure went to Joe Lea and his energetic and colourful piece) but it was quite the thing to see my work on a screen bigger than my laptop’s (I also got a taste of audience-love when my film was applauded, even if they did do it after every film).