Amaro and Walden's Joyride
Amaro & Walden are two rowdy boy racer, hipster hybrids with that lads on tour attitude. They're the best of friends but couldn't care less about each other's safety. Follow them burning around town acting like they’re top dons in a music video.
Making Amaro and Walden's Joyride
The film is shot in the world of Amaro and Walden. Filming at this scale meant we got to see the world from a rarely seen vantage point. It also enabled us to shoot stunts and elaborate shot set ups that would have been very expensive to do if the characters were life size. The scaled down proportions allowed us to work quickly as we were capturing real moments spontaneously.
Amaro and Walden's Ride 'The Topanga Lawrence'
Amaro and Walden drive a Tamiya '1982 Wild Willy 2’ RC car nostalgically named after Topanga Lawrence - the first girl they both fell in love with. The car's spec is perfect for unnecessary wheelies, umpteen donuts and straight-up, cold, hard cruising. It's customised with a matte black paint job, front headlights, a passenger seat and logo graphics of some of the best sponsors around.
We had a feeling that sticking a GoPro camera on an RC car would yield some interesting footage. So we went out to the park and pissed about for a couple of hours. When we got back to the studio to review the footage we'd managed to capture a dog chasing it and a kid in a spiderman outfit going crazy for it. This gave us the impetus to go out and gatecrash the rest of London for footage that we could animate to.
For the shoot we teamed up with director of photography, Andrew Corrigan, who sourced and built various lightweight camera rigs to equip the cars. We filmed the large majority of shots with Gopro cameras as they’re super light and durable and could be easily attached to the cars. We also shot with a Canon 5D and a motion controlled track for some of the wider shots. For the filming to run smoothly we needed three cars, two with posable rigs and one hero car that was clean for shooting wide shots. This setup enabled us to film areas quickly and cover a number of locations in one day. Once the cars and rigs were built, we embarked on a week of nonstop filming, lugging boxes of car batteries around town. We shot at various locations, trying to capture the eclectic atmos London has to offer. These were areas with beautiful city architecture, our favourite places to hangout and drink and of course locations that would be fun to drive an RC car that can do sick wheelies.
We wanted the music to be the kind track you'd hear blasting from the car speakers of two guys larging it around town. We needed a fast paced track to capture the energy of the characters. Music producers Hugo Chegwin and Fred Chegwin Berry came onboard and absolutely nailed it with a grimey, drum n bass beat and rowdy vocals, perfect to cut a fast paced edit to.
Animation and Post production
The project was fun, but not without it's challenges. However, this wasn't an issue as we had one of the finest crews we've assembled, from our favourite top animators; Peter Dodd, Jonathan Djob Nkondo and Kristian Antonelli through to the compositors, James Belch, Christopher Fraser, Anna Sigüenza and the colourist Aubrey Woodwiss. The challenge for the animators was responding to the unpredictable nature of the footage. It was an unorthodox working process for everyone. Where we'd usually storyboard and meticulously plan out every action, we had to instead think on our feet as to the best way of bringing each shot to life. It left a lot of room for our animators to get under the skin of the characters in those situations. The scenarios we animated would only be believable if the characters felt like a part of this world. This made it essential for the compositors to work closely with the animators from day one. Trying to strike the balance of sitting them in the world whilst still celebrating the drawings.
Here's an example of how a shot was constructed in the film.
Creator of Amaro and Walden Tim McCourt
Character Design Tim McCourt
Directed by Tim McCourt and Max Taylor
Executive Producers Electric Theatre Collective
Director of Photography Andrew Corrigan
Production assistant Dan Jessop
Music Hugo Chegwin and Fred Berry
Editing** Tim McCourt, Max Taylor, and Julia Knight
Animation Peter Dodd, Jonathan Djob Nkondo, Tim McCourt, Wesley Louis, Sam Taylor, Bjorn Aschim, James Duveen, Kristian Antonelli
FX Animation Duncan Gist
Clean Up Tim McCourt, Duncan Gist, Aude Carpentier, Sam Taylor, Imre Horváth, James Duveen, Iria Lopez
Colour Tim McCourt, Max Taylor, Duncan Gist
Compositing Max Taylor, James Belch, Anna Sigüenza, Chris Fraser
Colourist Aubrey Woodwiss
Colour Assist Lewis Cross Field
Starring Suggs, Lauren Hedges, Eugenia Simo Grijalbo, 3 Legged Dog, Oliver Macintosh
Thanks to Jerry Flemming, Tom Box, Maeve O'Connell, Taran Spear, Sarah Crux, Lee Pavey, James Sindle, Giles Cheetahm, Dan Marum, Natashka Cheetahm, Gabriella Cerenzia, Dog Eared Films, Frith Street Tattoo, Jaguar Shoes, our parents, Ellie Cook and Lydia Raghavan.