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By midlandsmovies, Mar 25 2020 07:45AM



Rubber Johnny


Directed by Matt Williams


2020


Rubber Johnny is a new music-based video from West Midlands animator and film director Matt Williams which tackles a rather serious subject in the most amusing way possible.


Rubber Johnny – a British slang for a condom if you were unaware – is an important thing to learn about in school sex education class and Williams has taken this sensitive and difficult to talk about issue and made a very entertaining short about it.


The film is an animated music video with lyrics related to its use, its history and with an emphasis on bright colours and smiley faces that makes it accessible to a youth audience.


That’s not to say it’s only educational, however. With fantastic vocals from singer Caitlin Johnson and a simple accompanying acoustic guitar, the song is as catchy as hell and has plenty of laugh out loud moments as well.


With the history of animated music videos in mind, from Yellow Submarine by The Beatles to the anime stylings of Daft Punk’s Discovery album, the film has echoes of White Stripes’ Fell in Love with a Girl where a locked off shot was used to show the band playing using child favourite LEGO.


More apt perhaps is Peter Gabriel’s famous Sledgehammer video as Williams has chosen an older ratio (1:1) for his video with the very colourful animation all happening in this one square window.


From inflatable cocks to anthropomorphic smiley-faced condoms, via some real-life footage of trouser zips and plasticine sperm, the sexual connotations are there but always amusing and more importantly never crude or used exploitatively.


In the end, its simplicity is its key factor. A winner for Best Music at the 2020 Midlands Movies Awards, the video displays the lyrics enabling you to sing along to its uber-catchy chorus. “Oh, rubber johnny” will be stuck in your head all day and young people will get entertaining info on where to stick the other thing as well. A superb silly willy of a film.


Michael Sales


By midlandsmovies, Sep 11 2019 09:41AM



Midlands Spotlight - Beginners Youth Film Academy


The Beginners Youth Film Academy (BYFA) is a new after-school Academy that focuses on both acting and filmmaking that has been recently launched by Midlands-based Country Star Productions.


Run by Sharni Tapako-Brown and Gary Rogers, the BYFA is moving to a weekly academy running initially from Haybridge High School in Hagley, Worcestershire with a view of expanding to other areas.


Company founder Gary Roger’s early working career started in electronic engineering and software design where he helped develop a technical background which would prove very useful in later years.



After this, Gary became a qualified teacher of PGCE status spending around 10 years teaching ICT, DT and Media whilst developing his filmmaking career. And as he got more involved in indie filmmaking the demand also grew to a point that it became his full-time career, starting his own company Pixel Perfection Media.


Since then, a new production company was started with Sharni Tapako-Brown called Country Star Productions with the aim of producing high quality films, some of which have gone on to be multi award winning films and include a wide variety of projects such as music videos and corporate and commercial work.


From working in the industry professionally and drawing on her teaching experience in schools and drama Academies, Sharni Tapako-Brown wanted to expand and share her knowledge too. "Drama and film helped me to express myself, giving me the confidence to succeed, and so I want to implement that to all students I teach".



Sharni has now expanded her profile by becoming a producer and writer for Country Star Productions alongside Gary Rogers. As a woman in film, she believes that there is no limit of what you can learn from others, and thus no limit of what you can achieve for yourself.


Their school focuses on not only acting and live performance, but also acting for camera, film and TV as well as how to use top end camera, lighting and sound equipment. The BYFA also have ties with known actors such as Michael McKell who is their official patron, stunt coordinators, casting agencies all of which gets you closer to the industry you are striving to be part of.


So the end outcome of the year will be the students’ involvement in film development which will contribute towards receiving a professional looking portfolio, consisting of showreels, films to keep, IMDB credits, film festivals and much more.


Finally, the academy offers Trinity Arts awards as part of the course, which are industry-recognised qualifications; giving students UCAS points towards further education. BYFA is not only qualified to deliver the award but are also a registered Arts Award Centre.


To join and find out more information head to their official website: www.byfacademy.co.uk


By midlandsmovies, Feb 5 2018 10:12PM



Local Midlands Artist Creates Draw for Movie and Special Effects Industry


Strangely, after finding their business card randomly in a local Fish and Chip shop, Midlands Movies got in touch with Augmented Imagination Studios in Leicester whose exciting projects and support are helping a new generation of young film creatives.


Augmented Imagination (A.I.) Studios are based in the Midlands and are a special effects-focused business who have a workshop of 3 large classrooms used to support and educate those who seek a route into the film and FX industry.


Run by Toran Tanner, the studios accommodate fine works for movie makers and also create their own unique special effects. With a background in high quality SFX work, the organisation was envisioned as a stepping stone for students to acquire technical training and skills in the industry whilst offering affordable education and shared studio spaces and materials.


With a programme geared towards promoting access to the standards of the industry’s requirements as well as to ensure all levels of interest are met, A.I. offer support, training and mentoring to practising professionals, enthusiasts and those who are just beginning their journey.


Their diverse variety of courses serve both beginner and skilled professional and they hope to provide a relaxing, yet fast paced, learning opportunity in classroom and workshop environments.


The courses also offer an opportunity for students to train and work with some of the most motivated and best special effect artists in the world in a relaxing environment, making their courses fun as well as educational.


A.I. offer extensive studio time to students enrolled allowing for each person to grow at their own pace and Toran believes the studio time is integral to learning and building the needed skills to pursue a career in the industry. As their curriculum continues to evolve, each course will bring new course options as well as a core group of regular courses to meet the needs of students at every level.


With a strong belief in getting your hands dirty, Toran and his team strive to do their best to help students master the techniques required and although they’re not the largest special effects school in the UK, they feel this offers a big advantage for plenty of personalized attention and instruction.


For more information check out their website at https://www.aifxstudios.com/






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