It’s all getting a bit wobbly in the knees. When I found out that producer Sue Goffe and I had been nominated for a Children’s BAFTA, I thought that I’d be able to keep my composure, but instead I’ve developed a lack of limb co-ordination not known since my teens. Even writing this is making me jittery. At this rate I’ll just be a big jelly on the night. Sue is now looking annoyingly calm.
It reminds me of when I was a kid and my Dad used to drive the car full speed at humpback bridges – egged on by the unbelted juvenile’s in the back seat - until we hit the apex and achieved a momentary equilibrium between stomach and tonsils that only the Mercury astronauts had previously known. But that delightful sensation was so fleeting - whereas this one refuses to abate. It’s like we hit the bridge and got somehow stuck mid stomach churn.
About a year ago I’d almost finished adapting and directing Lost and Found from Oliver Jeffers remarkable picture book, and my simple concern was only that both Oliver and the audiences I hoped would see it would all like it. I’ve been completely floored by the reception it has been given since then and, whilst Lost and Found means so much to me on a personal level, there’s an entire crew to consider whose endeavours I simply cannot do enough justice.
So a nod from BAFTA is like having a really strong spotlight cast across the whole studio and the people herein. That’s terrific. It’s a lovely thing because we work really hard to finance our short film projects alongside our regular work and its not easy. I’m so very proud of the artists at aka that bring everything to life and who worked their socks off on this film. I hope they are as wobbly as I am about this.
An animation director has a strange role somewhere between ringmaster and petulant child (just ask Sue,) but really you are just a conduit through which everything either makes sense or falls apart. So getting to share a nomination for a job well done by everyone here is both humbling and scary. Luckily Sue has had some experience at this sort of thing and her best advice regarding a potential win or crushing disappointment is just to embrace the trepidation and try to enjoy it either way. Here goes then...