Okay, if you have offspring under the age of 25 then you may get that reference to 'Bob the Builder'. We're just back from Swanwick Writers' Summer School and one of the highlights of the week was hearing Curtis Jobling talk about his career in animation, film and publishing. Most recently he's known as author of the 'Wereworld' fantasy series. But he is of course best remembered for drawing 'Bob the Builder' (and not forgetting the other characters: Wendy, Spud and my favourite Pilchard the cat). He talked, at supersonic speed without drawing breath, his career history, which also included working at Aardman studios (Wallace and Gromit), drawing 'Frankenstein's Cat' and 'Ra-Ra the Lion'. Curtis drew several of these characters, which were later auctioned off (the spoof cartoon of Bob the Builder transforming into hairy WereBob sold for £165!). His latest animated creation is 'Curious Cow', which airs on Nickelodeon. If you don't get that channel then here's a link to watch CURIOUS COW on YouTube. If you, like me, were always shouting at Wile E Coyote NOT to light the dynamite then you'll love the 'Curious Cow' - trust me, you will start shouting NO! DON"T!
Other highlights of the week were:
- James Moran's talks on screenwriting. (He wrote the screenplay for 'Severance', episodes of Spooks, Doctor Who etc)
- Zoe Lambert's workshop on writing Contemporary Short Fiction (her collection of short stories is
- Morning meditation sessions before breakfast down by the lake (see picture right)
- Helping to direct a 5 min play as part of 'Write, Camera, Action' (also undressing an ex-Chief Constable - he needed help getting out of his spacesuit ... enough said)
- Workshop on comedy writing with Margaret Boulton. Just wish this had been longer than 1 hr as she had so much experience to impart.
Unfortunately Tame Teen's A/S results came out while the Indoor Writer was away and she did get horribly homesick. Five days of talking writing non-stop is tiring, by Friday her extrovert batteries were virtually flat and she almost lost it at the last breakfast when asked 'and what do you write?' Thankfully, she took a deep breath (the meditation worked), didn't reply 'It's none of your business!' and instead politely answered the question with a twitchy smile.
Here's a pic specially for Wendy of THE rucksack. It was needed to carry around: notebook, folder, laptop,