Badgered directed by Sharon Colman is a treat of a movie and rightly was nominated for an Academy Award in 2006. Awakened by the sound of two raucous crows, a grumpy badger who just wants to sleep is roused from his slumbers. He does his best to ignore the din but is forced out of his sett to deal with the noisy neighbours. The appearance of the Ministry of Defence intruders who slice the top off the little hill and install a nuclear missile silo just below his den is outside the badger's control however and his intervention proves less than helpful. Sharon's concern at the nuclear bunkers nestled in her Scottish countryside triggered the movie though this is more comedy than environmental or political campaign, her poor badger being "badgered" indeed. He certainly has an endearing quality. Badgers are attractive beasts, their black and white coat bestowing on them the same appeal as the panda or zebra; Sharon's creation is indeed charming, sliding his contours into the curve of the den to achieve the optimum sleep position, lumbering out to deal with the noisy neighbours, groaning and moaning at the disturbance. The crows are inspired, both in the sound they produce and in the manner in which they have been drawn and animated. Peter Gosling's music establishes a suitably warm atmosphere and Sharon's gentle, pastel animations are hand drawn with style. Sharon worked alongside fellow animators, Ant Blade and Richard Jones. As with the art, an understated humour permeates the movie. The "voice talent" of Rupert Degas reproduces the irritating caw of the rooks, gently underscored by the deeper, irate growl of the badger. Sharon graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Illustration in 2000 and, after a period of time freelancing and working in the industry, attended the National Film and Television School, leaving in 2005. Badgered was her graduation movie. It was made for £1000 and took a year to make. Peter Gosling, himself a former member of the NFTS, is very active in the film world. One of his most recent projects is the Ben Lock animated 2006 short, Elroy The Third - Potato Head Boy. You can download some of Peter's music in mp3 format from the Elroy website and check out his other work here.
Finally, the nominations for BAFTA 2008, Short Animation, have just been announced. They are:
THE PEARCE SISTERS – Jo Allen/Luis Cook
HEAD OVER HEELS – Osbert Parker/Fiona Pitkin/Ian Gouldstone