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Billy Whiskers: The Mystery of the Misplaced Trowel

2018 // Action, Comedy, Drama, Short Film, Stop Motion

9:33
mins

Dir: James Wilkinson


What is the film about?

Billy Whiskers is a cat with a purpose. A hard boiled detective who’s latest case sees him faced with a curious horticultural mystery. A man laid flat on the floor of the potting shed with a trowel stuck from his chest. Billy arrives on the scene and soon uncovers clues that suggest this was more than just a tragic trowel accident. He enthusiastically pursues avenues of enquiry and creates theories and speculations that suggest this may all be tied to a bygone case of diamond robbery.

His investigations soon land him in danger and he finds himself caught up in a perilous farce, running, jumping and scrambling for his life! All in the, traditionally sedate, surroundings of messy garden shed.

What influenced it?

Chinatown, The Maltese Falcon, Chicken Run

A little background information...

I wanted to make a film that would allow me to test the experimental stop motion lip syncing technique I’d developed. To keep costs down I made it a single character single location film.

I’ve always been a big fan of film noir, so wanted to get a shoulder of that across in the context of a British garden shed, with a comedy twist.

How was the film made?

The film is made in stop motion, with a full scale set. The main character puppet was experimental in design being entirely 3d printed. The head of the puppet had servos to control the lip and jaw movements. These were controlled with an arduino that connected via the serial interface to Adobe Animate where the lip syncing was pre-programmed.

There’s a bunch more info on the making of, on my site billywhiskers.co.uk

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