Skwigly Online Animation Magazine Advanced Search

Billy Whiskers: The Mystery of the Misplaced Trowel

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


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

Interesting interview with @Roos_Mattaar about working with armature in animation, with links to some of her beauti…
Twitter buttons
SEC Animation
Interview with stop-motion artist Roos Mattaar
Twitter buttons
Anna Mattaar
Story runs in the family! Have a look at this handy overview of pretty much every amazing stop motion thing my sist…
Twitter buttons

Advanced Search & Filter


Find articles by a specific writer