Marina Organ:

This family of fish here, beyond astonishing. Thank you so much for the tales and looking after each other.

Going to take a break because working calls but I guess I should leave a tale too. More about the way Tim’s creative force oozed out through my life.

As a lot of you know, I did an animation based on ‘It’s A Lovely Day’, started back when I was in first year of art college. We had various assignments given, sometimes in groups- the very first one I did was a collab with a sweet nerdy guy who loved traditional animation and left early on. One choice was ‘childhood’ which enabled me to go bwahaha, kids drawings like in the Cardiacs Book (bought for 50p at the Marquee). I was no longer paired up with another student and the degree was all about self-motivation and experimenting so I just cranked on with it.

Fast forward a year, driven entirely by the music and I’d actually finished a three minutes animation in my first year – unheard of. Part of this was down to the gear – a newfangled Video Line Tester.
To shoot each painting, you stuck it under a camera, pressed a button, and the video tape would wind back ten seconds. Then it would start playing, get up to speed, and BEEP the picture was magically added. The special thing about this was that you kept the sound on, you could tweak how you counted the frames on the fly and make it all sync up. Revolutionary apparently.

This meant that everyone else in the studio got to hear ‘It’s A Lovely Day’ over and over again in ten second increments. Imagine that.

I was thrilled that Tim loved the manic end result, and amazed when the Head of Department slipped the finished filum into a competition. There’s a whole another bizarre story about why it accidentally only became runner up and should have won but let’s save that.

Fast forward (imagine the sound) twenty years or so. I’m trying to get a new animation job and I turn up with my portfolio and show reels at a certain studio in Islington. I walk into a room where a dozen people are hunched silently over light boxes, drawing. At least half are fellow students from back in the day! Turns out the boss is out so I sit down at a monitor with the second in command, who is a brusque and grumpy bloke. I’m starting to think i don’t want to work there.

We watch my reel of work on adverts and kids TV, and he says nothing. Behind him all the other animators are watching. Into the silence I say brightly “I’ve got this other short, it won an award – it’s not really your house style but do you want to see it?”

“Hmmph, all right. ”

The sound of Its A Lovely Day fills the room.


The old animator opens his mouth and takes a deep breath.

” I… HATED that”.

I can see two rows of animators behind them with their mouths open.

By this time I couldn’t care less so I say “oh interesting! What didn’t you like? The music? ”
“EVERYTHING.. The music.. The animation – everything! I… HATE… IT”

The look on the faces of all the others is one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. Trying not to laugh I gather my tapes and go and grumpy bloke goes back to his studio. As I leave, one of my old co-students grabs my arm and they all say how great it is to see me.

Best of all “oh Marina, it was wonderful to hear that again. Its like being back in college. Ignore him, he’s awful. I hated it back then but I LOVED hearing it just now! Are they still going?”
Naturally I didn’t get the job thank goodness

Thank you Tim because that drive to make that filum put me in loads of other studios and I’d never have finished it without that 15/8 manic riff.

Postscript: that nerdy guy who I worked with who left? I just worked out recently that it was he who went on to become Head of Animation at Disney. Lol.

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