Q+A with Dotty's puppet-maker Joshua Flynn
Back in 2017, on the train back from Manchester Animation Festival, we talked about our own festival and having a festival mascot, a little hand-made thing that could embody our spirit and be used in workshops for kids and in marketing and all our dreams. Well, as luck would have it, Josh Flynn is on our Festival Team! Together we drew up ideas for our very own puppet. Here she is, in all her pink, round, happy glory! May we present: DOTTY!
We couldn’t reveal Dotty without asking Josh a few words about his process. Josh is honestly the coolest and he’s so modest it’s slightly sickening. Read on for our brief interview: // Dotty is the goddamn best and she was created by the best person ever Josh Flynn. Josh, can you tell us who you are and what do you do and where do you do it? I'm a sculptor and puppet fabricator specialising in the stop-motion industry for feature films and commercials. I'm from Cardiff which is also where I studied BA Animation at the University of Glamorgan (now the University of South Wales). After graduating in 2011, I've been fortunate to have worked on a number of productions across the UK including Tim Burton's 'Frankenweenie', 'Chuck Steel' and Wes Anderson's 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' and 'Isle of Dogs'. // How did you make Dotty? That's a difficult thing to answer since Dotty is a real person, of course. If I were to try making a Dotty I might use a selection of the finest Egyptian cottons, steamed, stitched and formed around the dome of a hat makers block. On a budget, I might also use a polystyrene ball and some charity shop t-shirts. // Do you envisage the movement of a character when you set out to create them? When you posed her, you gave her so much character, she seems so innocently overjoyed! How do you see her being animated?? For Dotty I had some excellent inspiration from Dani Abram's animated CAF logo and Tom Lucas' amazing festival posters. The bouncing ball is an exercise all animators come across when learning the basic principles of animation so it seems fitting that our mascot embodies that ball in a way. Dotty is an orb of energy, perpetually excited for what the festival has in store. Dotty will be animated by the amazing animator, Laura Tofarides. With Laura at the helm you're guaranteed something really special so I can't wait to see how she brings Dotty to life. // What are you most looking forward to at Cardiff Animation Festival? I'm excited to see Early Man again and the Q&A. I've got my fingers crossed that Merlin Crossingham might bring some of the puppets, they're beautiful, it would be great to see one in person. I'm also excited to see the short film collections, I've had a sneak peak and they're looking incredible! // Where can people see your work? You can see my work on my website www.sculpt-double.co.uk I post on Twitter and Instagram @Sculptdouble. I'll also be talking about my work on 'Isle of Dogs' at the festival. If anyone has any questions I'll do my best to answer them. // Why ARE you so cool? I think you're on your own there Dani.