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The Making of Liverpool

Vinny Lawrenson Woods on The Singh Twins' animated tale, The Making of Liverpool

Published on August 27th 2008.

The Making of Liverpool

Wirral-based artists and winners of Liverpool Art Prize ‘People's Prize’ 2008, The Singh Twins were at FACT on Monday to unveil their animated tale, The Making of Liverpool at the UK premier private view press launch screening, which included a Q&A and after launch party. Taking six months to create, this is the twins’ first animated feature and also their first collaborative work.

The films launch was supported by FACT and The University of Liverpool. Funded by the Arts Council England, the thirteen minutes short was written, produced and directed by the twins, narrated by Mark McGann, and animated by Liverpool-based Sparkle Media.

Commissioned in 2007, the birthday year painting ‘Liverpool 800: The Changing Face of Liverpool’ (below) was the inspiration for The Making of Liverpool. On permanent display at St Georges Hall’s new heritage centre, the painting is one of two commissions made by The Liverpool Culture Company, the other painting ‘Arts Matters'. 'The Pool of Life’ is housed at The Bluecoat Gallery throughout 2008.

Like the painting, the film is a journey through time charting events, people and places across Liverpool’s history but brought to life with animation and sound. Liverpool actor and director McGann overlays the action with a poem written especially for the film

before real footage of Liverpool is interwoven with animation to the Liverpool 08 anthem, competition runners up song ‘City with wings' written and performed by Steve Mason.

The film is visually stunning, intricate and technically superb, yet the themes don’t always match the visuals, lacking the subtlety and depth expected in a challenging piece of art and often appears secondary to their techniques, illustrated in The Partners In Crime piece shown in the film.

Yet Sisters Amrit and Rabindra Singh's exquisite eye for detail, gorgeous choice of colours and unique methods successfully transfers to the big screen bringing the history of Liverpool to life by blending eastern and western influences and techniques. Sparkle Media’s expertise with animation is obvious as this professionally finished film was flawless. The song was a good choice and worked well but the poem didn’t match the other elements of the film. Although narrated well by Mark McGann the prose was no more than explanatory and felt unoriginal and uninspired.

The poem aside, the film is a delight and a beautifully finished short film. The twins plan to take the film to the London Film Festival in October with more viewings to follow, so get to see it when you can as the lovely animated story is a joy to watch. Also stick around for the final scene. I won’t say too much but it includes King Kong, a Superlambanana and the Radio City Tower.

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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Lord StreetAugust 21st 2008.

You were there too, Mr. Dig?

DigAugust 21st 2008.

Was fortunate to see 'The making of Liverpool' prior to 'Of Time and the City' in The Phil on Tuesday. Thought them both excellent. Would love to get my hands on a copy of the song 'City with Wings'. Anybody got an idea where I can get a copy?

AdminAugust 21st 2008.

Thanks Anonymous - song title changed!

DigAugust 21st 2008.

Can you change something for me Admin? I want Radio City Tower changed to St.Johns Beacon. Goooo ooooon pleeeaaase. P.S there's some fantastic footage of Liverpool from 1897 on the BBC website. It's filmed on a hand wound camera by The Lumiere brothers. It's only short but well worth a watch.

AnonymousAugust 21st 2008.

I was at the premiere launch and really loved the film too - including the poem! Am looking forward to seeing it again when next shown in Liverpool.Also, just wanted to point out that Steve Mason's song used in the Singh Twin's animation is called 'City With Wings' and not 'City of Songs"

DigAugust 21st 2008.

I was. Strangely I noticed a man sitting across the aisle from myself and I thought that guy could be you! Honestly.

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