From Oakfiends to Ironmen

Premiered at FACT (17th July 2009)
Oakfield Day Service

Reviewed by Mari Jones

The Oakfield Day Service is a group in Liverpool that encourages people with learning difficulties to become involved with various courses and activities.

Jungle Jive was the first short animated film created by the group in 2004, which featured two brightly coloured figures dancing to jungle music. In 2008 the group then made a new animated film using similar techniques called From Oakfiends to Ironmen. The film tells the story of Dr. Who (as well as three new assistants), travelling through various points of time in Liverpool, from the docks in 1850 to Crosby beach in the present day, battling the Daleks and new enemies the Oakfiends along the way.

The processes used to make this animation are the same used in the group’s previous film, Jungle Jive, and although they are simple enough techniques, they are effective. The group took photos of the locations in Liverpool to be used in the film and then altered them with Adobe Photoshop. These pictures, as well as photos of the group who were going to be made into characters in the film, were then traced over to give them an animated feel.

Every member of the group helped in one way or another during the filmmaking process, which can be seen in a short documentary on the making of their piece. For example, although Marcel Musset created the ominous score accompanying the attack of the Daleks in the film, the group were recorded playing percussive instruments over Musset’s piece so they could all add their own individual touches.

Therefore although others helped the group with various technical aspects along the way, it is very much the group’s own film. This could certainly be felt at the recent premiere at FACT; from the excited atmosphere it was clear how proud the group was to finally see their finished piece on the big screen. Let’s hope that Oakfield Day Service carries on its good work and that we can see more films from this group in the future.

The short film can be viewed here:

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