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ANIMATION > Fly Got Your Tongue?

Fly Got Your Tongue? (2020)

A short animated stop motion film made for the Cardiff Quick Draw Challenge.

Once again, Cardiff Animation Nights released a 48 Hour Challenge for young animators and designers. The theme was: Regrowth. This time, I decided to collaborate with some animators, Tomas Jason Roberts, George Diakou and Georgia Didcote.


We met up on Discord, talked about what we specialise most in, discussed ideas and thoughts, and collaborated in making a short film entitled: 'Fly Got Your Tongue?'.


The final edit by Tomas Jason Roberts


Matthew Lee's blog:


On Friday at 8pm, the theme was announced: “regrowth”. The team and I met up on discord and we discussed our suggestions. Altogether, we came up with suggestions for reptilian growths, such as an anthropomorphic lizard growing a part of its body after a car accident - with a series of shenanigans it could get into (see below):

In the end, we decided to go with a lizard losing his tongue whilst eating flies. Whilst in discussion, I drew up a range of storyboard thumbnails which the team actually liked. Although other designs for the lizard were produced, our producer, George, suggested we use the design of the lizard from the thumbnails as our key design. Tomas, Georgia and George came up with character designs for the flies and fish.















Once we sorted out the final storyboard, we organised who would be animating which scene. I decided to take charge of the energetic scenes; i.e. the lizard's meltdown, the ending scene as well as some additional scenes.

Since everyone in the team mostly use Adobe Flash/ Animate as their animation software, I felt like I had to lecture myself into using the software, as I had never used it since my second year in university. I was expecting to struggle using the program as it had been complicated for my knowledge in the past. However, with help from the team, I actually managed to get on okay with the animating process.

The next step was to spend the majority of the first day focusing on the bigger scenes and wait to see what is the next step. Thankfully, I managed to get the scenes down on day 1. And the feedback given to me was highly positive because of the energy shown in the lizard's reaction done through hilarious pacing and squash-and-stretch key frames.

However, George was having major technical problems with his equipment. Because of this, we had to discuss which scenes had to be taken over by someone else and which scenes had to be removed to save time. I volunteered to help out with some additional scenes but had to make sure they did not have as much animation as in the scenes I already finished.

During my spare time, I managed to come up with some graphic designs for title cards. This gave me enough time to become wildly creative as I can with typography i.e. worms shaping "number of days later", a flower growing out of the ground to show "day 4" and even the title for the short film.

The rest of my time was merely sketching and animating whatever popped into my head that could become useful for the short film. For example, to make sure this film kept relating to our theme, I created a quick segment of the tongue growing back and a post credit scene of his tail growing back.

As of now, I had no idea how the film turned out as Tomas was our team leader, he was in charge of the editing. All I had to do was wait.... so I decided to have fun and make a small showreel of my work during this 48 Hour challenge.

Looking back, I actually seemed to enjoy working on this film a little bit more than my previous 48 Hour challenge film "Hole In One". It felt great to be part of a team in animation.  It was great to work on specific scenes and to be able to send over whatever I could come up with and to get feedback straight after it. It also gave me a better experience in Adobe Animate which I could work on again in the future.

I am really enjoying these challenges. I hope Cardiff Animation Nights keep this up. It is great to work on more small tasks as well as meet and work with new faces.

Lizard character sketches.jpg
Dr. Frog.jpg
Lizard Crash.jpg
Lizard character design sketches.jpg
Lizard's tongue early sketch.jpg
Storyboard sample.jpg
Chameleon character expressions
The Title Card and Poster.jpg

ReGrowth Showreel

To go alongside the film, I decided to create a showreel of my own work during the 48 hours.

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