Gritty Animation and Twisted Humor from Animator and Director Darcy Prendergast

Animator and Director, Darcy Prendergast mixes a gritty animated style with a twisted sense of humor to create his amazing and unique animations. Over his many young years, he has won a host of prizes and awards, most notably the 1999 Junior Stanley award, the $20,000 Nescafe Big Break prize, and most notably, being selected for the Annency Festival International du Film d`Animation and Stuttgarts Internationales Trickfilm.
All this and he is only 24.
Below you will find Darcys latest animation, Lucky- All India Radio, this film is what first brought him to our attention. Amazing.

Dee Pee Studios (Darcys Studio).
Darcy Prendergast on YouTube.
@deepeestudios.

Lucky- All India Radio

Lucky by All India Radio, is the viewable blood, sweat and tears of Australian based animation company ‘Dee Pee Studios‘ and Darcy Prendergast.
It involves a painstaking animation technique, whereby the team paints in the air with glow sticks, frame after to frame to create entire sequences of animation, usually taking a whole night to shoot. Sit back and enjoy this amazing video.

An “Interview” with Darcy Prendergast

When I originally asked Darcy for permission to use his “Lucky- All India Radio” video, and he consented, I asked him for a small bio about himself and his work. The only thing I had him for was a “small bio” about himeself and his work, and please, please don’t make it a “bog-standard” bio, show a little imagine. I should have known better than to ask for that!
He more than obliged, well certainly in the “bog-standardiness” side of things, below is what he sent me, a fictitious interview with himself by himself. Brilliant.

Darcy PrendergastAnonymous Interviewer:
From his humble beginnings drawing on the living room walls, to making clay penises to entertain mates in art class, today’s guest is said to be raised, not by the cliché wolf pack, but by stop motion cartoons. Traveling the globe in some of the world’s largest film festivals, he now owns and operates his animation company ‘Dee Pee Studios’ in Melbourne, Australia. Today’s guest is none other than Darcy Prendergast!

Darcy PrendergastDarcy Prendergast:
Why is your face shrouded in shadow and your voice modified to sound like Christian Bale in the Dark Knight?

Darcy PrendergastAnonymous Interviewer:
It’s to preserve my anonymity.

Darcy PrendergastDarcy Prendergast:
But you’re the interviewer… Shouldn’t I get the mysterious ‘cloak of darkness’ treatment? Pffftt…. Whatever. My mother taught me to never trust a man shrouded in shadow. Experience taught me never to trust Christian Bale.

Darcy PrendergastAnonymous Interviewer:
He owes you money too huh? Well, now that we’ve established common ground- You’re a stop motion animator! Did you make Waldo and Grommit?

Darcy PrendergastDarcy Prendergast:
You didn’t do you research did you?

Darcy PrendergastAnonymous Interviewer:
Jeez, it was just a joke… What about Ron the Zookeeper, Off the Rails, Repugnant, News, and Lucky?

Darcy PrendergastDarcy Prendergast:
The shadow hides the smug smile you’re undoubtedly wearing… Yes. I made all of those bad boys. Lucky being the most recent of those.

Darcy PrendergastAnonymous Interviewer:
I’m sure the folks playing along at home are as intrigued as I am on the shift in direction… I mean you’ve gone from creating adult comedy about a masturbating Grey Panda, to this… B…B…Beautiful, phew! There I said it! Beautiful non-narrative musical piece. How did you find the transition?

Darcy PrendergastDarcy Prendergast:
For me, there is no real transition. I’m a filmmaker, I’ve got things to say and tales to tell-I don’t look to pigeonhole myself to a particular niche. ‘Ron the Zookeeper’ was a darkly facile film about my father, who was a zookeeper for 28 years- and I went where that story lead me- I enjoy following the organic windings of projects.

Darcy PrendergastAnonymous Interviewer:
Can we talk a little bit about the process involved in the techniques creation perhaps? I want to learn how to pull a rabbit out of a… Frame?

Darcy PrendergastDarcy Prendergast:
Terrible, but regardless, you’ve opened the flood gates shadow man… Here comes the geek equivalent of Hades! So, as far as the creation of the images go, Lucky employs the same process you use when writing your name in the sky with sparklers. We set the camera to a long exposure, and paint images in the sky with torches, glow sticks or anything else that emits light. We repeat the process again, modifying it slightly from the previous frame to create an animated sequence…

Darcy PrendergastAnonymous Interviewer:
And what animated sequences! This stuff is rockin! What was your inspiration?

Darcy PrendergastDarcy Prendergast:
Your enthusiasm is making me equal parts dubious/ thirsty.

Darcy PrendergastAnonymous Interviewer:
Water?

Darcy PrendergastDarcy Prendergast:
Please. So, I’d be seeing quite a bit of ‘legal graffiti’ being done in this light painting technique, most of which coming out of Germany. I’d been watching a few of their show reels- photo montages thrown together in windows movie maker or some such program to a ‘I crave street cred’ hip hop sound track. They were by no means animated, but it got me thinking about the possibilities of stringing together images at a much higher frame rate. We began experimenting, and before long we were pushing the boundaries of the borderless, pumping out shots we never dreamt were possible.

Darcy PrendergastAnonymous Interviewer:
Then disaster struck didn’t it?

Darcy PrendergastDarcy Prendergast:
Sure did. I went out for one of those ‘make an appearance, get back to work’ functions and when I returned to the studio, the roller door was busted, and the tools I was planning on using for the next 5 years, were missing. I was 90% finished on the film prior to that break in. I lost the lot, and was forced to give up, or start over. Being the determined/ idiotic little fellow I am, I decided to start over, but by this time, the budget had dried up, and Winter had well and truly began in Australia. I spent the remaining money on thermals, gloves and beanies for anyone willing to help me out and started the process over again.

Darcy PrendergastAnonymous Interviewer:
That definitely classifies as disaster striking. Did you want to burn the faces of those thieving bastards with an oxy-acetylene kit?

Darcy PrendergastDarcy Prendergast:
I just got on with it really. Thankfully they’d failed to notice my camera, and I went out shooting in an intoxicated state a few nights later. It sounds strange, but in the end the robbery whilst being an experience I would not wish to repeat, was a blessing in disguise. The sequences we shot the second time around put the first attempts to shame. If only funding bodies/ investors knew of the benefits thieves can provide to productions… Donnie Darko 2 could have been a semi-mediocre film.

Darcy PrendergastAnonymous Interviewer:
I admire the dedication.

Darcy PrendergastDarcy Prendergast:
Admire my frost bite!

Darcy PrendergastAnonymous Interviewer:
Guess you couldn’t exactly shoot during the day given the nature of long exposure huh?

Darcy PrendergastDarcy Prendergast:
5 jackets couldn’t save me at 4am shadow man.

Darcy PrendergastAnonymous Interviewer:
Frost bite admired. Lucky as an accomplishment, admired. If I had the authority, I’d pin the animated equivalent of a purple heart to your chest.

Darcy PrendergastDarcy Prendergast:
I appreciate the thought.

Darcy PrendergastAnonymous Interviewer:
I could make you one out of macaroni and gold spray paint if you liked?

Darcy PrendergastDarcy Prendergast:
I’m going to get going now…

Darcy PrendergastAnonymous Interviewer:
Uh, oh… back to the animation front line eh? I’ll… I’ll call you for a postal address…???

Darcy PrendergastDarcy Prendergast:
…!!!

Darcy PrendergastAnonymous Interviewer:
So there you have it folks! Animation director, Darcy Prendergast! To check out more of his work: www.youtube.com/darcyprendergast or www.deepeestudios.com.
Anything else you’d like to add Dar… Darcy. Oh he has… isn’t.. here anymore. Tune in again sometime! I’m an anonymous Interviewer, wishing you a good night.

More Animation and Videos from Darcy Prendergast

Off The Rails
A short film about all the crazy people met on public transport.

Repugnant
A short film proving that hypocritical little green things can falll in love too.

More from Darcy

Dee Pee Studios (Darcys Studio).
Darcy Prendergast on YouTube.
@deepeestudios.

Author: (588 Posts)

Paul Andrew is the editor and founder of Speckyboy Design Magazine.

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