Artists can choose from a variety of mediums to tell a story. Vibrant colors, when mixed with the chaos of ambiguously-drawn lines and darker shades, can be used to show uncomfortable truths hidden in plain sight. Marcus Armitage deftly uses art as a vessel for the stories he wants to share.
An animator and filmmaker from Yorkshire with an MA in animation from the Royal College of Art (RCA), Marcus makes films about change in modern Britain. He uses painting, drawing and mixed media to show transformation in his animated worlds. His stories focus on how characters adapt to the change.
Darker topics juxtapose mundane scenes in a number of films by Marcus Armitage. He uses various techniques to highlight British sociopolitical issues.
My Dad (2014)
Marcus Armitage’s most well-known film, My Dad, shows a Dad’s influence on the life of a young boy. According to Marcus, the father’s judgmental character mixed with the boy’s fondness to his dad are a toxic mix. Highlighting current immigration issues and youth influence, this film served as Armitage’s graduation film from the RCA.
Among other awards and nominations, My Dad received the Graduation Cristal award at Annecy International 2015, the UWE New European Talent Award at Encounters 2015 and the Best British Film at the 2014 London International Animation Festival.
Credits for My Dad
Directed/written/animated by Marcus Armitage
Additional Animation by Jonathan Long, Diana Gradinaru and Noriko Ishibe
Voice by Divian Ladwa divianladwa.co.uk/
Sound Design Laura Jane Stacey
Sound Mix by Mike Wyled
©Royal College of Art 2014
Supported by the Nat Cohen Scholarship
Another brilliant film by Marcus Armitage, S.O.C.O uses daily life as a plot device. A nameless Scene Of Crime Officer (S.O.C.O) tries to go through her routines while she’s plagued by the memories of her work. This film was inspired by Armitage’s own father who is a crime scene investigator.
Using only black and white, Armitage seamlessly switches between the two worlds of the main character. The main character’s home changes into the scene of a crime. A tidy hallway becomes a dark corridor with smashed picture frames. Semblances of security and comfort become dimly-lit places of uncertainty.
With the help of Diana Gradinaru, Armitage created the short film in two months using Photoshop. This film was made for the Stop Play Record scheme together with ICA and Kingston University.
Over Dinner (2013)
Over Dinner tells the story of a family’s last dinner before the son heads out to join the Army. Similar to SOCO, the comfort provided by a house’s four walls gives way to the reality of military service. Marcus Armitage produced oil-on-glass animation during his first year at the RCA.
Over Dinner received an honorable mention at the Adobe Design Achievement Awards 2014. The film also received screenings at Encounters 2014, The Smalls 2014, and IFF St. Petersburg 2014. Vimeo also selected the animation as its Staff Pick.