Anne Wilkins is based in Warrington in the North West of England, and works out of a home studio space with her business partner Emily Howells. They both graduated from Kingston University with a BA in Illustration and Animation in 2007.
Projects tend to be for small companies and individuals, sometimes working directly with advertising agencies and production companies. She has also undertaken some longer full-time contracts for television, continuing to produce smaller projects for clients on evenings and weekends.
In partnership, Anne and Emily share the workload, from pitching to post production and she appreciates being able to share ideas and the workload with another creative.
Their film Spin Spun Span, an interpretation of the history of the cotton industry in Bolton, is in the collection Bolton Museum and Archives and A film about Poo, made for the Golden Poo Awards, won several awards, including the Golden Poo Awards, New York International Children’s Film Festival and BFI Future Film Festival.
STATE OF PLAY
From the success of Spin, Spun, Span and A Film about Poo, Anne and Emily have won pitches and have had people approach them, as the films show the versatility of their artistic practice for different projects. They have since made a film for Relate, and an anti-smoking film for schools.
Hum, an experimental short animated film, was supported by North West Vision & Media, and they received valuable mentoring from producers at Cornerhouse and Mackinnon & Saunders.
Anne and Emily also took part in FilmWorks 2012, a ‘networked’ professional development programme, with workshop sessions on pitching, budgets and distribution. It was an interesting experience for them both, but Anne felt it was more focused on development support for live action filmmakers who wanted to make features. They were nevertheless inspired to use the time and structure to develop their fourth short film, which is now in pre-production.
“Try to do lots of different projects with different people.”
“I started as a runner in a post house, in a production company and at the BBC. It helped me to get an overview of how different elements of a production worked. It helped me when I struck out on my own.”
“Don’t give up. You have to do unpaid work to meet people. If you stick at it eventually things start to work out. It’s quite a slog, but if you love it, like I do, it’s worth sticking it out.”
“Trying to budget for the FilmWorks scheme was a bit tricky. As apart from the music and sound design, we do almost everything else on the production ourselves. It was hard with budgeting to think of all the jobs you do on a project as an independent animator.”
Image: Emily Howells & Anne Wilkins, Spin Spun Span (2010)