I Hope You Like Croissants

We’ve made a new film. It’s called Croissant. It’s very silly. It stars Tom Reid (Gregory is a Dancer) and John-Henry Falle (The Story Beast). Here’s a teaser.

Croissant Teaser from Dice Productions on Vimeo.

The full short sketch will be released shortly. Follow us on Twitter @diceproductions in the meantime.

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Man In A Cat Wins Two More Awards

Moonrise Film Festival winner

We’ve had a lovely surprise today as our short film All Consuming Love (Man in a Cat) has won two awards at The Moonrise Film Festival in Canada. It won Best International Short Film and the Audience Choice Best Animation. Thanks Moonrise!

It’s particularly pleasing as Man in a Cat was our first commissioned film and it’s been a good while since it last appeared at a festival. It’s nice to see the film is still be doing the rounds and collecting accolades.

You can see the other winners and follow the Moonrise Film Festival on Facebook.

If you haven’t seen the film before, it stars Kevin Eldon, Josie Long and Isabel Fay and you can watch it on Vimeo below:

All Consuming Love (Man In A Cat) from Dice Productions on Vimeo.

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New Showreels and a Revamp

After finishing DuckManBoy, and other projects we can’t chat about yet, we thought it was time to finally make a showreel. It’s also been about 5 years since starting production on Man In A Cat. Since then we’ve created stuff for Channel 4, Nickelodeon, BBC Comedy and Oxfam, and worked with some amazing people in the process.

That was fun. Everything is with Italian 60’s Pop.

It’s also been 6 years since my last freelance animation reel, so it’s nice finally showing off what I’ve done for other people between our Dice work. More Italian 60’s Pop:

We’ve also got a new website design and silly Dice ident to suit us better. We’ve always had an awkward relationship with the formality of ‘Dice Productions’. It’s like an embarrassing band name that’s too late to shake off. So, instead of starting again we’re styling it out with a silly rubbery neck, yellow paint, and a slide whistle.

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Skwigly Advent Calendar

We’ve had Ross Butter in the studio for the last few weeks animating on DuckManBoy. As he was leaving we collaborated on a heart (and lung) warming Christmassy GIF for Skwigly Magazine’s Advent CalendarI think it was the first time I’ve ever jammed on the same scene with someone. It’s nice having a little idea and then just piling things on top of it without worrying about the consequences.

Don’t worry Rudolph. Santa will need his oxygen mask… any… second… now…

Also, here’s Ross looking like he just invented Christmas.
Ross Butter

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Gregory is a Dancer to screen at LOCO 2015


Fun news! Gregory is a Dancer will be screening at the BFI for LOCO London Comedy Film Festival 2015.

The screening is at 16:10 on Saturday 24th January in NFT3 at The British Film Institute Southbank in Comedy Film Showcase One.

LOCO is one of our favourite festivals. We won the inaugural short film prize with Man in a Cat, judged the shorts competition the following year, and screened Don’t Fear Death there last year. Now Gregory gets his chance to shine at the BFI.

It’s always a great time at LOCO and we always wish we could see more than we do. Come along! Check out the rest of the programme here.


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We’re doing a Q&A at University of Worcester

Louis and I will be doing a talk and panel at University of Worcester this Sunday 16th November. We’ll be showing some films, chatting and answering questions about animation and how we work as Dice Productions. Joining us will be friend and bearded wonder Steven Spencer of Nice Monster.

The talk is 11am-1pm on Sunday 16 November at The Chapel CHG012 & CHG014, City Campus, Worcester.


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Introducing the cast of Duckmanboy

As you may or may not know, we’re making a new short film for Nickelodeon called Duckmanboy. And as with most short films, we need a cast. And now we can reveal it.

Please be introduced to Rasmus Hardiker as Dwayne, John-Henry Falle as Sir Richard Battenburger, and Mike Wozniak as Neil (flanked by Louis and me).

DuckManBoy Cast


Dwayne – Rasmus Hardiker

DwayneRasmus Hardiker plays Dwayne, our naive, gung-ho, half-duck wannabe hero.

Rasmus is an actor and voice artist that has appeared in many sitcoms and animations. You might recognise him as Steve Coogan’s sidekick in Saxondale, or from his roles in sitcoms Lead Balloon, The Wrong Door and Funland (which I think is criminally overlooked). Rasmus is also an established voice talent and is soon to be appearing as not one, but two of the Traceys in the rebooted Thunderbirds Are Go series.

As a bonus, Rasmus is from our neck of the woods. He’s a Birmingham lad and it’s nice to have more Brummies portraying half man, half duck superheroes.

NeilNeil – Mike Wozniak

Mike Wozniak plays Neil, an uptight half duck accountant and reluctant sidekick and older brother to Dwayne.

Mike is a stand-up comedian and actor. He was nominated for the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2013 for his live solo show. He is also a regular cast member of Channel 4 sitcom Man Down with Greg Davies and the late Rik Mayall. Mike has appeared with another former Dice collaborator Kevin Eldon in his BBC2 sketch show It’s Kevin.

He is often seen sporting a glorious moustache.

Sir Richard Battenburger – John-Henry Falle

JoBattenburgerhn-Henry Falle plays Sir Richard Battenburger, the kindly, revered TV naturalist with a dark secret.

John-Henry is an actor and comedian who is one quarter of sketch group The Beta Males and 100% of The Story Beast, a character in the thrall of mythology and lore. We first met John-Henry at London Comedy Film Festival in 2013 when we as judges selected his film Womble in the top 3.

John-Henry has been seen in The Boy With Tape On His Face’s comedy pilot and is soon to feature in Bill, the Horrible Histories feature film. We urge his casting in many other things. He’s very good and a lovely chap.

The Process

And now, for anyone interested in the process of animation or filmmaking, I thought I’d talk about how we go about casting for a comedy short. It’s one of the most fun parts of the process for us alongside the voice recording itself.

We tend to start the casting process with quite specific ideas of people we know or have seen live or on TV. Recommendations also help from people in the biz.  Often, we’ve written the parts with people (or voices) in mind so that gives us a strong starting point.

When it comes to choosing people to audition it’s all about the voice and the character. Name, popularity, and look don’t come into it. If they’ve got the right voice and the comedy chops to interpret the script then they’re the right person for the role.

We particularly like working with comedians. We’ve been lucky to work with some great alternative comedy talent so far (Mayall, Eldon, Long, etc). Comedians have a natural sense of timing and can add to the performance in ways that some voice artists cannot. That’s not to say pro voice artists aren’t good. We’ve worked with some great ones and their versatility and range is the thing that marks them out as special. For this project, we thought comedians and comic actors were the way forward.

So after some head scratching and research we held the auditions at Nickelodeon’s London HQ and we saw some very talented people. We gave a 20 minute slot to each performer in the Spongebob room and did a recorded read-through of the script, with Louis and I filling in the other parts. It’s a testament to the skill of the actors to react to our terrible line-readings and fluffs.

We give a small amount of direction in auditions, but mainly want to see the performer’s interpretation of the material and their energy. Animation often requires quite big vocal performances and sometimes it can be difficult, even for actors, to break out of their shell and go nuts. Cartoons are often big, vivid worlds, so the voices and performances often have to be too. In this case, we wanted to mix big and wild, with some understatement and restraint.

After the audition we took the tapes away and listened to the takes, combined with the self-taped auditions that were sent to us by performers that couldn’t make it on the day.

Following some deliberation and thinking about the characters we had difficult decisions to make.  In the end we decided on our core cast of three based on their unique angle on the voices. The voices we’ve ended up with aren’t exactly what we initially thought, but that’s fine. We go into casting hoping to be surprised. Sometimes you can’t prescribe a voice to someone, you just have to hear it and decide from there if it fits the bill (duck pun intended).

Once the formalities of contracts and fees are sorted it’s onto the voice recording which hopefully I’ll talk a little bit about in another post. We’re really happy with our cast and the performances we’ve captured, and all that feeds into the next stage of production. Onwards!

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Come to the Dots & Loops animation night in Birmingham

Dots & Loops animation Birmingham

Birmingham’s Flatpack Film Festival is returning to its roots by putting on a night of animation screenings this Wednesday 15 October from 7pm at The Oobleck, Custard Factory, Digbeth.

The event will feature guest animators Peter Millard and Ben Cady. The night will also be attended by local animators Brothers McLeod, Nice Monster, Yamination, Second Home and us, Dice Productions.

Come along to say hello, have a drink, and watch some great animated films.

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We’re making a short for Nickelodeon

Louis and I are extremely pleased and excited to be able to say that we’ve been commissioned to make an animated comedy short for Nickelodeon!

Dice Productions Nickelodeon Animated ShortsNick took over 600 pitches from around the world for the Nickelodeon Animated Shorts Program 2014 and we’re in the top 8, so we are very proud to be part of the tiny selection of international shorts to be produced.

The shorts will air on Nickelodeon as well as on all Nickelodeon platforms, and will also be considered for long-form development. Louis will be directing and animating and I will be writing and producing.

Here’s the first image of our short DuckManBoy…


The new short commission comes after our recent shorts Don’t Fear Death and Gregory is a Dancer which we wrote, directed and produced for Channel 4. You can watch them on our videos page. It’s our fourth original film commission alongside a whole host of other projects.

The announcement was made by Nickelodeon at Cartoon Forum. Here’s the news at Variety, Kidscreen and Animation World Network so you know it’s legit.

To keep up to date with our progress, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our Vimeo and YouTube channels.

Let’s make this thing!


Vote for Gregory in the British Comedy Awards

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 09.46.18
Gregory is a Dancer needs your votes! It has been selected in a long list of online comedies for a shot at a mega-prestigious British Comedy Award. It’s a straight popularity contest, so all you have to do is click this link  and hit vote below the video.

We’d quite like to be patronised by Jonathan Ross, so it’s for a very good cause. We won’t be spamming people with this as it is unseemly and ungentlemanly, but you can go nuts and spread it far and wide. That’s fine. Thanks!

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