ONES TO WATCH

SIRI MELCHIOR

The work of this month's rising stars ranges from some enchanting animation to a quirky coupling of graphics with film

Siri Melchior, recently signed to Passion Pictures, is already carving out a name for herself thanks to her exquisite, naive art-style animation. An animator and designer by trade, Danish born Melchior was shortlisted as one of this year's BAFTA nominees in the short film and animation category.

Her film, 'The Dog Who Was a Cat Inside', was commissioned by Channel 4 last year as part of the MOMI Artist in Residence animation scheme. A mixture of hand-painted, drawn animation and 3D computer animation, the film resembles a classic children's storybook come alive. Melchior animated the dog/cat character by hand which was then painted and scanned.

"The film is based on an illustration I did for the Danish proverb, 'don't judge a dog by its fur,'" explains Melchior. The difference between these two animals came to represent inner conflict, and the story is about learning to live with that difference, she says.

Melchior studied art history at the University of Copenhagen followed by a course in graphic design at the Danish Design School. She came to the UK in 1998 to study animation at the Royal College of Art.

Her graduation film 'Passport' won prizes at Ottawa and Stuttgart animation festivals. At Passion Pictures, Melchior has directed a Christmas ident for the Disney Channel and commercials for Lego.

TREVOR CLARENCE

South African Trevor Clarence is a twentysomething director with a razor sharp ability to capture comic and performance-led work. A man of many talents, he started out as a stand-up comic performing alongside Eddie Izzard. He has already written successful short films, directed sitcom pilots and music videos, and directed over 40 commercials since graduating from film school 18 months ago.

Currently represented by Gatehouse Films internationally, Clarence recently shot two spots in Cape Town for a new chocolate bar called Cadbury's Dream, as well as a new promotional campaign for Coca-Cola. One exciting recent project was to create a fresh new series of spots for MTV. Although he was commissioned to make 10 spots, he ended up delivering 29 because they were so popular. Clarence is currently shooting a campaign for the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use, aimed at underage teenagers. Can he can handle a grave script as deftly as he can a comic one? Watch this space.

NEIL CARTER

A Graphics graduate from the Chelsea School of Art turned director, Carter's strength lies in his ability to convert his complex, graphic-layered images into stylish film footage, lending everything he's shot to date a distinctively textural mood.

His effects are achieved by merging stills photos with film, and then treating the footage: for example, sticking lumps of paper into the gate of the telecine.

After art school, Carter trained in print design and moved on to experiment in broadcast design. He left the UK for New York to build up his visual repertoire. He has made ads for Nike and believes his directing style is suited to sports brands.

Given a choice, though, Carter wants to work on music promos. He favours an open brief at such an early stage of his career, to give his ideas a chance to develop. "Some people like working with a strong structure in mind, but I'm an ideas man and think it's important to be paid for what you're best at," he says.

Carter is currently freelancing for MTV and is seeking representation for his reel. He is in conversation with London based production companies for the coming year.

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