Princes in the Tower – animation for the Tower of London

(This was written ages ago before my shoulder went pop! Also! Sorry to be unprofessional for a brief moment, but… TL;DR version: if you even vaguely know me, you’ll know that when we got the email for this project, I literally shit all my bones and wondered if I had, in fact, died and gone to heaven.)

At the end of 2012, me, Paul and Emma were contacted by the Tower of London to make an animated short based around Edward V and Richard of York, aka. The Princes in the Tower. It was to be screened in the Bloody Tower, where they have the current display focusing around these two: possibly the Tower’s most notorious prisoners guests prisoners short-stay holiday makers prisoners young people, as part of a drive to increase the modernity of the Tower itself. We needed little introduction to this particular piece of history (*COUGHCOUGHCOUGH*) and met up with Tower staff to discuss the outcome and what they hoped to achieve, and what we could realistically produce. I’d like to take a second here and speak about how freakin’ awesome the Tower staff are. (They are super rad and we feel really lucky to have worked with them!)

For those who are not aware of the figures, here’s some info:

Edward V of England
Richard of York
Richard of Gloucester/Richard III of England
Edward IV of England
Elizabeth Woodville (I went briefly to Elizabeth Woodville Primary School in Leicester!)

Our initial idea involving life-sized, animated shadow-play had proved to be impossible due to the physical restrictions of the Bloody Tower, but we took with us the idea of using strong contrast for the final look of the piece. We also hoped that the use of stark red, black and white would avoid the piece looking very dated/aging too quickly, and also allow the animation to be as clear as possible over the texture of the interior of the Tower’s walls (textured like… well, a medieval wall), and the lighting situation (also medieval). We were not really able to use chunks of text or lots of dialogue as so many visitors to the Tower would not have English as their first language, so, it was up to us to try and make something engaging and informative and atmospheric just through pictures, focusing on the more modern aspect that the Tower is working through, making it creepy, keeping it ambiguous due to historical black holes, and so on, and so forth. It was a challenge, for sure, to make this all under 2 minutes. With that in mind, I wanted to try and aim for a sooooort of music video type thing, and took a lot of inspiration from anime openings/endings. We were also really happy that Ewan Parry was able to work with us on the Sound Design for the piece — we’ve worked with Ewan a few times before for various projects, and we’re good friends, and it’s always nice to work with friends!!!

So, obviously, Paul’s done a fair amount of animation before and is really good at it, whereas I have completely not done any and tried to learn as we went under his watchful eye! ^^; I wrote the story out and bashed out a few rough storyboards, and once everyone was happy with the idea, we moved onto making further rough storyboards, and basically just diving straight into developing the thing. Paul handled the 3D and the compositing, and helped out on the 2D. He used 3D StudioMax and AfterEffects, and I did the 2D in Photoshop.

Here’s the initial design Paul made early on as a basis for our style, when we were compiling our pitch for the Tower:

And here are some more designs I made when I started storyboarding:

It was quite refreshing to literally not have the scope to labour over any aspect of the drawings. I had to learn quickly that in order to achieve anything at all, you gotta just GO GO GO DO NOT STOP DO NOT COLLECT £200 KEEP GOING WHAT ARE YOU DOING DRAWING FINGERNAILS STOP THAT KEEP DRAWING. Despite that, the designs for the boys’ hair was too complex really, and the line-thickness issue continued being a bit of an issue, lol. Well, I learned!

Here’s some storyboards-to-final-frames examples:

Here’s the animatic:

One of the important things we built into the piece was the space and potential to expand a few scenes. The animation itself was quite experimental in terms of its actual use for the Tower, and we want to wait for visitor feedback before thinking of expanding it. I’m really hoping we can! I would love to expand on the bit where the boys are playing, maybe add detail to Richard of Gloucester’s short scene, add dialogue perhaps, add bits to the ending… just add detail to make it feel even more lively, really. We’re hoping it gets good feedback! If you’re around in London during the summer, you should totally pop along to the Tower and check it out! Thanks so much everyone who’s asked about how we’re going with this, and giving encouragement, especially when we weren’t able to say what it actually was we were working on. It meant a lot to us… I really hope anyone who gets the chance to see it, really likes it *^_^*

…and as that’s a bit of a tall order for some people, very kindly, HRP have let us show it on YouTube! Please watch it and enjoy it (and pretend it’s massive and in a medieval Tower)!

Here’s where I need to mention we made a lot of artistic liberties, but we felt we had strong reasons for the majority of these! We are very aware that Richard of York didn’t join Edward until like a month(?) later, after he’d gone to the Tower, but chose to skip over this bit due to a worry of confusing and over-lengthening the plot, and we wanted to focus specifically on the two boys, so that to us, at the time, meant introducing them in the same scene. We skipped over Earl Rivers and Grey’s executions for the same reasons. Apologies for these points. To be frank, there’s such little information about the boys’ stay in the Tower, and it’s often hard to discern what was contemporary source material and what was propaganda.

As a closing note, we had a total blast making this. The Princes in the Tower is one of my personal favourite history subjects/mysteries, and to get to do this was… well, what I wrote in the first paragraph, haha. I think when people get involved in historical fiction it’s easy to get really close to the figures, even if it’s just a tiny thing like making a single illustration, or doing a quick sketch… it brings them to life again suddenly, and brings them through the ages briefly, to exist along with everyone again. I do feel pretty close to these kids by now; it seems like every other year I get to work with them! ^_^ It does make me really sad that we’ll likely never know what happened to the two boys. The speculation about what occurred is fun and all, but at the same time, these were two young children who went missing, almost certainly for political reasons, and that’s really uncomfortable to think about. I do not believe the bones in the Westminster Urn belong to them. I wish we knew more. Every time I draw them or get into a project with them, I worry that I might be cheapening some aspect of their lives and role in history… I hope I’m not.

    • Mary
    • March 19th, 2015 5:23pm

    Thank you for this experience. I really appreciate the sensitivity of your last paragraph. I have been interested in the Prince in the Tower since I was 12 — over 50 years ago.

    • seo
    • July 2nd, 2021 11:03pm

    Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I’m impressed!
    Very useful information specifically the closing section :
    ) I take care of such info much. I used to be looking for this certain information for
    a very lengthy time. Thanks and best of luck. https://bumperword1.bloggersdelight.dk/2021/06/24/whatre-the-benefits-of-seo-services/

  1. Very nice article, totally what I was looking for. https://www.pedalroom.com/members/john000098

  2. hello!,I love your writing very so much! share we keep in touch more approximately your article on AOL?
    I require an expert in this house to resolve my problem.
    May be that is you! Taking a look forward to peer you. https://rpgmaker.net/users/john000098/

  3. Pretty component to content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to say that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog
    posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds or even I success you
    get entry to consistently quickly. https://answers.informer.com/user/John+Johnson

  4. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a
    really well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.
    I’ll definitely comeback. https://forums.ubisoft.com/member.php/6887269-lukkehidri

  5. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.

    Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how can we communicate? https://www.eater.com/users/lukkehidri

  6. I just like the valuable info you supply in your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and test once
    more right here regularly. I’m somewhat sure I will be informed many
    new stuff proper here! Good luck for the following! https://www.pearltrees.com/lukkehidri

  7. I’m curious to find out what blog platform you are using?

    I’m having some minor security problems with my
    latest website and I would like to find something more secure.
    Do you have any suggestions? http://recipes.mentaframework.org/user/profile/137995.page

  8. I’m not sure exactly why but this website is loading extremely slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists. https://demo.wowonder.com/1624953785956216_128433

  9. An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I do believe that you should write more about this topic, it may not be a taboo subject but typically people don’t talk about such issues.
    To the next! Cheers!! https://www.instapaper.com/p/elmass

  10. I all the time emailed this website post page to all my contacts, because if
    like to read it afterward my links will too. https://stackoverflow.com/users/story/16395598

  11. I will right away grasp your rss as I can’t to find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service.

    Do you’ve any? Please let me realize in order that I may just subscribe.
    Thanks. http://www.sdmnapoli.it/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=1064856

  12. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this
    write-up plus the rest of the site is very good. https://ashniece1.werite.net/post/2021/07/06/How-do-I-get-a-PUBG-gift-card

  13. Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board
    and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I
    hope to give something back and aid others like you helped me. http://sledui.net/index.php?qa=user&qa_1=mosqueeight83

  14. My spouse and I stumbled over here different web address and thought I may as well check
    things out. I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to finding out about your web page yet again. https://postheaven.net/maplejumbo5/free-pugger-id-widgets

  15. I will immediately snatch your rss as I can’t in finding your
    e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have
    any? Please allow me recognise so that I could subscribe.
    Thanks. https://wacowla.com/chineseclassifieds/author/ronaldocelot19/

  16. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the
    video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence
    on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read? https://gitlab.pagedmedia.org/poisonfang68

    • pbu
    • July 15th, 2021 11:22am

    Thanks for the marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you will be a
    great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back someday.

    I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great job, have
    a nice evening! https://writeablog.net/ashsecond1/free-pugger-id-widgets

  17. I got this web site from my pal who informed me regarding this site and at the moment this time I am visiting this web page
    and reading very informative articles at this time. https://visual.ly/users/littledamsgaard240/portfolio

  18. I for all time emailed this weblog post page to all my contacts,
    because if like to read it afterward my friends will too. https://pubgwidgetsnew.substack.com/

    • pbu
    • July 24th, 2021 8:19pm

    Your style is so unique compared to other people I have read
    stuff from. Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this site. https://nimbusweb.me/s/share/5812734/u6pzo40ma6u643wy0mda

  19. Fine facts Thanks!
    Earnest (Earnest) https://xn--90aefkdasphcbqze0c.xn--p1ai/user/IrtrevIone/

  20. You said it really well.
    Virgilio
    https://americandental.ru/ – Ashely, https://americandental.ru/

  21. Роскомнадзор может приостановить работу официального сайта,
    чтобы это не случилось существует доступное
    зеркало казино pegas 21 всегда работает для вас.

    Оно является полной копией главного сайта за
    исключением имени. Рабочее зеркало в любой момент можно найти через поиск.

    pegas21 casino
    https://pegas21-7biml.icu https://pegas21-fgyvt.icu

  22. Thanks, I appreciate this!
    porno move
    porno photos http://www.occl.ca/

  23. This is my forst time pay a visit at here and i am ctually pleassant to read all at one place.

    https://streetchallenge.ru/
    https://streetchallenge.ru/https://streetchallenge.ru/, https://streetchallenge.ru/

  24. You can play each single one of our free slots with no download and no registration on each desktop,
    mobile and pill.

  25. High quality supplements help you build the body of your dreams.
    If you wish nothing but the best for your silhouette and health, be sure to get steroids from the Balkan pharmaceuticals.
    Balkan Pharmaceuticals is one of the largest manufacturers of quality goods.
    In our store, there are only original items obtained directly from the industry.

    Popular Supplements: Steroids, Fat-Burners, Post-Cycle
    Therapy (PCT), Combined Course and others.
    http://newport-beach-wolf-repair.com
    Repairing an air conditioner is not the easiest thing to do.

    https://ruud-ac-installation-repair.com https://san-francisco-air-control.com

  26. I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internt viewers, its really
    really pleasant piece of writing on building up new weblog.

    https://comprarcialis5mg.org/it/comprare-spedra-avanafil-senza-ricetta-online/
    viagra ciaois levitra spedra https://comprarcialis5mg.org/it/comprare-spedra-avanafil-senza-ricetta-online/