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Matchsticks spark student animator film idea

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Jake creates zombie matchstick men

An animation student from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is hoping to light up the industry with a quirky piece of work featuring zombie matchstick men.

Jake Blakeston used the humble matchstick as the inspiration for a three minute stop-motion animation which sees wondering matchstick characters turn into zombies and turn against each other as they catch on fire.

The 22-year-old said he came up with the unusual idea for his final year project because he had seen numerous zombie movies and wanted to do something different with the genre.

“There are a lot of zombie films around but nothing quite like this. I also liked the idea of the matchstick characters moving quickly whilst on fire and then slowing down when they are burnt out and I think a zombie style animation lends itself to that.”

Jake made eight models and built a ‘matchstick world’ film set including a large Cook’s Matches box for his short film which he began working on last September. 

There are a lot of zombie films around but nothing quite like this. I also liked the idea of the matchstick characters moving quickly whilst on fire and then slowing down when they are burnt out and I think a zombie style animation lends itself to that.

He said: “It’s been a time consuming process but it was worth it. I really enjoy animating using stop motion as it’s less computer work and much more physical so you really see the animation come together. I did have to add the fire and explosions post production which was quite fun.”

Jake is now planning to complete a Masters in animation with a long-term goal of becoming a freelance animator. He is also waiting to hear if he has been nominated for a coveted Royal Television Society Student Award.

View Jake’s Matchstick Zombies animation on YouTube 

Lyndsey Boardman | 24 June 2016