This is Where We Live

2009 sees the 25th anniversary of 4th Estate’s publishing.
In the summer of 2008, 4th Estate asked my company, Apt Studio, to create ’something stunning’ that would help them celebrate this anniversary, as well as celebrating books and their own ground-breaking, international, literary agenda.

We pitched a crazy, beautiful, and ambitious 3-minute animation to 4th Estate’s managing director, John Bond, and marketing director Ben Hurd. The animation would take place in a city made – literally – out of books, and we would pass through the city like a bird flying down the streets, witnessing scenes from these books taking place in lots of different districts over the course of an afternoon, evening and early morning.

Each district would loosely represent part of their publishing programme – from ‘Museum District’ made up of non-fiction, to the ‘edgy fiction’ part of town (Soho and the red light district) to the European cafe district in the early morning referencing work in translation.

All of the buildings and people would be made out of books, and the pages of those books, influenced in part by artists Thomas Allen and Su Blackwell.
For an added twist, the animation would feature only 4th Estate titles, and be shot ‘stop motion‘ – like Morph – at 15 frames per second. At three minutes long, that means we would have to set up and shoot 180 x 15 = 2700 separate photographs…

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