Dance of The Corn Dollies – 1 min Stop Frame Animation

I made ‘Dance of The Corn Dollies’ when I recently applied for a role as creative content/self shooter with a video branding company.  I wanted my application to stand out among the many hundreds of CVs that they would receive so I created something visual to support this. The idea came about because I always wanted to make a live action/animation featuring corn dollies with a theme of the English Pastoral the maypole on the village green, an English Albion in animation. The characters were made from sugar paste and added twigs to the corn dolly characters. I filmed with Panasonic DVC 30 and the SAM stop motion software with a playback (animation plays back) of 10.2 frames per second although the frames are jerky I felt this speed worked the best.

My job application was unsuccessful but I will be creating another stop motion with a similar theme in time for St. George’s Day using a more pliable clay dough material.  In the meantime here is ‘Dance of The Corn Dollies’ with a royalty free soundtrack ‘The Forest and The Trees” by Kevin MacLeod.

Jennifer Farfort

The Rise – Reed Film Entry 2014

‘The Rise’ is/was an entry into the Reed Film competition with the theme of family business.  I created a film about my Dad making artisan bread, his constant attention to detail and quest for the perfect rise in the dough.  I wanted to create a sound/visual commentary film similar to the documentaries by the English Documentary Filmmaker Humphrey Jennings. jennings-bbc

Talking ‘Filth’ & film with Novelist, Director & Screenwriter – Irvine Welsh


In 1993 Irvine Welsh’s début novel ‘Trainspotting’ was unleashed into the public’s consciousness. The interlinking short stories of heroin addicts living, and existing in a late 1980s Edinburgh seared into the retina. Garnering praise, and contempt in equal measure, Trainspotting, and ultimately Irvine WelshImage were to the novel what Sex Pistols were to a crumbly, and stale 1970s British music industry, attracting a sharp, neon outrage from critics and the literary establishment alike.

As we fast forward to 2013. ‘Filth’ Welsh’s 1998 novel about a detective sergeant Bruce Robertson is released in the Autumn.        Image

Via email I posed some questions to Irvine Welsh such as, film directing, the casting of ‘Filth’, and why it took so long getting it on-screen.

Hello Irvine Welsh,

Let’s talk Filth.   The novel came out in 1998, and the film is due out in the autumn of this year.  I take it, it hasn’t been easy getting it funded.

It never is with independent movies. With Filth, Dean Cavanagh had done a very good script which was bought by Miramax/Hal, then the European operation of Harvey Weinstein. However, the companies split in two and there was a dispute between them over who owned the rights, which put the project back in limbo. When it went back to me, there were various other producers and directors involved, all who wanted to do their own adaptation, but they were nowhere near the standard of Dean’s. Then Jon Baird, whom I met through my friend Cass Pennant (Jon had done Cass’s autobiography as his first film) took over the project. He did a great screenplay and got me involved as a producer.


How involved were you with casting the film?

Jon’s game plan was to finance the film through Hollywood contacts. We were both repped by CAA and they did a great job packaging it financially and putting together casting suggestions. We were assisted by Janet Hirchenson and Jane Jenkins, who are the doyens of Hollywood casting agents. So I was pretty involved, Jon wanted me with him to speak to the potential actors, to see how they got the characters.

Bruce Robertson isn’t even a anti-hero.  Yet he is strangely sympathetic. Do you think that it’s still important to have sympathetic characters, someone who the audience still has a certain empathy with.Image

Yes, especially in cinema. You really need an actor people strongly relate to play Bruce. It’s not enough to make people laugh or disgust and shock them, you need to break their hearts too.

Will the tapeworm be a CGI effect or will it be more realistic than that?

I’m keeping quiet about the tapeworm, as he isn’t as prominent as he is in the book, but he’s in there.

You’re quoted as saying ‘Filth’ is the best British film since ‘Trainspotting’  Some people might agree with you…some might disagree, but still that’s a pretty bold statement to make.

I believe that it might even be a better film than Trainspotting. There is an element of mischief in this, on my part, of wanting to start the debate, but a lot of people are going to be seriously shocked by how good and moving a film it is.

How did you get involved with directing music videos?  It doesn’t seem like an easy transition to make from writing novels, and then directing a promo.  Who was the first person to let you near a camera, and say please can you direct our video?

It was the band Gene, who got me to do the ‘Is It Over’ single from the Libertine album. I hit it off with Martin Rossiter and Steve Mason from the band, who are excellent guys and wanted me involved. I worked on some more, with Primal Scream and Keane. They are great fun to do, and I’ve been asked to do more, but it’s all about time.

With the success of your novels you can do pretty much what you want.  Have you been tempted to go back to making short films without time, or financial restraints?  Something spare that could be shot in 8 hours or less.

I’ve got more involved in cinema, and I’m doing a low-budget feature next year. There are always time and financial restraints in any collaborative activity like filmmaking.

What’s healthier. Scottish cinema or UK cinema?

All filmmaking, be it in Scotland or the rest of the UK, is pretty much a cottage industry. One of the great things about working in Hollywood on film and TV projects, is that the whole thing is taken more seriously. When you look at the resources they have, Scotland, England, Wales and, especially Northern Ireland, punch massively above their weight in cinema.

I spoke to someone who makes documentaries, and works in the film industry. They said there is money, but it’s in the wrong hands.  How do you see this?

When was that not the case? It’s been a huge challenge to get as much of the money dedicated to cinema up on the screen as is possible. Whether the structure in the UK is right to deliver this not, I can’t really say as I’ve been out the scene for so long. But there are still great films coming out of UK/Ireland.

You’ve got a strong working relationship with the screenwriter Dean Cavanagh, and now Jon Baird. When it comes to co-writing, or even co-directing a feature or tv film. What is it that attracts you to that person?

Well, you always need to choose your collaborators carefully. Both these guys are close friends and they are very passionate about cinema, art and life in general. You can’t afford to be around people who are pompous and take themselves too seriously, it doesn’t make for good collaboration.

You live part of the time in Miami, and your next novel takes place there. I’ve never been to Miami, but I imagine Michael Mann imagery, and frenetic phone conversations in a departure lounge. At night I would imagine fast, flickering neon MTV images.  There’s a lot of imagery to absorb.  Do you listen out for dialogue, or are the images just as important?

You try to tune into both. Miami is an extraordinary visual place, because of the light, tropical foliage and the art deco architecture. That’s why so many artists and photographers are based there.

Regardless of people’s views on America there can be no doubt about a landscape that is cinematic in scope. It’s Ansel Adams black and white photograph ‘Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico.’

It’s Edward Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks’ the 1942 painting

imagesthat could be a scene from an old gangster movie starring Jimmy Cagney or Edward G Robinson. Grant Wood’s ‘American Gothic’

Grant_DeVolson_Wood_-_American_Gothicis the 1930s melodrama set in the heartland of the midwest.

The American novelist James Robert Baker captured film and pop culture imagery with ‘Boy Wonder’ ‘Fuel Injected Dreams’ and ‘Tim and Pete’.  Have you read any of his novels? 

I haven’t read any James Robert Baker. Maybe I should try!

Sorry just one more thing.  I know it’s not a question of sorts but Antonia Bird..


Yes, she’s a close friend of mine. Would love to work with her again.

Best Wishes


Miniature – Tiny screenplay – Draft 2


Mini screen pictures a production company that makes programmes for smart phones and tablets recently held a competition to find a winning script to be produced and directed and uploaded onto mobile technology.  I entered the competition with a revised script of Miniature.


I like the idea which seems very fresh, but not really sure I understand it fully in terms of getting my head round the set up.  But that’s possibly cause I’m not very good at reading scripts – I find it hard to picture.  Was there a particular brief associated with this?  – My sister.

The brief was to write an original script (no more than 10 minutes) in one of these genres – drama, supernatural crime thriller or comedy.



Jennifer Farfort




o/s male voice:  Next

DAVID an eighteen year old boy smokes a cigarette. He wears a baseball cap, body-warmer, grey sweat shirt and matching tracksuit bottoms.

o/s male voice voice: Thank you. Mandy has your details. 

A group of young people in garish costumes walk out of the main entrance towards the car park.

David watches them.

A girl dances and twirls ahead of her friends.  Her exaggerated movements cause laughter amongst her friends.


David looks on while blowing smoke rings.

Stubbing out his cigarette he slips quietly back inside the hall.


The hall is sparse and medium sized.  Orange curtains drape the sides of the stage.  Stage lights shine brightly.

Cut to

A man in his late 50s called STEVEN and two girls who are of similar age to David seated away from the stage. They are in charge of the auditions.

Cut to

BRIAN a man in his late 50s standing near the back of the hall.  He wears a three piece suit, and a Crombie overcoat.  He looks over to David.


Everything ok David.


All clear Brian.

Cut to

Steven who is rubbing his eyes






Cut to

Brian as he looks to the side of the stage. He nods his head.


A group of males, and females in their early to mid twenties hurl onto the stage as if they have been suddenly pushed.

We can hear the sounds of their low, heavy panting breath.

Cut to

CARLA who is seated next to Steven.  She has bobbed, brunette hair.  She is drawing in a sketch book

STEVEN(looking at the group)

And you are the ..erm

(He scrabbles desperately at his notes.)

oh um I’m afraid i’ve mislaid your name

(He looks at them for an answer then looks over to Carla. She is drawing a doodle of the dancers.)

Carla.  What’s their name?

(She shakes her head, and shows him her drawing then passes it to SARAH who is sitting on the other side of Steven.  Sarah is looking at the ends of her long hair.)

The notebook depicts gangly arms and legs.

o/s music

 An unidentified tinny Broadway tune kicks in and crackles around the hall.


Oh ..ok well let’s carry on then.

The dancers faces look waxen as they stare back at him with fear and confusion.

We’re ready.  We do have other people to see.(sing song irritated voice)

The dancers start to dance and sway slowly.

Steven crosses his arms and looks unimpressed.

Cut to

Dancer’s feet as they start to tap dance a bit faster before picking up speed.

Cut to

Carla as she draws faster with each movement of the dancers legs. She adds bulging eyes to their scrawled, scared faces.

Steven peers over at her drawing and back to the dancers.

Cut to 

Their legs as they start to soar into a big high-kicking number.

Impressed he makes notes.

Panic is etched on the dancers faces.

Cut to


(misty eyed)

Wonderful just wonderful…’s coming together. I knew it would. What do ya think David?.

Cut to

Sarah as she watches Brian.


(angry hushed tones)

David. Come back..You’re not ready yet.


I’m ready now


Get back ere.

David walks down the side of the hall towards the side of the stage.

Sarah watches him as he goes past.  They both look at each other.

He goes behind the curtain.

Cut to

The back of the stage.

We see a long rod hooked and threaded through the dancer’s costumes.

It is coiled tightly along their backs holding them all together.

As we go along the stage we see IAN.  He is also eighteen.  He has sandy blonde hair and has the look of determination in his face.

Ian manipulates the rod twisting, and turning it making the dancers move in time.

Sounds of their tap dancing feet gets louder and heavier.

David also starts to hold onto the rod.


Oi gerroff. Leave it ya prick. GERROFF.


It’s better like this….see.  Look it’s better

They start to struggle with the rod.

Brian said I’m ready.



David moves the rod too fast. They jostle losing control of the rhythm

Cut to

Dancers moving erratically.  Their bodies nearly flip over themselves like floppy, weak rag dolls.

Cut to

Ian and David shoving each other whilst trying to control the dancers.


You Cockend you’ve ruined it.

David lets it go.

Cut to

A whirling dervish of dancers reel about the stage.

Cut to

Steven, Carla and Sarah transfixed.


I think we need to stop the music.

(The music is still playing.)


Cut to

One of the male dancers


(pleading eyes)


Another dancer joins him


(sad eyes)


The dancers try to struggle free.


Helppppppp ussssss…helpppppp  usssss

Their pleas reverberate around the hall.  The music plays on.

Steven puts his hands around his ears.

Cut to 

Sarah watching the door close as Brian vanishes out of the hall.


(hands on ears)

I can’t hear myself think..STOP THE MUSIC

The music stops suddenly.

Cut to 

David and Ian pulling the rod sharply.

The dancers still pleading tumble in one fast motion from the stage into an open box which slams shut.

Cut to

Black screen

o/s:  Car door slam. Exhaust.


A wad of cotton wool and a glass bottle of amber liquid rests on a table.

Cut to

Brian’s eyes peering into the box from earlier.  We see glimpses of quilted purple lining.

Ian is eating peanuts.


(his back to Ian and David he is still looking in the box)

There’s no room for mistakes in show business.  Don’t let it happen again.

(Closing the box. He faces both of them.)

Every turn, every move has to be on the dime.  We….They nearly had the audience in the palm of their hand


(David sheepishly hands him the rod.)


Next time just watch Ian. He learnt from the best. (he grips David’s shoulder) Your time will come soon enough.  Ain’t that right Ian.


(talking with his mouthful)


Brian sits down with his back to both of them.  He opens up a large sketchbook.


See you tomorrow boys.  Bright and early.

(Brian looks at rough sketches of costume designs.)


Rows of parked cars.  People mill about talking.

Cut to

Close up

Reflections in car rearview mirror of dancers costumes as they head towards the hall.

Brian roughly sketches designs of their costumes in his book.

Ian and David are pissing about.  David throws a peanut at Ian’s head.  Ian tries to give him a dead arm.





Cut it out you two.  We’re got business to attend to.

o/s.  The faint sounds of kicking from inside a box.

Miniature – Tiny Screenplay – Draft 1


This script was from an idea I had about three years ago.  The screenplay was conceived as a miniature film where everything opens suddenly and ends quite suddenly. I wanted the effect of a fast opening shot where everything comes tumbling into view.

A mixed dance troupe of males, and females in their early to mid twenties enter the stage in a rushed and hurried manner. 

I wanted it to be shot, and  screened on a mobile phone the smaller technology the better.    

The film is live action, animation or any medium you want it to be.

 Logline: A man tries to mould the perfect dance troupe that will take centre stage.

Feedback so far:

‘It’s quite harrowing. Is it supposed to be’ – Work Colleague

‘It’s strange.  What’s it about’  – My Dad



Jennifer Farfort



offscreen voice:  Next

A mixed dance troupe of males, and females in their early to mid twenties enter the stage in a rushed and hurried manner.

They hurl forward to the front of the stage.

Their breath is low and heavy.

Waxen faces show fear and confusion.

Seated facing them are a middle-aged man and two younger women.  They watch them tentatively.

One of the younger women draws a crude doodle of the troupe in her notebook depicting them as intertwined arms, legs and hair.

The man secretly looks at her doodle and back at the troupe.


And you are the …erm..

He scrabbles quickly at his notes.

offscreen music.

 An unidentified tinny Broadway tune kicks. It crackles around the hall.

The man and women glance at each other.

The dancers start to move very slowly before soaring into a high-kicking number.

Their legs are co-ordinated in a near perfect unison.

Panic etched on their faces.

The man makes notes.  The young women hands her doodle to her friend.  Her friend adds bulging eyes to their scrawled faces.

Standing discreetly near the hall door Brian a man in his late 50s watches them. He is wearing a three-piece suit, and a Crombie overcoat.

(sidenote:  I always imagined him to look like the late actor Tom Bell. _42167896_bell_bbc203

Cut to

The back of the stage.

A long rod is hooked and threaded in the dancer’s costumes.

It is coiled tightly along their backs holding them together.

As we go along the stage, and out of curtain range we see Ian an 18 year old boy.

He manipulates the rod twisting, and turning it making the dancers move in time.

David a 15 year old boy watches nearby.

Eager he also starts to turn the rod.

IAN (angry hushed tones)

Leave takes time.  You’re not ready.  Leave it I said. Gerroff.


It’s better like this….see

He moves the rod too fast.  Both boys jostle with each other, and in turn lose control of the rhythm

The dancers start to move in an erratic motion.

Their bodies flip over.


Gerroff ..Cockend

The dancers appear like a whirling dervish.

Both girls doodle frantically in their notebooks.

The middle aged man makes notes.

The boys continue to shove each other.

Panic is etched in the dancers faces.  They reel about on the stage.

A dancers eyes search for an escape.

A male dancer calls out.



He yells again. His plea echoes around the hall



The other dancers start to call out.



Brian makes a quick exit out of the hall.

The man stands up and the two girls have stopped doodling.


We’ve seen eno………

The dancers are pulled in one fast motion from the stage.

They tumble into an open box.

The box slams shut.

Black screen

Car door slam



A wad of cotton wool and a glass bottle of amber liquid rests on a table.

Brian is peering into the box.

Ian watches him.


(his back to Ian and David still looking in box)

There’s no room for mistakes in this business.

Closing the box. He turns to David

Every turn has to be on the dime.  We….They nearly had them in the palm of their hand


David sheepishly hands him the rod.


offscreen. the faint sounds of kicking from inside the box.

Christina Beck (Writer, Actress, Producer & Director) – Interview


‘Perfection’ has been quite a journey a 2 1/2 year one, to be exact.  How did it come together?

It’s actually a longer journey than that but it did take us 2 1/2 to finish principal photography. After the script was nominated for Best Screenplay by The IFP Independent Film Projects in New York which is a wonderful resource for first time directors, my producer Annette Murphy and I had several meetings with production companies that all liked the project but no one was willing to actually show us the money so we decided to just start shooting with whatever resources we had on the weekends. We were very lucky to put together an amazing and talented cast and crew who all showed up for the love of this project, we were very rich in that way. The IFP came on board again as we were involved in their rough cut labs and I was awarded The Adrienne Shelly female directing grant which helped finish our principle photography.

What responses have you had from self-injury groups, and people who have had extensive cosmetic surgery)?

Early on at one of our fundraiser’s in Los Angeles, Dr. Tonja Krautter a therapist who specializes with self harm and recovery from other self destructive disorders was very kind to come and speak about the behavior. She donated her time, resources and even wrote us a check at one point and finally when the film was finished and we screened at The San Francisco International Women’s film festival Tonja came along with  four of her collages and not only did they enjoy the film, they felt like it touched on many complicated issues that can only be beneficial for all audiences to see.

I didn’t find the self harming scenes particularly graphic.  Was that intentional?

That’s interesting? a lot of people have been very uncomfortable with the one scene where Kristabelle is cutting on camera and of course it is fake.  I was not interested in glamorizing or minimizing the behavior, I wanted to be truthful and after that one scene people get the point, if they want more than maybe it’s a slasher movie they rather be watching? That’s not what this is.

When I  saw the mirror scene the first thing that came to mind was ‘Georges Franju’s ‘Eyes Without a Face’   I’ve never seen the full film, 14_bbut I’ve seen clips.  Yet the mirror imagery conjured up that film.  The main character Christiane is horribly disfigured in a car accident, and she has to wear a mask to cover up her disfigurement while her father who is a doctor tries to restore her features, by grafting the skin of young beautiful women onto his daughter’s face, only for the new tissue to be rejected, and she has to keep wearing this mask. In Perfection Kristabelle’s face in that moment seems disembodied, a face transplanted and grafted onto a mirror whilst walking across the room. Have you seen the film? It has it’s own themes of youth, beauty and perfection.

No, I have not seen the film but it sounds interesting.

Did the film give you chance to portray a different side of Los Angeles, one that is rarely seen in cinema?

(for example a change from the film noir/transient/waitress/actress waiting to be discovered)

As I am from Los Angeles I often think about how many people come to LA to create their “idea” of who they want to be. It has that freedom in a strange way but for me, it is a place of many mixed memories and I guess that’s the beauty of filmmaking in that this is one of my perceptions that I got to capture for a moment, well, 85 mins.

The interior shots appear quite claustrophobic, it really highlights their living space and the tightly bound relationship of Sally and Kristabelle.

Absolutely! I tend to do this with my writing, I put characters on top of each other and make them fight for their space.

The Mother Sally  (played by Robyn Peterson) has a certain ‘faded old Hollywood glamour’  Is she based on anyone you’ve encountered whilst living, and working in Los Angeles or even in New York?

Besides my own mother, yes! They are everywhere with amazing stories and sadly dying off too soon.

Why did you make the Simon character (played by British Actor David Melville) a British Stand up comedian? p10205821

I based Simon on a wonderful British man living in Los Angeles who is one of the funniest people I know. Also, it just really worked in terms of who could realistically “get” Kristabelle? He would have to have his own demons but a silly sweetness for her to feel safe.

The Damned feature in the soundtrack.  Were they a big musical influence whilst growing up?

When I was a teenager I was in Love with Dave Vanian, the lead singer and really just loved their music so much that when it became time to figure out what Kristabelle liked it was a no brainer. Captain Sensible, the guitar player of The Damned came to our screening in Los Angeles, they happened to be on tour and he showed up at The Egyptian Theatre to come see the film. 2011   It was such an honor to meet him, the sweetest man and we took tons of pictures with him, such a good sport!

Apart from money.  When making their first feature. What are the most important things that a Director needs?

A story they feel passionate enough about that they will do anything to see it realized even if it takes 5 to 10 years! I was very lucky in that I was gifted with so much starting with my cast, crew and everyone person I came in contact with felt my passion and honestly wanted to see me archive this goal. People really do want to be a part of something that is creative and we had a lot of fun in the process. Post was another story, not as fun but again, people came out of the woodwork to help and I was incredibly fortunate.

You said in the question and answer session that you’re not a feminist as you don’t like labels, but you have many feminist beliefs.  Do you find that distributors, and programmers have their own ideas of how to market your film, and target a demographic of who should see it.  That has to be a hindrance in terms of finding a wider audience.

I honestly do not know how distributors and programmers see Perfection? The festivals we were accepted in only expressed their interest by accepting the film or not. In Mississippi where we won Best Narrative feature, the jury wrote a beautiful statement about my vision and talents of the entire production which of course felt great and with our distribution that is yet to be seen. I think finding an audience is not necessarily the problem, we have had nothing but positive feedback everywhere we have screened it’s a lot of other factors, especially in the states as “independent” films are not what they used to be and it’s all about being the flavor of the month/festival year. That is not our story but after accepting a lot of rejection I am happy to say that i made the film I wanted to make and very grateful to everyone involved.

What’s next for Perfection in terms of screenings, and release dates?

As I mentioned, we do not have distribution yet but will be having another screening in London on the 25th of February at The Sanctum Soho Hotel.

And Algerian Tap dancing muggers???

Yes, I am writing to you now from Paris where my next project, Expecting Grace is set. It is a dark romantic comedy in development.

Perfection movie trailer

Notes from a Question & Answer Session – Rio Cinema, London.

Christina remarked that the film timeframe of the 1990s was important due to it being pre internet that’s why Kristabelle is not part of an online community where she meets other sufferers.  She is adrift apart from one other sufferer she meets in rehab.

People don’t talk about self harmers – 9 times it is childhood abuse, and 10 times sexual abuse.

‘Perfection was made as independently as you see.  Continuity was a challenge, she lost some of her crew and everyone worked for free.

On making the film ‘I came too far to go back’

Christina doesn’t label herself a feminist as she doesn’t label herself anything but has many feminist beliefs.

‘Perfection’ is still looking for a distribution and video on demand deal.

Don’t let money stop you doing what you want to do.

images (5)

Perfection – Film Review


Although it’s not remarkable to see someone walking onscreen, ‘Perfection’ is set in Los Angeles, a city of cars and freeways. Yet this LA appears more intimate and unthreatening the sunlight and its exteriors appear filtered as if filmed through a gauzy haze as Kristabelle (Christina Beck) walks, navigating her way around the neighbourhood a striking figure with pronounced blonde bangs, clad in large sweaters, and black brogues.

A home life shared with her glamorous Mother Sally (Robyn Peterson) images (1)their environment is defined by their addictions, Kristabelle with freshly, bloodied scars on her upper thighs, self harms her way to feeling alive whilst Sally addicted to plastic surgery tries to maintain a younger, Hollywood aesthetic. At times each thrive on past nostalgia connected with their old lives and younger selves that relies on a currency, an emphasis associated with youth and desire “Oh Tony looked so handsome then’ remarks Sally whilst watching old westerns starring her husband and Kristabelle’s punk rock adolescence remembered through the eyes of a younger man, the brother of an old images (2)childhood friend.  The original posters of ‘The Damned’ ageless images are still tacked on her bedroom wall.

Director/Writer: Christina Beck  images

Producers: Tatiana Kelly, Annette Murphy

Co Producers: Beth Dewey, Robert Poswall

Director of Photography: Robert Poswall

Editor: Katy Skjering

Composer: Marika Tjelios

Cast: Christina Beck, Robyn Peterson, David Melville, Jeff Kober, Jackson Davis and Jamela Biggs.

Best Narrative Feature – Oxford Film Festival, Mississipi, USA

Best Actor – Christina Beck

Information about the film can be found here

Slice – the short film version of the feature ‘Perfection’  can be viewed on youtube: