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Isobel Wilson

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'Based on a true story, ‘The Goldfish Club’ follows the journey my grandfather, John Wilson took with his crew during World War 2. In the early hours of the 20th January 1945 somewhere over the Adriatic Sea, the Wellington Bomber that 19-year-old John was piloting, caught on fire. John made the difficult decision to ditch the plane and have his crew try to escape to a rescue dinghy. They are tested to their emotional and physical limits during the next 71 hours as they try to survive injuries, the brutal winter cold and the loss of their dear friend in the crash

The name of the film comes from the real-life association which my Grandad and his crew became life-long members of once they were rescued. It honours people whose aircraft crashed in the water, and whose lives were saved by a life jacket, inflatable dinghy, or similar device.

'The Goldfish Club' is an experimental journey into the minds and bodies of those directly affected by war and how people come to cope under extreme stress. 

The film was created by mixing 2D digital animation with charcoal and oil-on-glass techniques to create a unique hybrid of colours and textures. An underlying theme in all my animated work is that of isolating spaces and natural landscapes and how they shape not only themselves but also the characters placed in them.'

Awards: 'The Friends of Edinburgh University Visual Art' award 2020


Adam Lock

8/10/2020, 4:32:16 PM

The ink concept art is absolutely fantastic, it shows the peril and the elemental forces in play beautifully. I'm a sucker for black and white art so I think the minimal use of colour is great and really highlights the important narrative elements where it is used.
I loved the sharp breathing sounds in the trailer, they created a wonderful sense of pace and tension alongside the music. I also really liked seeing the eclectic mixed media approach to the animation, it definitely displayed a lot of skill in many different areas. The title seems to encompass the story perfectly, to me it says that comradery/friendship between your grandad and his crew was the most important aspect that got them through it. My Grandad was a tailgunner during WW2 when he was only 19 as well and had a similar story where his plane went down over france and he and his crew had to escape on foot, so this animation definitely resonates with me.

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