575 Wandsworth Road animation for National Trust. Televisual Magazine. By Jon Creamer.

Director Lizzie Oxby created this animation for the National Trust to introduce 575 Wandsworth Road, a unique piece of interior design, recently renovated by the Trust that will be open to the public from this month. The house contains extensive and extraordinary pine fretwork which began as a minor project to disguise an unsightly damp patch and then grew into a life-long 20-year project for the former owner, Khadambi Asalache.

About the making of the film by Lizzie Oxby

When I first visited the house it was extraordinary to see the hand-crafted, pine fretwork covering the entire home. It was a complete surprise having entered through an unassuming London street. It had a world of its own. I was fascinated to hear how the fretwork had begun its life. So I began designing the film to reflect how the interior evolved. It had started as a small project to cover up a damp patch and had grown to become a labour of love for its former owner, Khadambi Asalanche, covering the entire house. The house was in such a fragile state, nothing could be moved, so I photographed it in sections; the plaster, the floor, the woodwork and a small section of the damp patch which still existed in the basement.

There were also many details in the fretwork which referenced Swan Lake, one of Asalanche’s favourite ballets. I also had a shared interest in it having studied classical dance for a number of years. So I began storyboarding and choreographing the film tightly to the lively tone of the music. Beginning with the fretwork evolving from drips in ceiling and spreading to form the hallway, leading to the front door.

I then created the intricate fretwork using vector files, designing them in Illustrator and animating them in After Effects. Once completed, I passed it over to John Taylor, an After Effects artist who collaborated closely on the project in helping develop the technique and the look. He used the vectors as mattes for the photographic textures I’d shot back at the house. I’d also filmed details of real tree branches moving in the wind from my studio window, and John projected these onto the walls in the film.