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john harmer Archives - Trunk | Animation Production Company



In Press

By Pip

Trunk has created a charming short for Cisco systems Inc.

On 23, Jan 2018 | In Press | By Pip

Armed with scalpels, scissors, crazy glue, building blocks, straws, and card Trunk has created decades of office technology in a matter of days for their latest short.

Technology giant Cisco has a wide range of services that can benefit small businesses. Yet, when your name alone can be daunting due to your scale, explaining how your secure networking, telecommunications and cloud security can help a business grow is a challenge. So how do you connect to small and medium businesses when you are one of the world’s largest tech firms? The answer was provided by MRM Meteorite and delivered by Trunk animation.

MRM chose to explain the tech giant’s services by telling the story of a company’s growth around the setting of a desk, something very relatable to all of us, as it seems we spend 90% of the time sitting in front of one! This warm approach also needed an animation style that was equally engaging and what better medium than using beautifully hand crafted miniature models. Having seen the work created by Trunk for the Paediatric Brain Tumour Foundation MRM meteorite bought them in to realise their vision.

The shorts action centres on an office desk, lovingly made by retired boat builder Dave Perrin, which evolves over the decades as new technology comes and goes. We see a typewriter replaced with a series of computers, then phones and fax machines flick through different models, and even the staff in the company photos grow over time. In total nearly a hundred props were made by Trunk’s 3D model makers, Jock Mooney, Layla Atkinson, John Harmer and Adrian Leak as well as brilliant intern Stephanie Martin. Layla designed the whole set to spin as each period of time changed, so as the business grows, we get a fleeting glimpse of the buildings outside, before re-entering in a new decade, driving the story on.

DOP maestro Pete Ellmore beautifully lit the tiny set to ensure that all the textures and personality of the props were captured. He also altered the lighting over the shoot, bathing the set in morning, afternoon and evening light to reiterate that passing of time. Animator John Harmer painstakingly moved and replaced each element to create the fantastic time-lapse effect, whilst Rok Predin built additional CG elements to weave in alongside the hand built models. Overall the piece has a wide range of textures and materials, which reflect Layla’s short film ‘Aftermath’, and which allows the film to have a sense of place, and a relatable feel.


Composer Ivan Arnold built on the theme of ‘retro to contemporary’, by composing a track that in a way feels timeless, with a mix of acoustic and electric guitar, and a driving bass, it really drives the narrative forward. The formidable Barnaby Templer and Chris Swain @ Fonic created the sound design, and Lorraine Hodgson beautifully voiced the narrative.

Producer Richard Barnett says of the short “We pushed the boat out on this project, looking to achieve that hand made feel that gives the warmth of the narrative, balanced with a high end production value that reflects the sophisticated nature of Cisco’s products. With a turnaround of just 5 weeks from start to finish, it meant that everyone had to pull together and really work hard. We had such amazing support from everyone working on the project from, crew, to agency, to client. That really makes the difference!’

The short will be used by Cisco on their small business homepage, showcasing their solutions and promotions dedicated to small business customers.

Click below for press coverage :-

3D total

Eye on design

Lester banks



Source creatives




Credits :-

Director- Layla Atkinson
Producer- Richard Barnett
DOP- Pete Ellmore
Animation- John Harmer, Layla Atkinson
Art Department- Dave Perrin, Jock Mooney, John Harmer, Layla Atkinson, Adrian Leak, Stephanie Martin
CG and Compositing- Rok Predin, Pete Mellor
Gaffer: Jonathan Yates
Motion Control- Max Halstead
Composer- Ivan Arnold
Sound Design and Mix- Barnaby Templer, Chris Swaine @ Fonic
Lighting: Panalux
Motion Control Rig: Clapham Rd Studios
Senior Account Director- Chris Willocks
Agency- MRM Meteorite
Client- CISCO Systems Inc

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In news / blog

By Layla


On 09, Oct 2017 | In news / blog | By Layla

After three weeks it’s getting a bit awkward waiting for that RASCAL John Harmer to wash his palette

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In news / blog

By Layla

Shirley Collins at Rough Trade

On 08, Nov 2016 | In news / blog | By Layla

Last night we got to meet the wonderful Shirley Collins at an event on East London. She was interviewed on stage then performed a few songs. She was amazing, thanks for a magical evening Shirley.


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In news / blog

By Layla

How We Made Pretty Polly

On 28, Oct 2016 | In news / blog | By Layla

Get an exclusive, glamorous, behind-the-scenes glimpse of how we made Pretty Polly. It’s a look back on an incredibly craft-centred few summer weeks. Keep an eye out for our lovely studio dog, our shorts, our army of helpers and our paint-splattered studio.

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In news / blog

By Layla

Cardboard, puppets, 16mm film, what’s not to like?

On 14, Oct 2016 | In news / blog | By Layla

Finally we can show you the fruits of our craft-based labours this summer. It’s the music video for folk legend Shirley Collins’ new single “Pretty Polly”. The album “Lodestar” marks the return of Shirley Collins after a break of 38 years. The video is the result of hundreds of hours of painting, drawing, inking, cutting, problem-solving and idea-wrangling. Shot on 16mm film this was lovingly created and directed by Layla Atkinson with enormous help and collaboration from the marvellous John Harmer and Jock Mooney with further support from Richard Barnett, Rebecca Manley, Garry Rutter, Pete Ellmore and a cast of thousands. A big “cheers” to everyone involved.

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In Press

By Pip

Trunk Animation has been getting behind AT&T’s #itcanwait campaign

On 04, Nov 2014 | In Press | By Pip

Trunk Animation has been getting behind AT&T’s #itcanwait campaign.
The rise of accidents caused by texting whilst driving is something AT&T is committed to eradicating. They started a nationwide campaign in 2010 to educate the public, especially teenagers, of the dangers of texting whilst driving. In 2013 with the successful advocacy of the campaign AT&T de branded from #itcanwait as it moved into social media. Using celebrities, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social platforms they are raising awareness of the dangers of texting and driving by promoting the #X hashtag. Asking people to send a #X before they drive to pause a text conversation.
UNIT9 worked with Trunk Animation to create sixteen humorous gifs as part of the #itcanwait campaign. These along with the craziest text they ever received from a friend can be posted on social media to create a unique meme.
The scripts, design and direction of the gifs were by Michael Sugarman at UNIT9 based in London and New York. Richard at Trunk states, “ It was the first time Trunk had worked with UNIT9 and we certainly welcomed the opportunity to work on such an interesting interactive web based project something that UNIT9 have a well deserved reputation for”
Each of the gifs had to work with the four tag lines that the user chooses when creating their meme. They were ‘It Can Wait’, ‘Practice Safe Text’, ’Don’t Be Textperate’ and ‘Oh Cell No’. Naturally a selection of cat and dog gifs was included as social media would be lost without them.
Layla at Trunk notes “ Creating sixteen gifs over six days with the director based in New York would of seemed a challenge but having worked on storychangers, when we had to animate 40 stories over 3 days, it was a challenge we felt we would be up to. All the gifs started with images from a stock library. We cut out the parts that were to move, pivoting them like the joints on a shadow puppet, and then had to re-construct the cut out areas. We also created the backgrounds and colourised many of the black and white images. Even though the gifs were only 2 seconds long it sometimes took over twenty adaptations before Michael and myself were happy with the results. My favourite gif is of the women bashing a suitor with a book that perfectly chimes with the tag line “Oh Cell No”.

Click below for press coverage:-

Animation World Network

Little Black Book


Creative Director- Michael Sugarman
Agency Producer- Pierre Trocchu
Animation Producer-Richard Barnett
Animation Director- Layla Atkinson
Animation- John Harmer, Leona Hrvatska, Lesley Dart
Artworking- Jock Mooney
Compositing- Steven Azancot
Client- UNIT9

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