As part of the English Riviera Film Festival’s extended exploration of all things film, animator and poet Jamie Harry Scrutton will perform at the Blue Walnut cafe. We caught up with him to ask some serious questions about whimsy
D&CFilm: How did you get the idea to combine projections of your stop motion animation with your live recitals?
Jamie Harry Scrutton: Having a live recital of my Animations was a concept that my Auntie suggested to me.
Audiences at the open mic events which I perform at, knew of me as a poet and not as an animator, whereas showcasing my animations on the film circuit, they knew of me as both, a film maker and animator. So marrying the two artistic forms together allowed me to present both mediums as an interesting perspective of myself as an artist.
My first event of my live animation recital, was back in September 2017 at a Torquay spoken word event called Stanza Extravaganza, which inspired me to continue with this, at specific events.
D&CFilm: As well as the animations of your own whimisical anecdotes, you’ve animated a poem about Grenfell. What is it about stop motion animation that can cover such wide subject matter?
Jamie Harry Scrutton: The reason behind Grenfell, was to immerse myself out of my comfort zone, and really involve myself within such a heartfelt, tragic incident, that allowed me to challenge my practice with a political message and giving justice to Grenfell and the victims.
Daren Peary was the poet behind the piece. He has seen my previous work. Daren decided to approach me, to see if I could adapt his narrative in to an artistic interpretation which would resonate and speak out to the abominable government which govern us.
I was a little skeptical at the beginning due to the nature of the Spoken Word, but I wanted to show our support and love for the spirits and survivors, involved in such a catastrophic event.
D&CFilm: Where do you get your inspiration from? Creatively, who do you admire?
Jamie Harry Scrutton: I see Pam Ayres as an inspiration for my whimsical anecdotes. Her take on observational life, allowed me to examine the everyday world we live in and adapt humorous stories in to my own wittyful way. My family are the predominant characters which I base the poems on.
D&CFilm: A quick scroll down your Twitter feed shows how widely you travel. What’s life like as a touring poet and what’s the creative landscape like ‘out there’?
Jamie Harry Scrutton: I love travelling about! Especially to various open mic and film festivals. I am in the process of distributing my work to different fresh audiences.
The creative landscape is an interesting scope, as it allows me to travel on this journey and connecting with artists and creatives alike.
The journeys are stories and life experiences which I religiously write down in my Journal. My Journal is full of writings of the events I have screened or performed at, amongst other material.
I am yearning to screen outside the United Kingdom. I have submitted my animations to festivals in Berlin.
D&CFilm: Whimsy is a serious matter. What do you want people to take from your performances?
Jamie Harry Scrutton: Whimsy is an extremely important focal materially. It is the only form that my voice fits with. A very serious political poem wouldn’t suit my voice, as it is a Yorkshire, slightly camp sound, so I just try to pull off elderly women with my performances, and hope for the best! Writing specifically about married elderly couples is extremely heavy within my material. Again, the stories are primarily based on my grandma and grandad. I just hope that people will enjoy what I perform and have a good time as much as I do when behind the mic!
D&CFilm: Thanks for your time, Jamie!
Jamie will join other poets on November 8 at 8pm at the Blue Walnut, doors open 7.30pm, entry price £6. For seat reservations, contact firstname.lastname@example.org