Monday, 14 November 2011

All aboard the Bum Bum Train!

For the past few weeks I have been working on the You, Me, Bum Bum Train art department team.

'You Me Bum Bum Train (YMBBT) is a unique immersive theatre experience which has evolved over 7 years into an award winning show. Last year the event won The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award 2010 and co-produced a show with the Barbican throughout July 2010 in Bethnal Green. The show became the Barbican's fastest ever selling show, achieving high critical acclaim, including becoming the winners of The Evening Standard Theatre Award 2010 for 'Outstanding Newcomer'. A site-specific annual event, this year the Directors intend to create an experience more memorable than ever before in an undisclosed, disused London building, whilst next year YMBBT will feature as the centerpiece of the Barbican‟s contribution to the Cultural Olympiad...'

It is really fun working on the production with a good bunch of energetic and enthusiastic people. Next month's production is shaping up to be a pretty amazing show. If you want to see more about previous shows go to the website

But if you are planning to come and see the show, may I suggest turning up knowing as little as possible about it and then just going with the flow!

Here are some of the reviews it has received:

“This is a carousel of fantasies that made me rejoice in being alive” - The Evening Standard *****

“For those sound in wind, limb and mental health, I cannot recommend this brilliant and unique event too highly. It is hard to imagine an experience that plays with your brain quite as comprehensively as You Me Bum Bum Train”- The Daily Telegraph *****

“Aside from being a jolly good ride, it has a certain philosophical substance”- The New York Times

Monday, 7 November 2011

pink skull SOLD

I am pleased to report that this pink Day of the Dead skull, with flower detail, will be winging its way to a new home later this week! Do contact me if you are interested in commissioning one:

Silhouette character designs

Here are some initial character designs from a job that I've been working on this past week. They evolved into something else, but I thought these originals were worth a show.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Start Home page featuring my work
This link on the homepage is cool too!

Start London Halloween window display and store dressing short documentary

Start London Halloween window dressing from Rebecca Manley on Vimeo.

Here is the short documentary film we made about my Halloween installation at Start, shot and edited by Rebecca Kenyon. Check it out!

You can also view it on the Start blog here:

Friday, 28 October 2011

More Start

Black Widow masks

back view

my hand painted tattoo

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Brix Smith-Start stepping out in my Black Widow mask tonight

Yesterday I finished creating the Halloween window for Start London. So get down to Rivington Street, Shoreditch and check it out! I had a really fun time working there thanks to all the amazing and friendly staff. The women's store is now temporary home to six of my large scale Day of the Dead skulls (with one more - the biggest skull - hanging in the men's store) as well as a collection of my smaller bijoux skulls. The skulls are of course inspired by original Mexican heads, but also by images of Frida Kahlo, tattoos and old English rhyme.

Matching stripes! - me and Brix in store

For the main window I made three Black Widow masks to put on the mannequins (see below). Brix is wearing one of these masks to a Halloween party tonight, so I'm looking forward to seeing the photos! These I crafted from card, fabric, netting and ribbon and finished with my handmade paper flowers. I then painted shocking pink silhouettes of symbols such as hearts, skulls and horse shoes on to the window itself. At the feet of the mannequins I made a bed of Mexican inspired fabric flowers and sat two of the large skulls (the Magician and the Gypsy) amidst them. And to finish, also on the window, I painted my tattoo logo and four tattoo inspired flowers.

At the moment I am in the process of creating a short film documenting the installation of the window - shot and edited by Rebecca Kenyon. I will post it up on Monday so check back then. 

Through the window - chatting to Philip Start

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Start London - sneak peak

Here is a sneak peak at some of the things that I have been making for Start London - in store from Monday.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

New project - Start London Halloween dressing

I am excited to have been asked to decorate A-mazing fashion boutique Start London (Brix -Smith Start) for Halloween with my Day of the Dead skulls. This is going to be a really exciting project, can't wait! Watch this space for more very soon...

About Start:

* 'Start was founded in 2002 by husband and wife team Brix and Philip Start – a decision incited by their observation that there was no where to shop for designer fashion in London’s up and coming Shoreditch...'

“People come to Start for the edit. Philip and Brix simply pick the best of the best.”
Melanie Rickey, Grazia

“Antique furniture, directional brands and must-have denim all make Start a much more interesting shopping experience than Bond Street.”
Drapers Record

(*copy from Start London website)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Both sides of the camera

At the moment I am working with my friend director Lizzie Oxby on her latest project, a series of dramatic photographic stills. I can't reveal anything about them yet, but the idea is really elegant and intriguing. This time however I find myself on the other side of the camera for a change, as the model. We shot part of the project in South London last week and are set to shoot the second half this week in East London at Time for Tea, an absolutely amazing house owned and dressed by another friend of mine Johnny Vercoutre. At the same time, I am planning to shoot some footage for a short live action/animation piece of my own which I am very excited about.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Ferris Wheel

On the Ferris Wheel at Harvest on Saturday.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Monday, 22 August 2011

New website under construction

I'm in the process of creating a brand new shiny website. Looking forward to unveiling it very soon.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Young and High Club

I am really excited to have my work on the Young and High Club website in their Artwerrk section:

'No Bullshit. Just the best new unsigned music.'

I'm looking forward to collaborating with them on some exciting projects in the future.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Vitamin Water : Cannes Video Contest 2011 prizewinner

I am pleased to announce that I won a top 10 placing in the Cannes Lions 2011 Glacéau Vitamin Water video contest run by Mofilm. 

The brief was as follows: 

Vitamin Water wants a short ad that brings it's new creative campaign 'hydration only better' to life in a witty and surprising way.

My video Garden is a 60 second animated spot in which I created a fresh, modern and fun animated world influenced by the Glacéau Vitamin Water palette of vibrant colours; graphic patterns and Busby Berkeley-esque symmetry. The music that I have chosen, I think, enhances the colourful, ‘fruity’ theme and cheeky personality of the piece. I imagined a better, enhanced version of a garden. A magical place where Vitamin Water makes all the plants spring to life in a more exciting and dynamic way. I made the video on my own over a period of 4 weeks.

Monday, 30 May 2011


I have been pretty busy these past few weeks, so I thought that it was time for an update!

Recently I met up with the lovely Dani from Young and High Club. We had a coffee and a chat about my work. I am happy to say that some of my stuff will be gracing his website very soon. It's a very exciting place with lots going on so take a look. I am really looking forward to any future collaborations there.

I am also pleased to report that I have been shortlisted for the Divine Chocolate competition:

'To celebrate one hundred years of International Women’s Day and women’s empowerment among the cocoa farmers of Ghana – Divine Chocolate is joining forces with Birds Eye View to promote a wonderful opportunity for women film makers (professionals and amateurs) to create a short film about Divine'.

So I'm about to start story boarding and developing the idea further.

Last week I finished directing an entry for the MoFilm Cannes competition. I made a short animated commercial for Vitamin Water. 

I am also waiting to see my Straight8 film for the first time. If you don't know about Straight8 check it out here

So there's a lot of waiting to do! 

Dum, di, dum....

Thursday, 31 March 2011

My work on Vimeo

I now have a shiny new Vimeo page! Please go to to view my directing portfolio including commercials and short films.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Straight8 2011

This year I have once again entered the weird and wonderful world of Straight8

My brother Ben and I co-directed
Birdman for the competition 7years ago and were ready to give it another try. This time we are co-directing again, and as always taking on multiple roles - Ben writer/actor, me art-director/model-maker.

It has been a hectic few weeks of preparation but it's also been very exciting. We shot the film this weekend (5th-6th March) thanks to a great team of people (full credits, production stills etc. coming soon) who all gave their time and expertise for free. Thank you, we couldn't have done it without any of you.

The film has been delivered so fingers crossed, and watch this space for more news!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

London Eye Valentines

Here's a still and a mini movie of the London Eye ad that I finished at the beginning of January.

The idea was to create a moving valentines card. Hopefully the overall result is a strong piece in my style but with an amalgamation of influences. For example the look of a Victorian handmade card, but with a slight nod to modern references such as to Rob Ryan's paper cut work, with a palette of warm, bold, bright shades of colours associated with the occasion - pinks and reds.

We created the card by cutting out all the elements by hand and animating and compositing them in After Effects, overlaying scanned textures and details just to give it that extra depth.

The piece was designed and directed by me, produced by Maria Manton and composited by Alasdair Brotherston. All artwork was cut out by hand by me and Amanda Manley; with extra compositing by Luca Paulli.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Latest Commercials

Agency: Comic Relief
Client: FIFA
Dir: Rebecca Manley

Agency: Love Creative
Client: Sony
Dir: Rebecca Manley

Agency: Arnold New York
Client: Starbucks/Hershey's
Dir: Rebecca Manley

Agency: Grey London
Client: P&G
Dir: Rebecca Manley

Thursday, 20 January 2011

London Eye Valentines

I just finished a 5 second ad for the EDF Energy London Eye Valentine's package. It will be appearing on LCD screens on the London underground from the 31st of this month.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Review of 2010

Well 2010 was a very busy year for me:

In April I won a competition to make an animated advert for the Museums at Night event across the UK. The brief was – to produce a short animation (any technique, any style) to promote Museums at Night – our national weekend of late night museum openings.

At the beginning of June I finished directing a short film for the FIFA World Cup Kick off concert in South Africa. The concert featuring the likes of Black Eyed Peas, Shakira and Alicia Keys, was was broadcast all over the world, and with an audience of 30,000 people at the Orlando stadium in Soweto it looked like there was a pretty amazing atmosphere there. The project was overseen by Richard Curtis and the Comic Relief team.

In July I was selected to be part of the Re-Animate scheme 2010 run by Warp and Birds Eye View:

‘…ReAnimate is the new animation development initiative from Warp Films and Birds Eye View with the support of Skillset Film Skills Fund. Focusing on the worlds of screenwriting and animation, we will select up to 20 exceptional British women and equip them with the contacts and creative support they need to produce smart, commercial, animation ideas for the international marketplace…’

I collaborated on two feature film ideas with writer Carol Noble. Currently, although no longer on the scheme, we are still developing some exciting ideas together.

At the end of November I finished directing a short film For Fairy Liquid and Make a Wish Foundation with ad agency Grey London. The film is currently playing at cinemas across the UK, and accompanies digital projections of Narnia The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Mega Mind.

Currently I am directing a short ad for The London Eye with agency Farm.

Here’s to an equally busy 2011!