FREE PARTY: A folk history (2022) | DIRECTED BY: AARON TRINDER | DESIGN AND ANIMATION: MARC HARDMAN
They wanted the freedom to party, the state saw them as the enemy within. The untold story of the free party movement and how its impact sparked a revolution around the world, from raves and festivals, to politics and protest. This is the focus of an incredible new feature documentary from Aaron Trinder, featuring SPIRAL TRIBE, DIY, BEDLAM, CIRCUS WARP and many others. As well as being involved on the production side, I have been creating a lot of the motion design and animated sequences for the film. With film or video documentation of this specific movement being fairly sparse I was asked to create a visual language that could bring some of the contributors stories and personal accounts to life.
This film tells the fantastical and often far-fetched story of two sound-systems who met in the Travellers field at Glastonbury 1990 and how the meeting sparked what became the Free Party movement in the UK. The film follows the course of this movement from its beginnings through to the evidence of its influence in the present day.
The film is a unique look at how a pre-internet radical unifying youth culture exploded entirely through word of mouth and outside of the commercial mainstream and how that creative and radical energy is seeing a huge resurgence in the challenging political times we are in. The approach I took for the visuals for the film was to adhere to the DIY, handmade aesthetic of the rave and free-party movements. Map graphics or photographic treatments were made to look as though they came from personal albums or scrap-books, or from found artefacts. As if they had been discovered in a box that had been un-opened since 1991.
I also created a lot of acid-house and rave visuals that had to look and feel as if they had been created in those analogue days and times. It was a case of insuring I created a more textural and organic feel to all visual elements and making sure I steered clear of anything that looked or felt digital in any way. It was important that the graphics, right down to the name captions and lower-thirds, did not look as if they had been created with modern technology or with a modern aesthetic sensibility. So far it has been a fun ride to immerse myself in the visual world and the radical energy of the early 1990s.
FREE PARTY: A FOLK HISTORY is still in production and is set to be completed later in 2023.
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