About us

Our
Approach

Every project is a partnership. We have years of experience in animation and we love what we do. We listen attentively and figure out what you want to do and the best way we can achieve it.

We have worked with broadcasters, super brands and everybody in between. No project is too small or too big for us. We work in a wide palette of styles – from light to dark, serious to silly, and from simple to sophisticated. We pride ourselves on being good to work with, light on our feet and adaptive to new styles and media.

Behind the scenes

Our city centre studio helps us to be adaptable and flexible. We have a dedicated production office, design studio and large areas for shooting and animating. We can create and animate pretty much anything, from stop-motion character animation, to live-action green screen photography, to physical effects, to pixillation (animating people).

No two days are ever the same at Second Home Studios. We could be making marionettes one day, shooting dancers on green screen the next and finishing the week off with talking donuts.

Here are some images from behind the scenes of our projects so you can see the nuts and bolts behind our work.

 Our Team

Chris Randall

Creative Director

Chris trained in visual effects both as a film clapper-loader (Red Dwarf model unit / The Magic Camera Company) and then a modelmaker. Animation was both an experiment and bizarre accident, combining his best-loved practices both in front of and behind the camera. Consequently, he spent four years as a designer and stop-motion animator for CITV, culminating in the creation of The Junkyard Jungle, a promotional vehicle for the channel told through the voices of a talking banana skin, a dead fish and a sparkplug. When this, along with two other promotional bodies of work, won Promax gold awards, his boss suggested he might be onto something. Second Home Studios seemed like the logical next step for a workplace which he seldom leaves. Since then he has produced BAFTA and RTS winning work. He is represented by Picasso Pictures for commercial directing work (contact samhope@picassopictures.com).

Ian Whittle

Lead Animator

Ian’s MA in Animation at Wrexham University was completed with a distinction. He began at Second Home Studios in 2006 on a work experience placement and has remained ever since. Ian has been heavily involved in all the studio’s projects, bringing a rare versatility to both fields of design and animation. He researches intensely and works fast whilst retaining a meticulous attention to detail. His design work encompasses both the 2D and 3D realms. As a character performer, he can inject subtlety or spectacle on demand.

Adam M. Watts

Stop-Motion Animator

After Adam’s BA graduation film screened at Flip Festival ’07, he joined Second Home Studios on work experience. That was the beginning of a collaboration spanning nearly a decade. Trained and mentored over the years by Chris and Ian, Adam steadily built up an impressive showreel which earned him a place on the Character Animation course run at Aardman with the National Film & Television School in 2013.

Besides the ongoing projects at Second Home, he has been Lead Stop Motion Animator on multi award-winning short “Edmond” (BAFTA/Annecy/Sundance), has animated for Aardman on commercials and the Morph series, several Disney specials at Factory, and commercials at ITV (for Nationwide, Amazon, BT, Dreams, and DFS.

Marija Salajeva

Post-Production Assistant

Marija graduated from Birmingham City University in 2014. She won the Visual Communication award in her Film and Animation class for her impressive portfolio of computer generated models and detailed design skills. Since then she has been involved in all projects at the studio, expanding her skills in modelling and animation with a specialism in photo-real scenarios. She remains at the core of all compositing and post-production work at Second Home.

The SHS Story

Our story is a bit like one of our projects, a partnership and idea that developed over time.

Chris Randall and Jim Turner created the company (Second Home Productions Ltd.) in October 2004 because of the increasing demand from theatre companies to provide unique onstage visuals for stage productions. The partnership brought together experience in animation and camera discipline, with Chris as Director and Jim as Co-Producer. These theatrical projects ranged from political satire with Follow My Leader to all-out spectacles of tornadoes and magic with The Wizard of Oz.

As the passion and demand for animation grew, Second Home Studios became a dedicated animation production house in 2008 with Chris as sole director. Jim followed one of his other passions and became a freelance live-action/documentary director based in Bristol but still remains a close friend of the studio.

In the course of its animation history Second Home has created a number of big projects and won numerous awards. With each new challenge comes the opportunity to break new ground, in the spirit of those early projects upon which the studio was founded.