Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hear ye! hear ye!

Rock Opera on the shortlist at Palme Dewar festival.

Get thyself to Aberfeldy this Saturday 17th Nov, 5pm order a big dram... and vote!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

the new Old school

Here's another map which you can see embedded in our fancy app...available as a
free download from this link or from the Android shop.

The website is now live too.. thanks be to Licia. Go have a look.

Aye we're now on Twitter too. And news is coming in about a weeks worth of rock-tastic activity during the Science festival in  spring 2012.
Woo hoo!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cartographers delight!

Here's the map to show you the route to the origins of the Earth.....Plan is that soon you'll be getting led there by an app.(currently in the making) which'll tell you all the exciting background info. and let you play a few games along the way.
Ooh, we can hardly wait!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Neptunian Trailer

Here's a wee taster of what to expect..and did we mention the crowd funding campaign for Rock OperatoR? 2 weeks to go so c'moan and get they pledges in!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rock Opera Premiere!

Rock Opera will be premiered on the 9 May at Dynamic Earth from 6 - 8pm. Finally our masterpiece will be unveiled!

If you would like to attend please RSVP to

Monday, March 21, 2011

Stone faced!

Unveiled in colour is the star of our show, James Hutton, depicted as a big chunk of rock. He talks, and even sings too, but you'll have to wait a wee while longer for that. But not too long, screening in 7 weeks. 9th of May....Woo hoo!

And take a peek here at what else is happening around the hill on the day.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Stone the Crows!

Well look who just flapped in..!

Introducing our  commentator for the Old  Town Chorale, none other than Mister ....Crow.
Suggestions for a more appropriate or imaginative name are warmly welcomed. More colourful characters to be unveiled shortly.

Monday, February 7, 2011

....and in colour

In case you thought we'd gone all monochrome on yies, here's Rosies delightful draft of the Crags in full technicolour with Arthurs Seat looming up on the horizon...but what surprises lie beyond the lip of that precarious precipice?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Meet Sarah, her Dad and James Hutton....

Here are our final character sketches for Sarah, her Dad and James Hutton. Now all we have to do is colour and animate....easier said than done! Watch this space.

Monday, January 17, 2011

These are the stars of our show, those very same rocks we're talking about. Look closely and you might see the choir waiting in the wings. They take a lot to get warmed up but at least you can see them now the ice has melted.


Friday, January 14, 2011

rock & roll

Hey Well,

There's the cataclysmic news of a mighty rock fall down the face of Salisbury Crags yesterday. My oh me! Very dramatic, and quite noisy by all acounts. At least theres still some rocks left for us to base our characters on.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


A dog drawn in fairly still life....before evolving  into a being with an enhanced this the first dog to become an Avatar we ask? 
No it's Haggis in the making. The character not the food!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Been a while...

So here's latest draft sketches of Sarah, getting up after falling over the edge.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hey and here is scene 4 in wondrous watercolour.

More to follow....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Last week we confirmed a new member of the Rock Opera team - Ulli Keil who will be working as head animator. Welcome Ulli! Here is a snippet of her work.

Showreel 2010 from Ulrike Keil on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

storyboards and sounds

..and here's a draft storyboard of King Neptune with his daughter frolicking amongst the waves.....
but whats that reddish cloud on the horizon?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Now we all know that you can't have an Opera without some we found these guys buried in the brickwork...and although they are a bit stony faced and hard to find, apparently they really can sing...just with a bit of a gravelly throat.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

...And here's how it all began...apparently. After the Great Deluge, the Flood, The Universal Ocean washed up everything in its wake.

and the whole tide of evolution has been riding on the crest of that rolling wave ever since.

...but for how long?

Was it really just 6,000 years ...we know someone had other ideas

Monday, September 20, 2010

...or Abe Werner, the Goliath-like hulk of intellect, with brains and brawn to match, there's really no contest in this showdown.

Can the high heid yin of the Neptunians be beaten?

Apparently the monkeys know the answer.

Square Go

Well, if it came down to it,
who would you back in a fist fight?

Wee Jimmy Hutton, the wanton welter weight wi'oot a lot o' meat aboot him...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Huttons hiding place

Here's a clue to where you might find James Hutton currently hiding out on Arthurs Seat... they even named this quarry after him. If you need any more info there's an interpretative plaque kindly placed by those helpful folks in Historic Scotland.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Script is developing....

After some more productive meetings with Rachael, our script seems to be really taking shape. We have added in a boxing match scene between the Plutonians and Neptunians, who fight out their theories and a full on rapping, beatboxing, doo-wopping rock chorus to swing the narrative along and helpfully explain some of the more technical points of Huttonian/evolutionary theory in layman's terms.

Here are some more character sketches for the characters of James Hutton, John Playfair and the evil quarrymen who seek to quarry off Salisbury Crags.

Monday, September 13, 2010


This project was kick started by the kindness of Malcolm Rider, of Rider-French Ltd who pledged us money towards the initial costs of making the film.

We also received the great news this week that this funding has been matched by the wonderful Arts and Business Scotland. This means that, along with our in-kind funding from Historic Scotland and Drake Music we now have £20000 of our budget for the project. We still need to raise another £15000 of cash which we're currently looking for through various UK trusts and foundations.


P.S. Check out Conrad's sketch for Abraham Gottlob Werner, head of the Neptunians and James Hutton's arch nemesis.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

welcome rosie

The Hoda creative team have been flexing their filming muscles this week, working on a short two minute film about cycling in Edinburgh for the National Cycle Network film competition. Here is a snippet for an idea of the film. Also joining us on the team is animator and artist Rosie Walters.

We are all loving The Illusionist, which is currently playing throughout the UK. As well as including a cracking story, great animation and music the film shows some great animated views of Salisbury Crags, which are perfect references for Rock Opera. Long live Sylvain Chomet!

Friday, August 27, 2010

new characters, script developing

To update everyone on some other work being made by members of our team, here is a short film by Emma (Johnny Cash impersonation provided by Conrad) of her installation. Great stuff.

This week at Rock Opera head office we have been mainly talking about: singing rocks, male voice choirs and a little girl called Sarah who will be the main character of our film. Little ol' Sarah goes on a day out with her Dad, who is boring her to tears with stories about the history of Salisbury Crags while she'd much rather listen to her ipod and play her Nintendo DS. (sketches below are of the characters of Sarah, her dog and her Dad).When she goes walkabout on the crags, she steps on a time machine which transports her to the time of the Scottish Enlightenment where she meets James Hutton, John Playfair and Robert Burns. Will Sarah ever make it home? Will she realise that there is more to rocks than meets the eye? Find out soon....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

welcome to the rock opera blog!

Welcome to the official Rock Opera page!

Rock Opera is a 10 minute children's animated film that will be made in 2011 by Hoda Productions.

The idea was conceived by Conrad Molleson, whose passion for all things rock like spurred him to tell the story of Scottish geologist James Hutton's groundbreaking discoveries through animation, making the origins of geoscience accesible and fun for schoolchildren.

This original concept has been developed alongside Emma Herman-Smith (artistic director) and Eva Riley (producer). This blog will keep people updated on the progress of the film. At the moment we are developing our script with our screenwriter Rachael Macintyre, and looking for more funding.

The picture above is a page of Conrad's ideas for a potential courtroom scene in the film.... watch this space for more to come!