Now playing at the Tower of London, comic creators Kate Brown and Paul Duffield have created a two-minute video about the princes in the tower story – which is being screened every day in the Bloody Tower itself, where the pair allegedly spent their last night.
Commissioned by The Historic Royal Palaces, the short film was written by Brown (with creative assistance from Emma Vieceli) and composited by Duffield. The animation was created by the pair (and this time I DO mean Kate Brown and Paul Duffield, not the princes) over the course of the last five months or so, and they have kindly shared parts of their creative process – including a design sheet and storyboards – with The Beat.
The video is storyboarded entirely by Brown, based on frame-by-frame animation, and above you can see her designs for the two doomed princes.
If you’re not aware of the story, then the story goes…. that the two young Princes, the sons of King Edward IV, were living at the Tower of London after their father had passed away. As the heirs to the throne, the young Edward (V) was due to be crowned as the next King.
However, the two princes went missing, and their uncle Richard claimed the throne for himself – who was crowned Richard III.
The animation shows off aspects of the myth and legend which took over this real story. As you can see from the stills (and the video, below), the pair have streaked everything with a startling red, the only colour in the animation. The two princes have long been believed to have been actually killed by their uncle, a detail which Shakespeare would later go on to have a lot of fun with. Nothing was ever proved, however! The actual happenings of the night they vanished remains a mystery.
The above images are all taken from Brown’s storyboards, which were then animated in 2D and 3D by the pair (Brown and Duffield, not the princes). Below are the completed frames, taken directly from the film.
It’s a pretty major undertaking, and a fascinating thing to see boarded out frame-by-frame. It’s a thoroughly striking piece of animation, showing off the storytelling skills of both Brown and Duffield (you know – the pair). And you can see the final piece below: