London Shorts: The Pub

By Ioanna Karavela Last edited 47 months ago
London Shorts: The Pub

The Pub from Joseph Pierce on Vimeo.

We've all been there — a crafty pint in the afternoon when everyone else is working. It's an odd time of day, before the bars are busy and yet to feel like the proper place to be. But as Joseph Pierce's beautifully-observed animation shows, it's the time when you can see the weirdest cross-section of London life: tourists, barflies, louts and layabouts. Pierce paints an all-too recognisable portrait of a typical tavern in north London, then spins it on its head with his surreal and darkly comic visual additions.

Pierce told Londonist: "The film was shot with real actors in one day and then I spent a year drawing over it to complete the work. The technique is called rotoscoping and involves drawing over every other frame — it took about nine months to do. The film is based on my conflicting feelings about being British so it includes the ugly side too. I lived in that pub in Camden at the time, which is where the inspiration came from. Most of the lines were taken from conversations I heard hanging out in the bar."

Pierce also worked closely with Danny Boyle on images used for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. He describes the experience as hectic and intense, though he learned a great deal from it.

The Pub was written and directed by Joseph Pierce and produced by Mark Grimmer and 59 Productions, with Aneta Piotrowska as the put-upon barmaid Kemi. It's the third short film in an excellent trilogy that also features Stand Up and A Family Portrait.

Want to be featured? If you have a London-themed short film that you’d like us to consider for this series, send an email with the subject “London Shorts” to Stu Black and Ioanna Karavela via our email:

To see other London Shorts click here (but please note, links may not always work if the filmmakers are showing their shorts in competition).

Last Updated 20 February 2015