Sound Designer Tom Angell turns his recycling bin upside down for Bottle Island

  • Posted by info 22 Jan

Sound Designer Tom Angell turns his recycling bin upside down for Bottle Island

LoveLove Films’ passion for storytelling and animated content has seen the studio focus attention to the Children’s TV Landscape with the launch of a new IP; Bottle Island

The series follows a group of quirky friends as they work together to try and save the island from the rubbish that washes up on the shore. Through their eco-adventures, the characters discover the wonders and perils of the world around them. As well as using a combination of 2D and 3D animation, Bottle Island weaves live action rubbish and junk into the various locations featured in each episode. The aim is to highlight these objects to children as they watch the show, helping them understand that these items are not natural to the environment.

As well as the unique style of the show, one of the most interesting aspects is that of the sound design, for which the production company LoveLove Films wanted to use the philosophy of the show to create the sounds by reusing and recycling everyday items. Sound designer Tom Angell talks through his process:

Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your experience and the projects you have worked on, how you started in sound design and what inspired you to?

I create and produce bespoke Music Composition and Sound Design for animation, film and sound projects, delivering unique and imaginative music and sound by working closely with the creators to realize their vision in an intuitive way.

Each project is created from scratch, with no set creative pathways, using techniques ranging from Foley artistry, tape recording and live instrumentation to the digital manipulation of sound and music.
What are you currently working on?

I’ve recently worked on a number of pilots, including Bottle Island for LoveLove Films. I’ve just finished working on a short film ‘Marfa’ with The Brothers McLeod, and am about to complete a short film with Second Home Studios for the charity HQ.

LoveLove Films got in touch to ask if I would work on the series pitch ‘Bottle Island’, shortly before I got to meet Georgina and Oliver at Manimation in the UK November. I am very much behind the theme of the show; helping to teach kids about environmental issues and the importance of conservation and recycling!

What were the challenges of this project?

The main challenge with any Foley-rich sound design project is to hear the desired sound in my head and then match it in reality. That doesn’t necessarily mean recording the real life sound of the things on screen, but finding something else, or often a number of things that together make up the sound I was looking for.

Bottle_Island_Blog_Post_V01 (1)


What kinds of techniques have gone into Bottle Island?

There’s a lot of Foley in this project. There are atmospheric sounds from travels; wind in the Atacama desert and sea swell off the coast of Cornwall UK were used in the titles and behind the beach scenes in the show, and Taman Negara rainforest features for the outside shot of Prof Z’s lab.

My recycling bin got turned upside down more than a few times, although like for like items didn’t always work as the producer Georgina Hurcombe wanted me to use as many recycled items as possible so children could recreate the sounds from the show – such as Prof Z’s bottle shoes – they ended up being a mixture of pulling my thumb out of a bottle of wine, a hollow plastic bottle, and a beach ball!

Socket’s CD spin is a mixture of a climbing rope dog lead being swung around a microphone and a spinning coin on a desk.

Prof Z’s ‘PASTA’ car is a mixture of my girlfriends Capri engine and a Tuk Tuk, with a dropped metal filing cabinet thrown in for added junk-ness.

The fishing line is the pedals of my sons upturned bike spinning around.

There’s a heavy toy element to the sound design too – the lab is made up of various wind up toys and a pinball machine, along with 2 printers and pan of water.

rubbish - various

Using rubbish to create various sounds

How was the process of sound design for Bottle Island?

It’s always fun playing with weird combinations of objects to create new sounds for animation, I love it, that’s why I do it – you feel a bit like Tom Hanks from Big, playing with toys everyday.


Bottle Island Sound Designer, Tom Angell

A full 11 minute pilot for Bottle Island is now complete, which has been produced in-house by the LoveLove Films team along with music and voices by the extremely talented Dorset based Momo:Tempo and female voices by Michele O’ Brien.

LoveLove Films will be taking the pilot of Bottle Island to Kidscreen Summit in February as part of the UK Delegation. The Kidscreen Summit is renowned as one the children’s entertainment industry’s most important annual event and is held in Miami USA.

Tom’s website:

To find out more about Bottle Island:

2D Animation, 3d animation, Animation, animation studio, bottle island, Bournemouth, Bournemouth based production company, Bournemouth production company, childrens tv sound design, conservation, Dorset Production Company, foley, LoveLove Films Bournemouth, michele o'brien, Momo:Tempo, plastic pollution, preservation, Production Company, sound design, south west production company, tom angell

Post Comments 0