"In 2003 I did my first animation, and that really has had a massive effect on me, and still does to this day, firstly from the audience who saw it at college and secondly that it told me exactly what it is I should be doing, but, it has funny effect on your mind...certain decisions like moving house to go off and become some layout artist in a big city are there, but there is a special feeling to going independent on a project"
Michael J Dowswell was born in Dumfries Scotland in 1981 and has always had a obsession with film from a very early age. He was always extremely good at drawing, drawing quite advanced things at a very early age. In 1994 he first dabbled with 3d using a Amiga and a program called Imagine, but was really too young to understand it very well, he did some 3d scenes that showed great potential and would later go on to direct a full animation short in 2003. But at this point would leave school at age 16 to go straight into George Street School of Art Dumfries to do a National Certificate in Art and Design in 1997.
A small amount of photography was done on this course and it was decided by Michael that he wanted to do a HND in photography next which would last 2 years. He would remain at George Street School of Art Dumfries. He took some breathtaking photos during this period and when the course was over he was not happy at the prospect of becoming a wedding photographer for life, so the next stop was to be a degree in Multimedia Design and Digital Animation in Carlisle.
The course at Carlisle Institute of the Arts was really great because it had 8 different subjects stuffed into it which while kept the course interesting really weeded out all the things Michael was not fond of doing and finally exposed his true love for film making in year 3, the final year where he directed his first short film “Rocket-Man”.
He came out of college very excited and keen to do more animation, He would go on to do Erráns Ruber, Rocket-Man 2: part 1, The Making of “Erráns Ruber” and Erráns Caeruleus during 2003 to 2005. All short science fiction animations to classical music and all made with no money in his bedroom.
The next discovery for Michael was his great fondness for documentary film making, he would take video footage of various things, the deep snow from 2006’s winter in the Scottish village where he lives. A hydro mechanical cow made by a friend of his fathers, a years worth of footage of two tiny ginger kittens growing up to become small adult cats, a aquarium in America. He found himself editing this footage together each time round and gradually finding the right classical music to go with them. This was to be the 4 short silent black and white films Into Unknown Terrain, The Hydro Mechanical Cow, From Behind Glass and Innocence of Youth.
An abandoned animation project started in 2005 was put back into action in late 2006 and is now the current main Project that Michael is directing, its called Erráns Alba and is the final of the science fiction erráns trilogy about discovery.