Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Ellen McCullough 

BA [Hons] Animation

I am a 2D animator and filmmaker with an interest in all things story and layout. My Grad film 'Roots' is a reflection of my focus on telling a story, which follows the narration of my father while he works in his garden, as he reflects on how he became so interested in gardening and his life growing up in Northern Ireland during its conflict. I am available for animation and storyboarding work - you can have a look at my work below or on my behance linked to the left!


My grad film & ' Roots' is an insight into Northern Ireland's conflict and the young life of one Belfast native understood through his passion for his garden and vegetables.

I started out this project by filming my father as he went about his daily routine in the garden, asking him about what he was doing that day and how he got to the point he's at now.

The narration is all stories I collected and compiled throughout the interviewing process, and the animation was curated to accompany and do justice to the experiences my father faced at a young age.

I spend the last year using Adobe Photoshop and After Effects to achieve the cinematic intimate feel of the film.

“ ‘Pure Music’ and Contemporary film ” - How does using Pure music add to a film and audiences’ experience

The compiled music soundtrack is becoming a popular mode of emphasising audience engagement. The compiled soundtrack allows for cross-marketing of films and music, while also allowing audiences to connect with what they're seeing on screen at a deeper level, as the popular songs they're hearing were created outside the context of the film and therefore can have connotations for a viewer outside the film they're now being used in.

In my thesis I explore the techniques and dive into their applications, specifically their psychological effect on our brains when hearing a piece of popular music we recognize in conjunction with the film visuals were watching.

In my research, in comparing texts about the mapping of the human brain while listening to music, I conclude that there is a correlation between listening to music you like and being able to empathise with characters on screen.