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I Am Tom Moody — Ainslie Henderson, 2012

A film about how the things that we’re scared of stop us from doing the things that we want to do, ‘I am Tom Moody’ is the tale of an amateur entertainer as he takes to the stage on open mic night at the Egg and Sparrow pub. Transporting us into the mind of this nervous musician as he battles his internal feelings of apprehension and self-doubt, the majority of Henderson’s film plays out in the protagonist’s mind-space, as a fevered debate rages between the two conflicted voices in Tom’s head. Taking us back to events in his life that triggered these feelings of unease, before bringing us back to the present where we witness the troubled performer unravelling in front of an unseen audience. Tom must decide whether to confront his inner voice or give in to his fears.

Classroom Activities

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  • How does the filmmaker create empathy between Young Tom and Old Tom? Think about the techniques used.
  • What purpose does the narrator provide for the film?
  • Think about the design of the character Tom (Young and Old), what does their clothes, body language, facial feature explain about the character?
  • Using Freeze Frame and the time stamp (05:01), analyze the use of framing, what mood does the filmmaker try to create? How does reflect how the characters are feeling?
  • How does the music played throughout the film reflect the emotional journey of Tom? Think about the song Tom sings at the end.


  • Tom connects with himself as a child during the film. What do you know now that you would like to tell your younger self?
  • Have you ever had stage-fright? What happened? How did you overcome it? How did you feel afterwards?
  • Can you identify an incident from your life that shaped you in some way – good or bad? How did it shape you?
  • People now know much more about mental health, and it is discussed much more openly. What forms does poor mental health take? What does good mental health look like?
  • What help and/or advice could you give that would be helpful to someone suffering with their mental health?
  • Do you have a secret / hidden / burning desire to do or be something? What would encourage you to follow your dream?
  • “ Our fears are like dragons guarding our most precious treasures” – Rainer Marie Rilke Can you explain this quote in the context of this short film and its message?



  • Write a letter to your younger self, think about what you feared when you were younger and what you would write to comfort them.
  • Write a poem expressing your fears, these can be from the past or present. Think about how you felt.
  • Write a short story or reflective essay about a time you overcame your fears to achieve a goal. Think about how you felt at the time, try to be as descriptive as possible.


  • Create your own stop-motion animation. You can use any materials you can find around the institution you are working in or around the house. Create at least one character and tell a short story involving that character. Research stop-motion techniques (smart-phone, still frames, minimal movements). Be as creative as you can.


  • Think about what scares you or scared you when you were younger, paint an illustration to express that fear. What would it look like on paper or a canvas? Be as expressive as you can.


  • Ainslie Henderson cites the works of famed Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung. Research and collate the highlights of Jung’s work and the influence it has.
  • Research the history of stop-motion animation. How and when did it begin? How does stop-motion animation appear in the industry today?


  • The film references certain musical icons such as Stevie Wonder and David Bowie. Tom views these icons as inspiration for his musical career. Research the life, career and continuing influence these musical legends still have today.
  • The film centres around the music industry, the U.K music industry. Research the U.K Music of the present day. You may want to look at the diversity in terms of culture and musical genres. You may want to look at the business end of the industry – management, music venues etc.

Clip Details

Year of Production 2012
Genre Drama, Stop-Motion
Curriculum Areas Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing, Literacy and English
Director Ainslie Henderson
Country of Origin UK
Medium / Content 3D Animation, Fiction, Colour, Sound
Themes Feelings, Relationships, Loss / Memories, Health, Work / Ambition, Identity / Self, Communication, Creative Expression
Clip Length 06:52
Clip Length 06:52
Age Group P5-P7, S1-S3, S4-S6