Wednesday, August 30, 2006

scrap that

I've decided to begin again with the animation, having shot too many minutes to admit to. It may seem like a wasteful way to work but I've always found it hard to imagine everything on the storyboard or animatic and the purpose or centre of the story is better revealed through the animation. It's fairly liberating and I feel that I can scrap alot of the superflous detail and doing all the animation quickly will make it look fairly fresh. The technique in itself is fairly speedy, so I hope I can get it done in two months, though I am only working two days per week on it. If I'm wrong about that I can either use the old shots, or eat my storyboard on the steps of Hackney Town Hall.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Best of the Fest - LIAF
I didn't get to all of the festival, so it was great to get a much coveted ticket to the highlights on Sunday. It would be fair to say that funny films prevailed. Who I am and what I Want by Chris Shepherd and David Shrigley seems to get better and more sinister the more I've see it, which isn't necessarily the case with Shrigley's books, I would say it's down to the structure and performance. Bob Log III's electric fence story by Sebastien Wolf & Tinka Stock was probably a controversial choice for programme 2, looking as if it had been made on a bedroom carpet with an anglepoise but the goofy joy of it resonated with me. Back Brace made by Andy and Carolyn London also centred around a silly personal story told with a nice momentum and animated with inappropriate found objects. George Gendi's Pingpongs was a proper treat to see, capturing with great elegance two exchanges between an older couple who care greatly for each after many years, but perhaps havn't talked about certain feelings. I was a little bit surprised that The Corridor by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli didn't get a mention in either the audience or jury votes: it was one of my favourite films at Animafest, it's pretty well perfect. In the bar afterwards there was a lot of discussion about the programme and the winning films, I'm looking forward to next year already.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Three animation outings - this has been a busy week for spellbound.
On tuesday I was lucky enough to have lunch at L'Escargot, courtesy of the Quebec Government Office, it was only lunch, but I gloated until supper. It felt very nice to be nestled in amongst other animators drinking wine and eating beef on a tuesday afternoon.
On the 22nd August I went to a competition screening at LIAF in which Sawney Beane was showing. In this programme there were a few films I had been looking forward to seeing: A bus ride with flowers in her hair by Asaf Agranat and Invasion by Matt Abbiss, both very good and masterful in different ways, infact I enjoyed many films in the programme, in particular Woanders by Ulrike Keil, which had a tremendous soundtrack.
On thursday I sat in on a panel discussion about animated shorts at the Edinburgh Film Fest. The other panellists were Bill Lawrence from NMPFT, Matt Walton frim BBC Film Network and Becky Lloyd from Scottish Screen. Bill Lawrence urged us all to lobby Whitehall and the Regional Screen agencies to bring animation higher up their agendas and suggested that collaboration between games companies and animators be encouraged. Matt Walton suggested that if distribution were properly funded it would be easier to attract money to projects for production. There was also the discussion about distributing films on ipods and mobiles, which is an exciting thought, but only if a film was conceived for that context. I can quite imagine enjoying making films that could be downloaded in short installments.

(I can recommend the 5.50am from Edinburgh to London, nice and quiet)

Friday, August 18, 2006

New Talent in Animation

On Thursday 24th August I'm off up to Edinburgh to join in on a discussion about animated short films at the Edinburgh Film Festival. I've never sat under the hot lights on a stage before and I'm quite looking forward to hearing what other people have to say and putting my oar (or my foot) in too.

The launch of the London Internation Animation Festival took place last night at the Curzon Soho. Nag Vladermersky presented a taster of the festival by screening five films to a small and lacklustre crowd. LIAF doesn't start with a bang, but if it's anything like last year, most of the screenings are full and by Best of the Fest on the final day, London will be as pleased as it bloody should be that Nag and Malcom Turner have thought of getting the festival off the ground.

The first film screened was McLaren's Negatives by Marie Josee Saint Pierre, a Canadian animator who is coming over to give a masterclass during LIAF. The film was gentle, not embarking on any of the more colourful areas of Norman McLaren's life, but instead making much of two or three audio recordings and a quote. It was very exciting to hear his voice but I think it is very difficult to make a good documentary about Norman McLaren using animation. Also screened was John R Dilworth's Life in Transition, a slightly old fashioned and surreal depiction of Mr Dilworth's up's and downs. Mr Dilworth was at Animafest and because he's big and quite muscly I can't imagine that he really sits down with his Wacom for the long haul. Tragic Story with a Happy Ending tells a story that could be fey and simply shouldn't work but it's sincerity and an astonishing score by Normand Roger makes it the best film of the evening for me. A Long Day of Mr Calpaccio made me have a headache twice, once in Zagreb and again yesterday. I couldn't help quite liking Jona/Tomberry for being zealous and earnest but if I were to watch it again I would wish Rosto AD had had another go at the script.

My little servant

is hopeless.

Production meetings

My producer and I cycle to a pub on the canal halfway between our houses. We chat until the sun goes down and go home for tea. It's very crucial to the production, I feel immensely fortified and encouraged. Cheers Kathrein!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Addicted to statcounter

204 people have visited my new website in three weeks. Let's see how many will visit next month now that I've taken my own IP address off.

Two animation side effects.

My ankles are always a bit swollen after an animation day, so today I am trying out wearing my scholl flight socks. It could be expensive since I know that they only have 16 flights in them. My other animation ailment is a cricked neck. So I only hope this dosnt happen taking the flight socks off at the end of the day.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Today was a beautiful day for me.

There were sausages for lunch, two cappucinos and I won an animation prize.

Bracknell - have you lost your humanity?

If I were queen, I would be sorely tempted to start again with Bracknell. Lost and Panicky I asked two separate people for directions and they both sniffed and walked on, noses in the air, brief cases swinging. Snobby cul de sac so and so's.