28 October 2012

Viv & Mandy to have a second outing to the Flip Animation Festival!

Exiting news everyone, you may remember that last October Viv & Mandy in the Big Clean up Part 1 was screened as part of the Flip International Animation Festival? Well I’m very happy to say that Viv & Mandy in the Big Clean up Part 2 will be getting screened at this year’s Flip animation festival on the 2nd of November!
I’m very excited by this news and really looking forward to seeing Part 2 on the big screen in a room full of animation lovers who may even remember seeing Part 1 last year. I’m very grateful to the people at Flip for once again give this me and Viv & Mandy this opportunity, thank you very much!

This year’s Flip is going to be very cool as we have 5 different short films from graduates from my university also been screened, so a big congratulations to all of them as well!! For more information about the Flip International Animation look at http://www.flipfestival.co.uk/ to book tickets and see what great things they have going on there this year.
And for anyone who is going to flip come say hi or let me know as I want to meet as many of my online animation mates face to face, and you can even have your very own Viv & Mandy badge :D

6 October 2012

Bristol Animate Encounters Day 3 & 4:

Networking Breakfast
After the joy of last night Myself, Tommy and Gareth got up nice and early and went over to a filmmaker’s breakfast networking event. We sat down at a table and many different people went around the room and came over to talk to use. We got to the meet and chat to some very interesting people, some were fellow animation students, resent university graduates and the film and animation advisers from the British Council. I learnt a lot from these people and found out some interesting ways to help you get finding for animation and short film ideas. These are something I will most defiantly be keeping in mind for when I leve university next year. 
The Lighter side
This is the last of the short animation screenings, and this one felt much more like a bigger mix of short and longer studio animated shorts. I had seen some of these shorts screened on TV over last year and it was fantastic to see them on the big screen were every detail looked amazing. My highlights from this screening were: Much Better Now, Phone Home, Pythagasaurus, Stopover, A Different Perspective, Chop Chop and The Gruffalo’s Child.
Nexus Studio Focus
Nexus Productions are an independent production company and animation studio based in London check them out here! This one was grate a mix of a show and tell presentation with the screenings, 4 people from the studio sat there speaking about the company; they would show a short then talk about the making of that short. This was a very different way to screen the shorts and I have to say I really enjoyed it, this is exactly how in my eyes the 2 Aardman screening should have been like. My highlights from this screening were: Back to the Start, Invade all of the Humans!!!, The Chase, Speed of Light and This Way Up. But if I was to pick one it would have to be Invade all of the Humans!! Hands down! 
Trip to the Aardman Lobby
After the last screening Tommy and myself decided to go for a little walk around Bristol and hopefully find The Aardman animations Studio. To cut the tale short we ended up finding the studio, and after about 5 minutes standing outside saying should we or should we not ring the bell, we rang bell. 
 The very nice chap behind the desk let us in and very kindly let us have a look around the amazing props, Puppets, sets and life size Wallace they have on display in the Lobby. To say that this was an amazing and very overwhelming felling to be standing in the middle of Aardman is a big understatement. One day it would be fantastic to get any form of Work experience there, or even the full on tour would keep me happy, but until then I have got theses pitchers to remind me of just how amazing it was.
Late Lounge
Still buzzing from are trip to Aardman we then mad are way over the Late Lounge. This screening was a mix of live action and animated shorts that are a little to adult themed to show in the day screenings. There were some that were very funny and some that were a tad disturbing, but the quality of shorts was fantastic. My highlights from this screening were: Tram, The Bob shorts, Curiosity Kills and Umshini Wam (Bring Me My Machine Gum)

Day 4:

Aardman Kids Animation Workshop
This was my last day in Bristol and a brilliant way to end it was to go to a build your own Gromit work shop with the very awesome Aardman model maker Jim Parkyn. Although me and Tommy were some of the oldest in the room this was a cracking work shop that lasted just over an hour. Using a sheet of basic shapes we used these to build are very own Gromit, and I have to say I was very happy with the way mine came out. And thank you Jim for letting me keep the modelling tool with the Aardman logo on it I will use it with pride!  

Once the workshop was over we stayed back and had a very nice chat with Jim about most things animation, I then handed him one of my cards and a Viv & Mandy badges. Once out of the workshop Tommy and I said a jolly good bye, parted ways and i got the train back to Sunny Stoke. 
Now I am back into the full swing of university life I can say that all in all this festival has been one hell of an amazing experience and I’d like to say a massive thank you to all the truly amazing people that I got to meet, chat to and spend time with. I very much hope that I can make it over to the festival again next year, so until then buy buy Bristol! 

2 October 2012

Bristol Animate Encounters Day 2

Day 2:
Tooth and Claw
This was the third selection of animated screening and as you may be able to guess from the tile most of these animations were animal themed. This screening was an exciting one as this was the screening were former Graduates form my university including Tommy had there film The Money Tree shown, and it was a grate felling to see it on the big screen for them.  My highlights from this screening: The Money Tree, Rising Hope, L’Ere BĂȘte, Ride Of Passage, Ernesto, and The Tortoise
Time Passages
Before this screening I meet up with Katie McQuin who is a community manager at Aardman. I know Katie from posting animations on the Wallace and Gromit site and twitter. I meet here for a little chat last year and it was grate to she hear again and have a good long chat, and she was very happy to get her very own Viv &  Mandy badge. Myself, Katie and Gareth head in to the next screening. This was the fourth set of animated shorts to play and themed about gods, death and the environment. My highlights from this screening were: Zing, A Life Well-Seasoned, Atlas, Seven Minutes in the Warsaw Ghetto and Bendito Machine IV
Setting the scene: Layout workshop
The workshop was held by Fraser Maclean the author of the book setting the Scene, this was an interesting talk were he spoke about his personal jobs within animation, his first job was doing some of the shadow FX work on Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He then went on to talk about the past 100 years of animation layout in a brief history, showing clips for different films and shorts as examples. The full history of layout is in his book that you can check out here! Id highly recommend it for all animators but more so if you are a 3D and 2D animator/ director. As staging can make or break a scene. Also Fraser is a very nice, friendly and easy to talk to chap.
Before this workshop started I spotted that I was sat next Mr Ben Mitchell who is the co-hosts of the brilliant Skwigly Animation pod cast check out there site here! And you can download the pod cast here! or on ITunes. I had been chatting to Ben on and off over the last year over twitter, so It was nice to introduce myself and put a face to the voce and tweets. 
Over in the Art gallery close to the festival they had the pirate ship used in The Pirates! Film on display in the lobby, and boy this ship was massive!! The details on the ship were stunning the mast, sales and rigging alone was over 2 stories high. This made it hard to fit into a single photo but hear it is in all its glory   
Directors UK: Sam Fell
This event was a big one for stop motion Animators, and because of this it meant that most of the online stop motion twitter community were all coming down for it (you know who you all are). We all met up before hand in the watershed bar. I got to chat up with sum of gang that I have met before and some who I was meeting for the first time, a big one for me to meet was stop motion animator Tim Alan who has worked on Corpse Bride Mr Fox and the up-coming Frankenweenie, if you don’t know who he is then check out this sitehere! He has done some brilliant work over the years!
Once we all had a little catch up we all made are way over to the screening of Paranorman (if you have not seen it yet I say you must run and go see it now!!) this will be followed by an interview and Q&A with the films co-director Sam Fell. Even though I had seen the film before the atmosphere of seeing an animated film in a room full of animators and animation lovers was something I have never experienced before and what a buzz it gives you, fingers crossed this will be the first of many like this. Once the film had finished and every one had picked their jaws up off the floor and stopped clapping out came Sam. 
This chat gave a grate inside into what went into making the film. He spoke about the character design, the 3D printing, casting the film, picking the actors, walking the thin line of not making it too scary for kids and the big question on all animator’s lips how did you feel when you heard that Frankenweenie was coming out this year as well. Once the chat was over I got to briefly meet Sam, were I got introduce myself, have a short chat and I gave him my card. He very kindly did me and Gareth a quick singed drawing of Norman etch that I will be getting frame at some point very soon.
After the chat with Sam a big bunch of use all went to that after screening drinks/ get-together on a boat / pub. This was a great chance to meet more people and have a good chat with some animators and directors in a very chilled and relaxed manner. thanks to my idea of tweeting a photo of the badges I was wearing I got spotted and had a very nice chat with managing director of Slurpy studios Aaron Wood check them out here!  Later on in the night myself and Gareth got to have a drink from and more brilliant chit-chat with Tim Alan as well. After the boat party we all made are way to a different pub and carried on with the friendly animation and all things nerdy conversation, before calling it a night.