Friday, 15 June 2018

Academics and Philosophers

Next week I'll be stomping around my old stomping grounds of Montreal and, while my agenda is primarily syrup and bacon-oriented, my ever-brilliant spouse Laura-Beth will be in town to speak as part of the prestigious Society for Animation Studies Conference that this year takes place at Concordia University. For you animation academics who might be in attendance you can see her PhD presentation The changing face of replacement animation: how looking to the past can revolutionize the future of stop motion animation as part of the Auteurs and Experiments session that kicks off at 1:30pm at Concordia's De Seve Cinema. Among the other speakers are some fantastic artists including previous interviewees Janice Nadeau, Diane Obomsawin and my old UWE pal Philippe Vaucher.
https://www.atthefringe.org/film-festival
In a couple weeks' time my not-very-academic film Klementhro will be playing as part of the At The Fringe International Arts Festival in Tranås, Sweden. I now know it will be part of the program Philosophy in Spoken Words (the name of which in and of itself has made my day) that takes place July 1st at 2pm, the again July 2nd at noon. Check out their site for venue specifics and the full programme and whatnot.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Fringeworthy

Not to be outshine by plucky newcomer Sunscapades, my previous film Klementhro's still finding new places in the world to pester. Three-plus years down the line, the film's Swedish premiere will take place during the first week of July in Tranås for the international short film festival section of this year's At The Fringe International Arts Festival. Don't have specifics to hand just yet but as ever they'll be up here as soon as I know. In all these years I've never missed an opportunity to self-promote!

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Junescapades

Sunscapades has snuck in another June screening, this time making its Portuguese debut at Porto 7 - Oporto International Short Film Festival.
These folks are eggs of the good-est variety, having included my other films Ground Running, The Naughty List and Klementhro at previous editions. For their eleventh they're screening their official selection every day from 9:30pm at the Castle Foz starting this Wednesday June 13th (when you catch Sunscapades) through to the 17th.
And it's free! So get yisselfs down there, no excuses.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Evenings in June

The sixteenth edition of Caostica is upon us and, as previously mentioned, Sunscapades will be among the animated shorts in the official selection. From perusing the line-up it looks like the film is part of the Friday all-nighter Artxandageddon Bizarre Party Vol. 4. Right on. The screening and other frivolities, including an awards ceremony and a bunch of DJ sets, kick off at the Artxanda Skating Rink on June 8th at 9pm and goes on until the wee hours. You can check out a flier for the full programme here.
It's always fun to hear that the films get screened in all sorts of unique settings and locales - over the years I've had work play at outdoor pools, on boats, in modern art museums, in antique bookstores and projected onto bedsheets. As cool as it is to add skating rinks to the list, the Free Range Film Festival has topped even this by literally holding their event inside a century-old barn. The festival takes place June 29th-30th at, according to their Facebook page, "the junctions of County Roads 1 and 4 just one mile south of Wrenshall, Minnesota."
and the US premiere for Sunscapades will be on the 30th around 9:30pm. I'm rather chuffed. Plus those of you who can make it to the event in person can go home with armfuls of fresh produce

Friday, 25 May 2018

All-nighter

https://multfest.ru/stat.php?id=441
Another exciting screening for Klementhro this coming Friday - it will be part of Big Animation Night, a massive five-hour event bringing together a bunch of the films that were gathered up by the folks from Russia's Big Cartoon Festival. As with other events spun off from this particular fest, this means my weird little film will have elbowed its way in amongst some of my absolute favourites of the last couple years, including Love, Negative Space, The Burden, Catherine, Wednesday With Goddard, Nighthawk, Ivan's Need, The Head Vanishes and Mr. Madila.
The event will take place at the in Moscow this Friday night at 10pm (which means Klementhro will show up around the 2:55am mark on Saturday - crikey, watching it on its own is enough of an endurance test) - for full programme info and tickets head over to the Karo cinema website.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Sol Power

Following on from last week's encouraging world premiere, I'm happy to be able to officially announce that Sunscapades will have its Spanish debut at the sixth edition of Caostica next month!
The event takes place in Bilbao from June 1st-11th, as ever when I have the specifics I'll let y'all know. In the meantime I want to give a special shout-out to fellow UWE-alum Nagore Rementeria for sorting me out with the Spanish subtitles.
Proper continental-like

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Rising Sun

Came home to some rather lovely news that Sunscapades just won itself the Best Animation award at the Fylde Film Festival! It's been a slow start for this one as far as getting it out there so this is a really encouraging start and hopefully I'll be able to share news about upcoming screenings in the near future.
This also marks the official world premiere of the film, the first time an animated short of mine has ever actually debuted in the UK, so it's very reassuring to hear it went down well. Once again many thanks to the brilliant talents who helped it get done - Laura-Beth, Hannah, Fiona, Phil and Carwyn in particular - and to the festival team for taking a punt on it. After a bit of a grumpy weekend y'all perked me up some.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Available time to design the cover was clearly limited

https://struwwelpeter.bandcamp.com/album/songs-only-a-mother-could-love
Happy Mother's Day, everyone!
Canadian Mother's Day, that is (before all you non-Canucks panic). Instead of a reissue this month I've decided to put together a new EP collection in loving tribute to the most Canadian Mother I have. Just think, if she hadn't birthed me you wouldn't get to enjoy any of my at-times-moderately-well-received creative endeavours. No zombie duck film, no cartoon witterings, no poorly-rendered nudity - frankly it wouldn't be worth getting up in the morning. So raise a glass to mum and, y'know, to me as well (obviously). From both of us: You're welcome.
These are the six songs out of the 100+ I've written over the years that she likes, or at the very least doesn't find objectionable; a full LP's worth would've proved far trickier to pull off. As one might imagine, this is me at my most pop-ey and accessible so is probably a little easier on the ears than the other records of mine I've been putting up lately. So give 'er a free stream below (and for you non-Bandcampers it's available for a mere bag of shells over on Amazon):

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Hittin' the Beach

http://fyldefilmfestival.co.uk
A promising start for my new film Sunscapades - it has received a Best Animation nomination at this year's Fylde Film Festival (whose prior incarnation the Fylde Film Showcase included Laura-Beth's film Boris-Noris last year, so they already rank highly in my estimation) in beachy Blackpool, fittingly enough.
From what I can tell it's structured a little differently from most festivals, retaining the showcase element for special events that took place over the last couple months, with one more planned for non-nominated films. Folks can check this out at the Blott Art Gallery on May 14th throughout the day, then there'll be a screening/awards ceremony for the nominees that evening at Viva Blackpool.
Wish 'em luck!

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Dogged Persistence

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/438747534-skwigly-skwigly-podcast-80.mp3
For our eightieth episode (EIGHTIETH?!) of the Skwigly Animation Podcast I'm delighted to bring you an assortment of insights into the making of Wes Anderson’s latest critically-acclaimed stop-motion feature Isle of Dogs from four of the film’s key crew members!
This episode features audio from the special presentation Making Isle of Dogs that I was privileged enough to get to chair at the recent Cardiff Animation Festival, where we hear from:
  • Kim Keukeleire (Lead Animator)
    After finishing her Masters degree in Animation Cinematography and Videography at the Enseignement National Supérieur des Arts Visuels (ENSAV) de La Cambre in Brussels in 1992, Kim has worked for several companies such as Passion Pictures, BBC Animations, Aardman, Cosgrove Hall and Will Vinton Studios (now Laika).
    Amongst others, Kim animated on Fantastic Mr Fox (Wes Anderson), Frankenweenie (Tim Burton) and Chicken Run (Nick Park & Peter Lord). She was the animation director of the recently Oscar-nominated French animation feature film My Life as a Courgette.
  • Joshua Flynn (Sculptor/Fabricator)
    Joshua is a sculptor and puppet fabricator specialising in the stop-motion industry for feature films and commercials.
    Originally from Cardiff, Josh studied BA Animation at the University of Glamorgan (now the University of South Wales). After graduating in 2011, he has worked on a number of productions across the UK including Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires, Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel and his most recent film, Isle of Dogs.
    Together with his brother Nathan, the two of them make up SculptDouble, creating sculptures, maquettes and animations.
  • Kerry Dyer (Head Of Department – Puppet Hospital)
    Kerry has over 10 years experience working in Stop Motion animation, for both TV and Film. Including: Ooglies, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires and Isle Of Dogs.
    She began her career as an animator, before finding she enjoyed the mechanics of armatures and the feel of clay between her fingers. She recently ran a team of ten, stitching together and generally repairing the inhabitants of Trash Island for Isle of Dogs.
Laura-Beth also brings us an exclusive chat with Key Animator Tim Allen, whose stop-motion career began with Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride and has gone on to include TV series such as Fifi and the Flower Tots and Shaun the Sheep with features including Fantastic Mr Fox, Frankenweenie, Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires and Isle of Dogs. Tim also conducts animation workshops at festivals and events across the world.
Also on this episode – an overview of our personal CAF highlights, cultural appropriation, the problem with Apu that The Problem With Apu has brought to light, how not to get a job at Aardman and a special appearance from festival organisers Lauren Orme and Dani Abram.
Direct download here or stream below: