Monday, 15 January 2018

Kickey Muck
As part of their coverage of this year's edition of British Shorts in Berlin (which had the good manners to screen Klementhro on Friday), the fine folks at indie film mag The New Current interviewed me about it. Have a read here for some wafflings about making indie animated films, managing Skwigly and putting together my book.
Elsewhere the new Bertram Fiddle game A Bleaker Predicklement (from pals Rumpus Animation and featuring yours truly attempting a variety of dubious regional accent) has this week expanded its release to include Android, so get downloadin' for Pete's sake!
You'll marvel at Blacksmith and Little Wacksmith's geographically inexplicable voice characterisations
If you want to get caught up then throughout this week you'll be able to get yourself a copy of the first game A Dreadly Business - one of the major case studies of aforementioned book, don'cha know - for free! If that doesn't kick Blue Monday up its blue arse I don't know what will.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Ich bin ein Berlin-type guy
I'm pleasantly surprised to say that, as Sunscapades nears its finish line (for real this time), my previous film Klementhro still has a bit of life in it yet. This coming Friday (12th) it will get its first (and possibly last/only) 2018 screening in Berlin at the 11th Lichtspielklub Short Film Festival (AKA British Shorts), a fantastic-looking event I'm disappointed to not be able to attend in person. The screening will take place at the Sputnik Kino at 7:30pm, click here for more info on what else is playing. Having a skim of the programme it looks like there are some belters representing the animation side of things, including recent work by Robert Morgan, Joseph Wallace, Liam Harris, Sara Barbas and Will Anderson among others, so give it some love if you're in the city.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Reel Gone

It's been a good long while but I've given the ol' showreel a bit of an update:
Hopefully over the course of this year I'll be able to do a complete revamp with footage from some of the recent projects I've worked on that I'm not allowed to share just yet. In the meantime this one is structured in much the same way as it's been for the last few years with the addition of some first looks at several scenes from Sunscapades and a couple snippets from stuff like Klementhro and Lendas Animadas.
Hope it entertains for a minute and a bit. If it moves you to hire me that'd be even better. I brighten any workplace with my puckish-yet-unobtrusive bon mots and have been told I make a tolerable cuppa.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

If you have 48 minutes to kill
Happy new year, ya filthy animals.
Alongside the usual animationey chunks I'll be expectorating into the world over the coming months I'm keen to have 2018 be a year for some new - or, at the very least, unheard - music of mine. Rather than get ahead of myself and outline what I have planned - because whenever I do that on here it pretty much guarantees it won't pan out (remember when Sunscapades was supposedly going to be done by last May?) - I'm first going to tackle the long-overdue expanded digital release of some old albums.
Kicking things off I'm happy to say the fifth Struwwelpeter album The Birdcage, originally released May 2015, is now available on a wider variety of platforms as of today. These include iTunes/Apple Music, Amazon and Spotify among others. You can give the Spotify version a whirl below - it's free, fun and the health risks are slim:
Hopefully some of the other Struwwelpeter albums will see the light of the day as well, which would be nice as a lot of them have been OOP for a fair few years now. I'll play it by ear. In the meantime the original digital release is still available on Bandcamp and, for you old-fogeys, compact disc. Whatever's your pleasure.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Stocking Fillers

Before I retreat into Xmasdom there are a couple of new podcasts ready for your listenin' ears over on Skwigly. Last week we resumed our longer-running series with a couple of timely guest spots, namely Ferdinand director Carlos Saldanha and Google Spotlight Stories composer Scot Stafford whose first directorial effort Sonaria was recently released. Some of you may recall we spoke with Scot in the first Animation Composed podcast outing about a year ago regarding his music output.
This morning saw us hit episode 75 (not counting all the other series strands and minisodes) with a focus on some holiday animation, primarily Blue Zoo (guests Tom Box, Simone Giampaolo and Francesco Mazza)'s new internally-produced short Lynx and Birds and director Jeroen Jaspaert tells us about the latest Magic Light Pictures Julia Donaldson adaptation The Highway Rat that you can catch on BBC1 Xmas day.
You can stream them above or direct download them here (74) and here (75).
Right now I'm far far away doing my best to get all the character animation done and dusted for my latest film Sunscapades. There are some sequences in this one that I'm incredibly chuffed with and would love to post up here but it would sort of spoil the film so I have to abstain. In the meantime here are a couple of Insta-peeks:
A post shared by Ben Mitchell (@benlmitchell) on

A post shared by Ben Mitchell (@benlmitchell) on

A post shared by Ben Mitchell (@benlmitchell) on

A post shared by Ben Mitchell (@benlmitchell) on
More of that good shiz if you follow me on Instagram, the 34-year-old man typed without hating himself whatsoever.
Captain dipshit over here was already on his way to Portland for the holidays before he realised he'd left his Cintiq pen back at his home office in Bristol, so any productivity in the next couple of weeks is entirely owed to the brilliant Dani Abram who posted her spare one to me. Some beverages and a big shiny Special Thanks credit in her future, but here in the present let me point you in the direction of her website so you can bask in her awesomeness. Spirit of the season and that.
Now to the past, and a last little bleat of gratitude regarding Klementhro, the film I really should have drawn a line under since its online release but just won't shut up about. Mainly I want to extend my thanks once again to the Short of the Week team who took a punt on it, including Rob for the original write-up and Georg who included it in his Top 10 of 2017. Here's a cheeky repost of last year's holiday animation for the benefit of those who hadn't seen the original film when it originally went up:

Friday, 1 December 2017

Last Gasps
A couple of final 2017 screenings for Klementhro ahead - back in April of last year the fine folks at AniScreen demonstrated their immaculate taste by showing the film and will do so again as part of a special screening at this year's PAF Olomouc, taking place in the Czech Republic. The AniScreen in the Antique Bookstore programme will take place Saturday December 9th 2pm at the Antikvariát Olomouc - an antique bookstore, as you may have already deduced.
Another organisation who gave the film some love last year and have seen fit to do so again is the splendid Short Waves Festival, who have put together a special screening event for International Short Film Day. You can catch Klementhro as part of The Shortest Day on December 21st at the Under The Black Cat wine bar in Poznań, Poland. Best of all, both screenings are FREE, which is as cheap as you can ask for really. I'm sorry to not be there myself as they sound very cool, but of course I'm grateful for the inclusion. Keeps this old fella's holiday spirit up.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Will these deals NEVER END?

Missed out on Black Friday? Well hang in there, you lackadaisical so-and-so, because TA-DA! Cyber Monday! It's a thing, I'm informed!
For TODAY ONLY you can get a whopping 40% off the graphic novels with code CYBER40 at checkout!
You can also get 30% off Independent Animation: Developing, Producing and Distributing Your Animated Films PLUS FREE shipping, no code required.
Not to stoke the fires of consumerism, but once again it's for TODAY ONLY so GO! NOW! QUICKLY! TIME'S A-RUNNIN' OUT!

UPDATE: The CYBER40 deal is now running until the end of the month. If you missed out yesterday, don't forget that until the end of the month you can still get 20% off Independent Animation and free shipping if you order via CRC and enter the code LMT02)

Friday, 24 November 2017

It's the most cynical time o' the year...

Already losing hair over the impending nightmare of holiday shopping? Aghast at how miserably difficult-to-buy-for the comic'n'animation enthusiasts in your life insist on being?
Well fret not, you downers, because Uncle Ben* is here to ease your burden. Have I got some Black Friday deals for you!
Firstly if you're in the mood for some graphic novels (and why wouldn't you be?) you can head on over to my store and pick up anything there for a juicy 30% off! Merely enter code LULU30 at checkout. Bear in mind this is valid today (November 24th) only, so act fast lest you feel forever empty.
If it's something non-fictioney yet still quite cartooney you're after, then you could do worse than pick up Independent Animation: Developing, Producing and Distributing Your Animated Films. If you enter code LMT02 at checkout not only do you get a cool 20% knocked off the price but there's also FREE shipping thrown in! Plus this deal goes on throughout the rest of the month, so you're granted some extra mulling time. 'Tis the season, after all.

*Not affiliated with any pre-existing Uncle Ben or other brand that may operate under the Mars, Inc umbrella. Ho ho ho!

Sunday, 12 November 2017

MAFward Bound
I'll be back at the Manchester Animation Festival this coming week to fly the ol' Skwigly flag. If you're in town on Wednesday we'll be doing another one of our maddening (though splendid fun) Skwigly Quiz sessions, so festival passholders be sure to get yourselves to the the Event Space at HOME for 5pm.
The next day (Thursday 16th) at 4:10pm festival passholders can check out the Skwigly Screening, a totes-free collection of some of the best films we've encountered over the past year. This'll also be in the Event Space and the full list of films included is as follows:
A lot of these films have recent Skwigly interviews attached, so you can learn more about them by clicking on any of the active links above.
Catch you there!

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Keeping the music going
Continuing Animation Composed, Skwigly’s celebration of the harmonious relationship between music and animation presented by myself and Wez Allard, our second episode delves into the world of composing for animated TV series, with special guests Ben Locket and Gareth Davies.
Born in Australia and presently based in London, Ben’s work in television centers around the long-running Cartoon Network series The Amazing World of Gumball, as well as the recent Magic Light adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes – both of which presently nominated for a Children’s Animation BAFTA. Revolting Rhymes also recently won Best Original Score at the Sapporo Japanese Short Film Festival and, as well as an upcoming soundtrack release, has been screened to a live orchestral accompaniment over the past year with the next performance taking place this coming February at the Southbank Centre.
UK-based composer/songwriter Gareth Davies has a wealth of experience composing for television and corporate clients alongside his own personal projects. He has most recently written for the animated television shows Scream Street (CBBC) and Everybody Loves A Moose (Rai). He also produces original songs under the moniker Band of One.
Also featured in this episode are musical scores to the National Film Board of Canada productions The Head Vanishes (Dir. Franck Dion) and I Am Here (Dir. Eoin Duffy) by Pierre Caillet and Menalon respectively, as well as more work from previously featured composers David Kamp (Réka Bucsi’s Love), Mathieu Alvado (Who’s Afraid of Mr. Greedy? from Gobelins) and Ephrem Leuchinger (Anete Melece’s Analysis Paralysis).
Full playlist:
  • Theme from LoveDavid Kamp
  • The Hole (The Amazing World of Gumball) – Ben Locket
  • The Kidnapping [Excerpt] (Revolting Rhymes) – Ben Locket
  • The Man (The Amazing World of Gumball) – Ben Locket
  • Meeting an Old Friend [Excerpt] (The Amazing World of Gumball) – Ben Locket
  • The Shell (The Amazing World of Gumball) – Ben Locket
  • Antons Suche (Analysis Paralysis) – Ephrem Leuchinger
  • Excerpts (Who’s Afraid of Mr. Greedy?) – Mathieu Alvado
  • Jaqueline perd la tête (The Head Vanishes) – Pierre Caillet
  • I Am HereMenalon
  • The Uninvited (Scream Street) – Gareth Davies
  • Haunted House (Scream Street) – Gareth Davies
  • Transformation (Scream Street) – Gareth Davies
  • Otto’s Theme (Scream Street) – Gareth Davies
  • Main Titles (Everybody Loves A Moose) – Gareth Davies
  • Jack’s Theme (Everybody Loves A Moose) – Gareth Davies
  • Sad Moose (Everybody Loves A Moose) – Gareth Davies
  • Too Many Moons – Band of One
  • The Climb [Excerpt] (Revolting Rhymes) – Ben Locket