Friday, 25 September 2015

I got me some of that Oktoberfest spirit

More upcoming festival news for those of you might be feeling a little without a paddle on this fine Friday. I'm very happy to say my adorably shy new film will be getting two German outings this coming November, firstly at Interfilm Berlin's 31st International Short Film Festival which runs from November 10th-15th.
Shortly thereafter it will play at the Flensburger Kurtzfilmtage (or the Flensburg Short Film Festival, but frankly I prefer the German name) which runs from November 18th-22nd. I'll fill you all in with the exact dates/times/venue info when I know. Needless to say I'm very happy that it's finally reached German shores as that country was where my third film The Naughty List got probably the most consistent and positive responses. Danke schön!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

In the latest episode of the Skwigly Animation Podcast Steve meet the talents behind CBBC’s new Danger Mouse reboot, including voice cast members Alexander Armstrong, Kevin Eldon and Shauna Macdonald. We also hear from CBBC’s Head of Animation Development Sarah Muller, Bob Higgins of Fremantle Media, Head Writer Ben Ward and Series Director Rob Cullen of Boulder Media.
Also discussed in this episode are first impressions of the new show from animator and Skwigly contributor Bianca Ansems, while Laura-Beth Cowley and award-winning animation director Aidan McAteer (Deadly, The Gentleman’s Guide to Villainy) join the show to discuss the highlights of this year’s Encounters Festival international animation competition screenings. Stream, subscribe or download for some aural nourishment!

Friday, 11 September 2015

Kick, Scream etc

After unearthing last week's Garbage cover I've had more of a rummage through old recordings and found this passable stab at some Chuck Mosely-era Faith No More: This was recorded in Cheltenham in the Spring of 2011 to a positive crowd who evidently weren't familiar enough with the original track to appreciate what a second-rate job I was doing with it.
If that's left you feeling without a paddle, back in the world of animation I'm happy to say my sneaky new film will be drifting its way to Canadian shores as part of the esteemed Ottawa International Animation Festival!
Alas, it's proved too intimidating and impressive to be playing in competition but the extremely kind and beautiful folks at Laika (the studio behind Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls) will be screening it at their Salon des Refusés party this coming Thursday, September 17th at 11pm.
Similarly you may catch a glimpse of the film if you head down to the Rumpus Animation/Skwigly party in Bristol on that same night. That'll take place a little earlier, from 7pm UK time, so if you're in town for Encounters head on over to Kong's of King Street and we'll see you there!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Fight Club
In the latest episode of the Skwigly Animation Podcast we’re delighted to welcome back legendary animator and The Animator’s Survival Kit author Richard Williams to discuss his incredible new short film Prologue. Known for his work as Animation Director on the highly-acclaimed Who Framed Roger Rabbit and his recently-restored feature film masterwork The Thief and The Cobbler, Richard has produced the stunningly rendered new piece as an offshoot of a longer-form feature. Produced by Imogen Sutton with the assistance of Aardman Animations, Prologue premiered at this year’s Annecy festival and will begin an Oscar-qualifying run of screenings at the Laemmle Royal in Los Angeles from September 11th through to the 17th.
Rendered with exquisite detail and jaw-dropping realism, Prologue (an offshoot from Richard’s ongoing, longer-form project bearing the tongue-in-cheek working title Will I Live to Finish This?) depicts a brutal fight between Athenian and Spartan warriors while a young girl looks on.
Also discussed in this episode are recent Bristol Festival of Puppetry and Cardiff Animation Nights events, the much-anticipated Danger Mouse remake and animation programmer Kieran Argo discusses the highlights of the upcoming Encounters Festival in Bristol at which Prologue will have its UK premiere on September 18th.
Thanks so much to Kieran and Imogen as well as Kellie and Beryl at Plaster for all their help getting this one organised as it was a real privilege to get such insight from the man himself.
Stream the latest episode below, subscribe on iTunes or direct download here.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Don't ask me why

Outside of work my time is primarily focused on legal documentation relating to the ever-snowballing Project Group-Hug, so there's not much by way of new gossip, I'm afeared. Instead here's some more of my musically musical music. This song is ELEVEN (gawd) years old, from my presently out-of-print 2004 album Rapeseed. Evidently I sought title inspiration from my kitchen cabinet back then. I've cleaned/spruced it up a touch to make it a little easier on the ears. It was originally intended as a theme song to an animated sitcom I wanted to make at the time. That plan went out of the window the moment I actually started studying animation but not that long ago I unearthed some scripts and a sort of amateur series bible I'd put together. Here are some sample storylines:

What wonderment could've been, eh? I guess the itch to do something sitcom-ey was ultimately scratched by my thesis film House Guest.
I also note that this month marks the 20th anniversary of Garbage's eponymous debut LP, which the band are celebrating in style. They were always a big inspiration on the production/composition side of things so I have a lot of love for them. To mark the occasion I've dug out my patchy attempt at a cover of the deep track 'A Stroke of Luck' during a live show from about four years back. Loving tribute or hideous caterwauling, I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions:

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Puppet Masters
In the latest episode of the Skwigly Animation Podcast we go primal with recent NFTS graduate Simon Cartwright, whose short MANOMAN is a joyously dark, twisted (and to some of us, curiously relatable) marriage of animation and live-action puppetry. Steve managed to get some time to interview Simon at EIFF this year and a darn enjoyable listen it is too. Also joining the podcast this episode is puppet specialist, technical instructor and animation author Mary Murphy, discussing the Bristol Festival of Puppetry (whose 2015 edition kicks off this week) and her exclusive workshop Stop Motion on a Shoestring.
Also discussed in this episode are the latest developments from Skwigly’s ongoing series of animation screenings This Is Not A Cartoon, sex education via animation as well as the pleasing success of previous guest Signe Baumane‘s independent feature film Rocks In My Pockets and its recent screening as part of the Bechdel Test Fest.
Stream the latest episode above or direct download here.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Syrosly good news
As my new film premieres today I've also gotten word that it will be paddling its way to Greece for this year's edition of the Anima Syros festival and market. The festival takes place on Syros Island from September 24th-27th. The full programme will go up on September 7th so I should have more specifics then.
While this is my first inclusion in Anima Syros I generally have a bit of a soft spot for Greece as it's the country of my first ever official selection (a rough cut of my second film, oddly enough) and I've had a pretty clement relationship with Grecian festivals since. I also really like the film Dogtooth. Just saying.

Monday, 17 August 2015

It Starts
Festival update with specifics on the premiere of my new film at the Anonimul International Film Festival, based in the idyllic-looking Danube Delta. The film will be part of the Competition 4 programme that will screen this Thursday (20th) at 5:45pm at the Green Village Resort, followed by an outdoor screening (I think) at 11:45pm. It will screen again at Green Village the following day (Friday 21st) at 3:30pm. So for those of you lucky enough to be in attendance, please do check it out!

Friday, 14 August 2015

Old Yeller

I dunno. It made sense at the time.
While I'm still keen to steer the musically-inclined amongst you toward my latest album The Birdcage with the toothy, glistening grin of a huckster shilling snake-oil, this week I dug out an older track from way back in '07 and gave it a bit of spit'n'polish. This is from an album of electro-cheese I wrote for some friends who helped with the production. At the time they were popping up as DJ troupe The Labrys Trio playing the various gay bars of New South Wales and wanted some original material to throw into their sets. The overall album, released as The Labrys Quartet (I was their 'honorary fourth lesbian') came out a bit patchy if I'm honest but there were enough nice bits to justify an eventual reissue down the line. This one I quite like for being so uncharacteristically DnB compared to most of my other stuff. One big lament is the choice of title/lyrics - had I but known how hideously overplayed the phrase 'Keep Calm and Carry On' would have become I'd have gone another way. Hindsight, 20/20, etc. As she often did with the early Struwwelpeter albums, my old pal Alison weighed in on the drum programming side of things with this one. Listen below or keep for keepsies, 'cause I'm kindness personified. On the subject of old, shoutey songs I also recently threw up a remastered version of the very first track from the very first Struwwelpeter LP, originally recorded way back in 2003. Juxtaposed against the general mellowness of The Birdcage it seems I had a lot more Red Bull in me back then. I'm off to spend a mellow weekend away with no distractions save for the new Palahniuk, but to leave you all with a literature recommendation of my own (not Throat, for a change) have a read of my review of experimental filmmaker Steven Woloshen's Scratch, Crackle and Pop, a very enjoyable read that made an area of filmmaking I had little frame of reference for very accessible and appealing:

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Dribbling Felt
This week sees the relaunch of the Skwigly Podcast after 3+ years and 30 episodes. The new version will see myself, Steve and other members of the Skwigly team bringing you more regular podcast content in a shorter, more streamlined form.!/c13ay
For our first episode of Skwigly Podcast 2.0 (episode 31 overall) we are delighted to feature an interview with recent NFTS graduate Nina Gantz, whose short Edmond has already proved popular and won multiple awards including both the Canal + Creative Aid Award and the Graduation Film Jury Award at Annecy 2015!
Stream the latest episode below or direct download here.
To catch up on the podcast so far be sure to visit the Podcasts section of the site and, so as not to miss out on any future episodes, you can subscribe on iTunes!
Also up on the site is a new interview with director Chris Shepherd (the talented fellow behind Dad's Dead, Who I Am and What I Want and The Ringer) discussing his new rubberhose-inspired animated promo The Concept for Lambchop offshoot HecTA. To learn more about Chris's prior work you can also have a listen back to our 2013 interview in episode 15 of the podcast:
Finally I want to say a special thanks to those of you who've picked up Throat: Nobody's Waiting since it came out last week. Early feedback has been very positive and I'm glad some kindhearted folks have stuck with the story to the bitter end, so to speak. Y'all are still lovely indeed.
What they look like in real life, innit?