Thursday, 25 September 2014

Pale September

Good Lord, the time's whizzing by. We're pretty much at the end of the month and there's much by way of updateables, so tilt yourself at a nice comfy angle and let yourself be gently coated in news.
Firstly we at Skwigly recently did our annual Encounters coverage, this time around covering the festival's 20th anniversary edition which included some excellent events, guests and new films. You can have a read of my competition and special screening highlights as well as Laura-Beth and Julia's top picks of the fest.
Skwigly meet Glen Keane. Pic via Encounters Festival
One major perk across the board was getting to meet Disney veteran Glen Keane, a legendary chap responsible for some of the studio's most iconic contemporary characters who's recently partnered up with Google to create the jaw-dropping interactive short Duet. Expect to see some brilliant insight from the man up on Skwigly in the not-too-distant future.
Another special guest of the festival was Yoni Goodman, who presented the Ari Folman films Waltz With Bashir and The Congress, both of which he served as Animation Director on. I managed to catch The Congress at last year's Sommets du Cinéma d’Animation (you can read my review of it here) and was glad to get a second chance to watch it as there's a great deal to take in. I have some ambivalence toward it as an overall film but visually it's mind-bending and, at times, truly inspired so I'm very glad I got some time with Yoni:
On the subject of Lightbox, last week's episode featured Canadian filmmaker Janet Perlman, whose relationship with the NFB goes back almost 40 years. Her latest short Monsieur Pug premiered at OIAF last week and is a very nice piece of work, so have a watch and keep your eyes out for it:
On the more experimental side of the NFB animation spectrum is Michèle Cournoyer, director of The Hat and Accordion whose most recent short Soif is an equally no-holds-barred affair, exploring the tragedies of alcoholism. The film also played at OIAF and got an honorable mention, you can read more about it and Michèle's work in our interview which went up this morning.
Also up today is our latest Skwigly Podcast, featuring extended interviews with LAIKA President Travis Knight (The Boxtrolls) and Yoni Goodman, as well as a chat with Jesse Cleverly of Wildseed Studios, a Bristol-based initiative for the development of new animated series pilots. Download, subscribe or stream below:
Laura-Beth also chats about her recent involvement with Animation Toolkit's first crowdfunding endeavour Pooch Proposal. The campaign has gone live as of this week, I lent a hand in putting the pitch video together and I recommend you all check it out. Should it go ahead there's some brilliant talent involved and the incentives are excellent, especially for prospective stop-motion animators in the market for high-end, professional grade armature kits:
You can also follow Pooch Proposal on Twitter and like their Facebook page for regular updates and behind-the-scenes goodies.
Another shout-out goes in the direction of Rumpus Animation, whose video game project The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle is soon to be released and currently up on Steam Community for a chance to get picked up. Head on over to their Steam page and give it a vote as it's sure to be a good'un and I hear tell it has some mind-blowing voice talent involved.
I like the guy on the left. Can't explain why, I just get a good vibe off him..

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