Monday, 20 August 2018

Busy weekend ahead

http://sampofestival.fi/en/
The continuing international adventures of Laura-Beth's Boris-Noris will see it screened in Helsinki for the SAMPO 2018 International Puppet Theatre Festival this coming weekend, again as part of the Bristol Festival of Puppetry's Women in Puppetry and Puppet Animation package that has been doing the rounds to much enthusiasm. The two screenings will take place Friday August 24th and Saturday 25th at the Päivälehti Museum - both of them are free so be sure to get your fine Finnish selves over there.
http://www.frightfest.co.uk/2018Films/chuck-steel-night-of-the-trampires.html
Some bad - but actually good - news regarding the upcoming UK premiere screenings of Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires at London's Frightfest Festival on the 25th is that individual tickets to both are completely sold out. I have gotten wind however that there may be a few festival passes available from the box office so if you were hoping to check out the film and maybe want to make a weekend of it that option might be up your alley. More info here - however there are only a handful of spaces left so if you grab a pass be sure to check it will actually get you in to what you want to see. If you make it I'll hopefully see you there!
https://www.universe.com/events/lost-episode-fest-toronto-north-america-film-premieres-aug-24-26th-2018-tickets-toronto-3X0Q7D
Lastly my new film Sunscapades will have its Canadian premiere on the same day as part of Toronto's Lost Episode Fest. As with the film's inclusion in the BUT Festival this event is one I'm very happy to be part of as it celebrates a specific subsection of indie genre films that makes it something of a spiritual fit. I believe the film will screen as part of the animation block Not For Kids which kicks off 10:55pm August 25th at the Carlton Cinema. Tickets and more specific info here.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Nether gonna give you up

I wasn't expecting to write this so soon but I can cheerily confirm there's another upcoming festival for my new film Sunscapades! Following on from this week's earlier news nugget that it will screen at Encounters late September, before then the film will get two screenings at the BUT (B-Movies, Underground and Trash) Film Festival that will take place in the Netherlands - Breda, to be precise.
Sunscapades is part of Shorts Block 1 - Over the Top Humor on August 30th 7pm at the Chassé Cinema, repeated on September 2nd 12pm at the Nieuwe Veste in Hall 4. You can grab up some tickets here.
What's especially cool about this news is that, as with Encounters, this is a festival that has screened my work in the past. In fact it was one of the very first events to take a punt on my films, screening my student film House Guest (with whom Sunscapades does share a certain B-Movie/Underground/Trash vibe, I'd be happy to concede) way back in 2009. It's good to be back in BUT country.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Sunny times ahead


I'm very happy to reveal that my film Sunscapades will screen here in Bristol next month as part of TWO programmes for this year's Encounters Short Film Festival!
It's the first time I've had a film in the fest since 2011 and it's a real honour and privilege to be among a line-up that includes some of my favourite new and established filmmakers whose work includes Wildebeest (Nicolas Keppens), Cabin Pressure (Matthew Lee), Perinatal Positivity (Emma Lazenby) and Brexicuted (Chris Shepherd).
The full line-up looks fantastic, with some personal favourites including Ooze (Kilian Vilim), Via (Izzy Burton), KUAP (Nils Hedinger), Travelogue Tel Aviv (Samuel Patthey), Mamoon (Ben Steer) and Hybrids (Kim Tailhades) as well as recent interviewees Robert Löbel (Island) and Patrick Bouchard (The Subject).
Sunscapades will screen in the festival's animation competition programme Happy Sad on Wednesday September 26th at 2pm, then again the following day in the comedy programme From the Sublime to the Ridiculous at 8pm, both at Bristol's Watershed in Cinema 1. Check out the current programme here and stay tuned for even more event updates as they come!

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

There's just no sinking the bugger

Yet more adventures for our pal Klementhro coming up this month and next. Firstly there's the Big Cartoon Weekend in Saint Petersburg, another offshoot of Russia's Big Cartoon Festival as its name suggests. Klementhro will play in the third programme 'Borrowed Time' that kicks off 7pm on Sunday July 29th at the Rodina Cinema, rubbing shoulders with some fantastic other films such as The Burden, Catherine and Mr. Madila.
Following that will be an early August screening at Ukraine's Lviv International Short Film Festival Wiz-Art in association with the London Short Film Festival at which the film originally screened back in January of last year. I'm humbled to say it will be screening in a special retrospective of the best British shorts of the past three years to screen at LSFF. The even takes place on August 10th at 4pm and you can watch the programme for updates here.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Now let's never speak of She-Ra again

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/475950525-skwigly-skwigly-podcast-83.mp3
Another podcast for the podcastey pile. In episode 83 Steve brings us a chat with Trevor Jimenez, director of the short film Weekends that recently won the Jury Award and Audience Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival as well as ten other festival awards and counting. Presently playing in competition at Anima Mundi, upcoming screenings include Animation Block Party, Fantoche and Anibar.
Also discussed in this episode: The reaction to She-Ra’s redesign, Annecy and Society for Animation Studies conference highlights, Brad Bird vs. bloggers, the premiere of Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires and Vice’s bizarre Simpsons article. It's a fun'un, get it in your earholes now or download for later.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

That's a paddlin'

After an initially busy June my latest film Sunscapades has hit a bit of a lull, with no upcoming festival screenings confirmed before late August.
Taunting this patchy performance is my preceding film Klementhro, which just won't go away it seems. Following its inclusion in the fabulous Lichtspielklub Short Film Festival - AKA British Shorts - everyone's favourite paddlin' fool will be included as part of a series of special short film screenings tied in with the festival.
The British Shorts Summer Edition will take place at Berlin's outdoor cinema Freiluftkino Insel im Cassiopeia from 9pm on Friday, August 3rd. I don't know the specifics of what else is playing just yet but you can check out the official Facebook event for updates.

Friday, 6 July 2018

To stop your minds from wandering

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/467845824-skwigly-skwigly-podcast-82.mp3
In episode 82 of the Skwigly Animation Podcast we look back on George Dunning’s iconic contribution to British animated cinema Yellow Submarine some fifty years on.
The film will be celebrating the lead-up to its 50th anniversary this Sunday (July 8th) through a number of newly-restored theatrical screenings across the UK in association with organisations such as Anim18, the BFI, Everyman Cinemas and Picturehouse Cinemas. Keep your eyes on the Anim18 website for future events including a screening at Birmingham’s MAC on the anniversary itself (July 17th) and a number of special interactive ‘singalong’ screenings from August.
This one gave me an excuse to feature a segment with my father Lynn who was among the weekend workers doing cel painting on the film in the mad rush to get it done. Also Laura-Beth speaks with Gillian Lacey, one of the film's Assistant Animators who would go on to set up the Leeds Animation Workshop and teach at the National Film and Television School.
Listen below or direct download:
Also discussed in this episode: The legacy of Smallfilms founder Peter Firmin who passed away earlier this month and whose own body of work (alongside co-founder Oliver Postgate) included such classic UK series as The Clangers and Bagpuss. Peter also guested on the podcast in episode 60 a couple years' back:

Monday, 2 July 2018

Chuck Amuck

http://nightofthetrampires.com/
Some more festival screenings for Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires, Mike Mort's high-energy indie animated feature that I scribbled and yelled over last year. Its North American premiere at Montreal's Fantasia Festival is now set to take place 4:45pm on July 21st at Concordia's SGWU Auditorium and you can grab your tickets here.
http://frightfest.co.uk/
The following month it's finally screening here in the UK, so all being well I'll be able to catch its national premiere in London as part of Frightfest 2018. This one will be two screenings on August 25th at the Leicester Square Cineworld - 3:45pm on the Arrow Video screen and 4:15pm on the Horror Channel screen. Swing by and give it a look-see, 'cause they definitely don't make 'em like this anymore.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Fantasy Worlds

Yet another June screening for Sunscapades will take place next week. Marking its Venezuelan premiere, the film is part of the animation category official selection of the pleasingly-acronymed MIFVIF - Maracay International Film and Video Festival.
The animation screening takes place at 10am on the 24th at the Casa de las Artes Lounge 2.
http://nightofthetrampires.com/chuck-steel-at-fantasia-film-festival/
An event I don't yet have specifics for - but am quite excited about - is the Canadian premiere of Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires, following a warmly-received world premiere at Annecy a couple weeks' back. This will be happening at Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival, although alas I'll have left the city by the time it kicks off. Tsk, always the way innit.

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.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Power Couple

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/454846152-skwigly-skwigly-podcast-81.mp3
For the eighty-first episode of the Skwigly Animation Podcast I'm thrilled to have been able to speak with Alison Snowden and David Fine of Snowden Fine Animation.
Having met at the NFTS, the pair went on to work with the NFB for their short George and Rosemary and the Oscar-winning Bob’s Birthday that later inspired the hit adult animated sitcom Bob and Margaret.
Alison and David have teamed up again with the NFB for their latest film Animal Behaviour, their first new short film in over twenty years that will be taking major festivals by storm in the coming weeks, with official selections at Animafest Zagreb, the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival and Anima Mundi.
Also discussed in this episode: Upcoming highlights from Annecy, the curious world of Disney’s early sequels, the misguided efforts of Circle 7 and the not-especially-destructive trailer for Ralph Breaks the Internet.
Direct download here or stream below:

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

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Brothers in arms

http://benmitchellblog.blogspot.com/search/label/Boris-Noris
Another upcoming festival roundup for Boris-Noris (Laura-Beth Cowley's fantastic UWE MA film on which I made some unpleasant noises and removed some rigs) as it continues to knock it out of the park. This Monday, May 21st, the film screens at Albania's A-FestFilm (formerly Anifest Rozafa) in their Films for Age 13 programme that will kick off at 11:30am at the Millenium Cinema in Tirana.
https://www.laboitecarree.org/la-tournee-du-plein-de-super
From the 25th of this month La Boîte Carrée's touring programme Le Plein de Super  (whose 2018 season Boris-Noris is a part of) will kick off again for another batch of screenings throughout France. The dates for this leg of the tour are:
  • 25th May - Brissac-Quincé
  • 2nd June - Étrich
  • 8th June - Saint-Nazaire
  • 15th June - Montbert
  • 29th June - Ligné
The tour then resumes in July, this time traveling throughout Portugal at the following locales:
  • 14th July - Ericeira
  • 19th July - Alfarim
  • 20th July - Lagoa de Albufeira
  • 21st July - Quinta do Conde
  • 22nd July - Sesimbra
  • 24th July - Santa Cruz
  • 27th July - Proença-a-Nova
  • 28th July - Sobreira Formosa
  • 29th July - Montes da Senhora
For full information check out the tour's official website and if you make it to a screening be sure to send a postcard!
https://www.exeterphoenix.org.uk/events/women-in-puppetry-and-puppet-animation/
The Bristol Festival of Puppetry's specially-curated screening Women in Puppetry and Puppet Animation will be shown again in June, this time as a standalone event at Exeter Phoenix. As a nifty bonus for this one Laura-Beth will be in attendance for an onstage Q&A with Puppet Place curator Emma Windsor after the screening, which will be happening on Tuesday June 12th at 7:30pm - more info here.
The following weekend the Art All Night - Trenton International Film Festival will be taking place at New Jersey's historic Roebling Wire Works. This one is an intense, 200-film marathon that takes place entirely within 24 hours. Fortunately Boris-Noris will be screening at the civilised 12:05pm slot on the Sunday (June 17th).
That's all for now but there'll be plenty more a-comin', so stay alert.

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:

Monday, 30 April 2018

The Brunch Bunch

It's been a week since the Cardiff Animation Festival wrapped and when all's said and done it was an absolutely brilliant first edition, with some of the best overall energy and enthusiasm among the attendees that I've encountered doing the ol' festival rounds. It was a real honour to have been as involved as I was and I have nothing but gratitude and massive respect for the team who pulled it off so well.
For those of you who weren't able to make it, once you've scrubbed the stink of shame off you Laura-Beth has a great write-up on her personal highlights you can check out, while Steve and I will be going through ours in the next podcast due out this week.
https://soundcloud.com/skwigly/sets/skwigly-at-caf-2018
In the meantime I was also able to get recordings from the Filmmaker Brunch sessions in which festival guests whose films were playing in competition were able to chat a bit about their work. These included:
What a haul! You can listen to the three-part podcast minisode series I've produced from these below:

Monday, 16 April 2018

Another limp offering

https://open.spotify.com/album/1RSWntpoDLnNeSm5MVtTXO
The migration of my old tunes to Spotify and other various platforms continues this month with another EP, this time the 2016 Silverfish release Limp and Numb.
For those who missed the original release, this one's a mix of remastered songs from around 2007 with a couple of exclusive tracks thrown in. It's a mix of me being loud/daft and quiet/creepy, something to start off your week on a confusing note with. If nothing else it's nice and short!
Stream below or alternatively check it out on iTunes/Apple Music.

Friday, 13 April 2018

If they call you 'butt' over there it means they like you, I recently learned

https://twitter.com/CardiffAnimFest/status/984763347504594944
It's Friday! We made it to the end of another week! Go us!
That means there's now a mere six days to go before Cardiff Animation Festival kicks off and I'm very excited to be heading over there alongside Skwigly brethren and animationey pals alike.
There's a packed schedule of amazing events from Thursday 19th through to Sunday 22nd and while it's worth taking the time to peruse the full programme here are a couple I'm involved with:
As part of the Industry Day on the 19th I'll be on the 2pm panel Getting To Market with Helen Brunsdon, Adam Bailey and Huw Walters where we'll be discussing "the fine art of promoting and selling your work, from TV ideas to short films, at markets around the world". You can pick up an Industry Day pass here if you've not done so already.
Kim Keukeleire
On Saturday 21st I'll be chairing the Q&A session Making Isle of Dogs at 8:45pm, which will directly follow a 6:30pm screening of the film itself. This will be a great opportunity to learn about the crafting of the exceptional new Wes Anderson film from artists Joshua Flynn (puppetmaker), Kim Keukeleire (lead animator) and Kerry Dyer (puppet repairs), so you won't want to miss it.
I'll also be speaking with some of the attending filmmakers in competition for the Animator's Brunch Q&A sessions that will take place on the 21st and 22nd at 10:30am. Not only will you be able to meet/grill these splendid folks but you'll get to do so with coffee and croissants to hand - plus both sessions are free to attend, so treat yisselfs!
http://www.cardiffanimation.com/caf18-a-night-with-the-trampires
Other festival highlights you'll want to check out include a festival-long exhibition and Friday night special presentation for Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires, the spectacular stop-mo feature I contributed some VFX bits to last summer, as well as a talk by all-around top bloke Grant "Hey Duggee" Orchard, a writing for animation panel, the official launch of Anim18, life drawing, a Bring Your Own Animation session (at which I may attempt a sneaky preview of my latest film Sunscapades), screenings and Q&As for recent features Early Man and The Breadwinner - not to mention a heap of parties and networking events you can get sauced at. Then there's the official selection itself, which as a member of the jury I can assuredly say is packed full of absolutely top-shelf work. Say hello* if you're there!
*Not an obligation. In fact an across-the-room-half-nod is already above and beyond.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Updateables

The fine folks at CRC Press are having themselves a sale so, should you be so inclined, you can pick up my book Independent Animation: Developing, Producing and Distributing Your Animated Films at 20% off! Well that's surely better than a kick in the pants. In fact if you buy two or more CRC Press books you get 25% off, so go ahead and have yourselves a little browse. Here's one I recommend. And another. And another. And another.
http://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/The-Adventures-of-Bertram-Fiddle-Episode-1-A-Dreadly-Business-1356997.html
Also, having previously mentioned that the first Bertram Fiddle game A Dreadly Business was coming to Nintendo Switch, I can cheerily confirm it's available now on the console's official store for a measly fivepoundce. Get fiddlin'!

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Onward and Upward

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/424910595-skwigly-skwigly-podcast-79.mp3
Our latest podcast is a little more heavygoing than most, what with there being a certain big, creepy, Canadian elephant in the room. It's probably been hard to miss the aftermath of Ariane Lange, Katie Rice and Robyn Byrd's speaking out against John Kricfalusi, and while a fair few folks have been asking me about my thoughts on the matter, Ren and Stimpy enthusiast that I've been over the decades, I haven't had a whole lot to add to the discussion that doesn't merely echo the same mix of disappointment and sadness that so many others in the animation community are feeling. That being said, this podcast has grown over the years into a platform to spread awareness about key issues that we hope said community can rely on as well as being, as Steve puts it, "therapy for the both of us", so for those who are curious about where we stand it's pretty much all in there. Even more stuff has come out since the episode was recorded, so I have a feeling this saga is far from over.
To lighten the mood some we were able to include Steve's excellent recent chat with Simon Tofield, creator of the indie-animation-turned-merchandisable-behemoth Simon’s Cat, recorded during last month's tenth anniversary celebrations. We also give YouTube's ‘Copyright School’ a deserved smashing and go through some upcoming Cardiff Animation Festival highlights. As always you can direct download or stream below:

Monday, 2 April 2018

Easter Mundi

http://rio2c.com/entretenimento
Another update from the Lendas Animadas camp - one of my episodes Como Surgiram as Estrelas will be featured as part of a special series of programmes taking place at the Rio Creative Conference this weekend. Put together with the lovely folks at Anima Mundi (where this episode screened in competition last year and was picked as one of the 10 best Brazilian films of that edition) the screening kicks off 11am on April 7th at the Cidade das Artes in Rio de Janeiro.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Multiplied Objects

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/419988020-skwigly-independent-animation-03-david-oreilly.mp3
In the third episode of Independent Animation, the companion podcast series to my book I meet David OReilly who, in the past decade, has amassed a significant fanbase through the international success of his independently-produced auteur animation projects.
While in the UK to present a retrospective and lecture at the London International Animation Festival, David and I found some time to discuss the atypical path of his career that, alongside commercial work for Spike Jonze, Adult Swim and Adventure Time, has seen him build an international following through his multi-award-winning independent projects RGB XYZ, Octocat Adventures, Please Say Something, The External World, 109645790437692847650 and, more recently, the abstract gaming experiences Mountain (2014) and Everything (2017).
In this interview David elaborates on the circumstances of his most career-defining projects as well as the nature of success, managing expectations and staying grounded while being true to one’s work and artistic direction.
Stream the episode below or direct download:

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Kid Friendly

http://kidfilmfestival.hu
Happy news for Spring - I've been informed that Laura-Beth and I will once again have our work screened at the same festival, this time in Hungary for Cinemira - Budapest International Children's Film Festival which takes place April 6th-8th. Both films will screening in the Ages 10+ Section II programme that takes place 12pm on Sunday 8th at the Akvárium Klub. If you fancy swinging by you can grab yourself tickets here.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Old Chestnuts

Happy Monday all!
A few oldies that I worked on have recently resurfaced. Firstly the latest of my old discography to finally make its way to Spotify, iTunes et al is the 2010 EP Digital Stimulation.
This one originally came out in the run up to the LP The Book of Women that would be released at the end of the same year and features six exclusive alternate mixes/edits of songs from that album as well as its 2006 predecessor Agnosticaust (which will hopefully get itself a full reissue soon). Check 'er out:
On the animation side of things I saw that a collection of highlights from Jonti Picking (aka Weebl) and Sarah Darling's webseries Wobble Box went up over the weekend, with a couple of the segments I animated thrown in. So that's something to keep your company on your lunch break:
More good news is that Rumpus Animation's first step into the world of video game adventuring The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle - for which I provided the voices of That Guy Who Sounds Like Ben Mitchell and That Other Guy Who Sounds Like Ben Mitchell But A Bit Nasally among others - will be getting itself a Japanese release on the Nintendo Switch on March 29th, so fingers crossed for a wider release in the not-too-distant. You can learn more about this version here and there's a slightly more Nintendo-ey version of the trailer you can watch below:

Monday, 12 March 2018

Polarisation

http://feeds.soundcloud.com/stream/412425954-skwigly-skwigly-podcast-78.mp3
Our podcast continues this week with a pair of fantastic special guests - speaking with Laura-Beth are director Paloma Baeza and producer Ser En Low who just won the National Film and Television School its fifth consecutive BAFTA win (not to mention picking up a McLaren and Annie Award among others) for Best Short Animation with their film Poles Apart. Give 'er a download or a listen below:
It's a brilliant, Wes Anderson-esque stop-motion film about the friendly/tense relationship between a polar bear and a grizzly that really stood out among last year's NFTS crop so it's great to see it continue to do so well.
These podcasts are always more fun to do when our blood is a little stirred up, so thanks to another disappointing Oscars year for helping us out on that front.
http://www.britishanimationawards.com/
On another note, just a reminder that later on this week the British Animation Awards, will return to London tahn on the 15th. I was once again part of the jury although I won't be able to be in the city for the awards themselves, but it should be a fun one. Well, as fun as anything can be in my absence. Soldier on, my brave little soldiers.
If you haven't yet got tickets it's probably a little close to the wire at this point, but you might get a place on the waiting list if you shoot them an email via their official site.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Women, they're absolutely everywhere

https://www.facebook.com/lendas.animadas
I just received some good news regarding Lendas Animadas, the Brazilian pre-school series I worked on a little while ago - one of the episodes I animated just picked up the Audience Award for Best Children's Short at the FESTin Portuguese Film Festival in Lisbon. Turns out the kids are alright.
On top of this the series is also a finalist for the 28th Prix Jeunesse International festival and competition which will take place in Munich from May 25th-30th.
Congrats and kudos to the team, most of all to Art Director Adriana Meirelles who was my immediate supervisor on the series and did an amazing job in keeping me on track, especially considering I don't speak any Portuguese.
Speaking of amazing women in animation, if you head on over to Skwigly's Twitter feed I've been corralling some coverage from the past year in honour of International Women's Day. There are some fantastic articles and insights - not to mention films - worth checking out there if you missed them the first time around.
While we're on the subject here's a rundown of the industry's inspiring female talents I've had the pleasure of personally interviewing since my days at the magazine began:

To be perfectly honest it should be a longer list, though I have some personal goals toward the gender parity of our coverage in the years to come that should hopefully amend that.
As for the present, the latest addition to our interviews section is the splendid Julie Roy who I had the pleasure of interviewing at last year's Annecy festival. This week saw her win her second Canadian Screen Award as a National Film Board of Canada producer (her main role is Executive Producer of the NFB's French Animation Studio). The winning film, directed by Matthew Rankin (an interview with whom went up a few months' back), is The Tesla World Light, which documents a troubled period of the renowned inventor Nikola Tesla’s life through a combination of exquisitely performed pixilation and experimental filmmaking techniques. Julie's producer filmography also includes some absolute crackers such as Paula (Dir. Dominic Étienne Simard), Kali, the Little Vampire (Dir. Regina Pessoa), In Deep Waters (Dir. Sarah van den Boom), Pilots on the Way Home (Dir. Priit and Olga Pärn), Inspector Street (Dir. Emmanuelle Loslier) and The Head Vanishes (Dir. Franck Dion) among others, so it was a real privilege to get to learn about her career path and process, as well as some insight into how the NFB approach the marketing and distribution of their films once they're done.
One last thing that, again, involves some super brilliant animation ladies, chiefly Lauren Orme, Dani Abram et al who have been working like mad on the first edition of the revived Cardiff Animation Festival. Having curated and hosted the animation strand of the Cardiff Independent Film Festival for a few years, as well as the city's regular meet-up Cardiff Animation Nights, the team have outdone themselves with an amazingly high-quality inaugural official selection for this year's event. I'll be involved in the festival in various capacities that I'll elaborate on when they've all been cemented but until then be sure to to get your hands on festival passes so you won't miss a thing.
That's it for today, I'll leave you with this new piece by Anna Ginsburg that I had nothing to do with but absolutely love: