Tuesday, 26 August 2008


Today I got my first rejection from a film festival. It’s basically the same type of template letter you get with applying for jobs or schools or whatnot. I’ve known from the off that ‘House Guest’ wasn’t for everyone, and that inevitably I wouldn’t get through to most of the festivals I submitted it to, but it is a little disheartening for the very first reply to be a fob-off.
As the great Les Claypool once sung, ‘lack of persistence is surely a sin’, so I’ve resolved to find two more festivals for every ‘no’ I get. So long as I stick to the ones that don’t charge (or don’t charge all that much) there’s nothing really to lose.
I found out recently that most studios actually have people on staff whose entire job is to scour the listings for festivals and send films off. So a (pretty good) studio film that’s won a couple of awards out of twenty-odd festival screenings was submitted to about two hundred festivals. Them’s shit odds, and for us indie folk who don’t have the staff or the time to send stuff out to that extent it’s a pretty unbalanced playing field.
On a cheerier note, last week I decided to thank Adam Carolla personally for his unknowing contribution to the completion of ‘House Guest’ by calling into his show. If you have any interest in hearing me kiss arse, you can listen to the archived segment here (skip to about 9’30” in).
Carolla brings up a fantastic web animator Michael Narren, who had previously created some short webtoons using snippets of conversation from Carolla’s prior show Loveline. They’re brilliantly executed and work really well as standalone shorts to people who have never heard the show. You should check them out at his website, or take a look at my favourite ‘Grand Theft Submarine’ (and see why the phrase ‘cone opens’ cracks me up).

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Baby Boom

Here are some more layouts from my Depict submission-in-progress.I doubt this one'll be too popular with the ladies, but it's helped me get in touch with my feminine side. Plus, giving birth is generally a bit trickier when you keep your legs closed.Here we see the baby's dramatic entrance.Cut to a side-view and the poor little whippersnapper is snagged on the still-attached umbilical cord.
Here are the latter two images in motion:
It's a tiny detail but I really like the way the arms and legs settle into position. It really conveys a sense of tension and balance.This is a similar shot to the first appearance of the baby, although with an acceleration to the speed of the approach to the camera. In the first animation the baby slows down as it gets closer, so with each in-between less distance is covered. In the animation below (combined with last entry's 'skid' shot) the baby speeds up as it falls so each in-between this time covers more distance.
Does that make sense? Does anything I say, for that matter?

Monday, 4 August 2008

Left Holding The Baby

My initial plan to produce my new film 'Ground Running' using a combination of 2D animation and cut-outs/pixellation has been somewhat hampered. This is for a number of reasons, including time, economics and, primarily, my friend who I'd hoped would help with the photography just bought a puppy. On one hand, just having the film limited to 2D animation on its own will doubtless see it less interesting aesthetically. On the other hand -Aaaaw...So cuuuuute...
Actually I think the film will work fine this way. My lament during the production of 'House Guest' was that a lot of the charm in the animation was lost when the rough pencil tests were cleaned-up, inked-in and coloured. It'll be cool and somewhat fitting thematically to have a film be done entirely pencil-on-paper. This way I'm gonna have to make the animation shine through to make it visually impressive, as I won't be able to hide behind any slickness or polish. Here are some layout drawings I've come up with based on the storyboard: For when the baby is skidding along the ground. Although no real harm comes to it, I want there to be a couple Kricfalusian moments where you wince a little bit.On that note, the doctor's glasses are a little homage to John K.I want the facial acting for the woman in labour at the start to be fairly true-to-life. Slightly panicked...and sweaty.The baby graduates! So foolish and full of hope. Poor bastard.