Sunday, 20 November 2011

Cartoons Are Fun

Best souvenir ever...

My massive Encounters-athon has just come to a close and I'm shakily writing this in the interim between the final screening and a personal trainer session that's sure to finish me off. The festival's been great, if for no other reason that I drank until my eyes melted and got to meet some much-admired filmmaker types. Knock wood I didn't manage to completely alienate the greater percentage of them. "Ground Running"'s Saturday screening played to a slightly smaller crowd but the overall response to it seemed even better than on Thursday. Shame on all of you for laughing at that little naked baby's pain.
My own self-celebration aside, there were loads of amazing and inspiring shorts including some previous favourites "Damned", "The External World", "Bertie Crisp", "A Morning Stroll", "Greetings" and "The Eagleman Stag" along with a few seen for the first time:

All in all it was a great week and I'm especially grateful to Pete, Justine, Jo, Matt, Hans, Mel, Chris and Rachel for their support. Also I want to express my appreciation for the volunteers for all their help, including the frumpy one (who couldn't have been in a shittier mood if her knickers were lined with fibreglass) for not spitting directly in my face.
Well, it took three films and ninety festivals but I finally have this one crossed off the list. I finally feel at home in Bristol now.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Yes Sir, I like it

Between work and making a point of being more of a regular attendee at this year's Encounters, I'm operating on approximately four hours of sleep a night, floating from event to event on Arnolfini gingerbread lattes (which I assume are about 950 calories a pop). As I have a brief sliver of downtime, I'll take this opportunity to document the latest addition to the hall of Greatest Things That Have Ever Happened To Me:There really are no words. Except for 'happy' and, upon further consideration, 'joy'.
I'll give a proper overview of the festival on Skwigly soon, but in the meantime I'm happy to say "Ground Running" got a far better response yesterday than I'd expected from a 10am audience. In fact it played to pretty much a full house, which was also unexpected and a great start to the day. There's another showing tomorrow at noon (so it has a second opportunity to bomb) which can be booked online at the Arnolfini website:Note their good taste in still selection...

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Fifty is the, who cares...

Another groovy little milestone for "The Naughty List" has been reached with its fiftieth festival taking place later this month. This will be in Gdańsk, Poland for Euroshorts 2011, screening alongside some smashing films such as Iain Gardner's "The Tannery" and Grant Orchard's "A Morning Stroll". This will be on November 23rd at 6pm, more info on their site.Also, if you're around for Bristol Encounters (which starts today), don't forget that "Ground Running", the runt of the litter as far as my films go, will be playing twice during the Animated Encounters screening "The Human Condition", firstly at 10am tomorrow (17th) and then at noon on Saturday (19th). There's loads of other events and screenings worth checking out, including the great John K's signings and Q&A discussion that I'm mildly losing my shit over in anticipation. So if that grim scenario is something you're okay with witnessing firsthand, pop along.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Reprazentin'! (...sorry)

It's that time of year when I take stock of where I am and where I'm going with this cartoon malarkey. This year was pretty strong, work-wise as well as for personal projects, but my hopes that this may have been indicative of an industry upswing have been dashed for their childlike foolishness by an increasingly bleak forecast. Work out there in 2012 seems sparse and if it weren't for "Bullies" keeping me occupied for the next couple months I'm not sure what I'd be doing with my time. Come January I could be up the proverbial creek, scrabbling about for the proverbial paddle.
So, in true 'keep calm and carry on' tradition of head-in-sand denial this nation is so famous for, I'll plod along and do all I can do. To that end I've revised my showreel:

There isn't a whole bunch of replacement footage as I want to keep what "Bullies" animation I've done under wraps until I start promoting it. I've also brought my animation CV up to date with various work commissions since the summer, as well as developments with my films and an additional screening history section.
Ben Mitchell - Animation CV (.pdf, 3.3mb)

To supplement all this is a mini-portfolio I'd put together not that long ago to showcase my graphic design, character design and illustration work in brief:
Ben Mitchell - Design/Illustration Portfolio (.pdf, 5.3mb)

So there you go. That's me and the brass tacks of what I've been up to. Help a fella out, folks.