Thursday, 29 March 2012

Pod People

So yesterday saw the launch of my latest endeavour for which I have no discernible background or education, that being my first ever podcast. Put together with fellow animation writer Steve Henderson as the most recent and logical extension of Skwigly, one hopes it'll kick things up a notch in terms of reader/listener participation. So far it seems to have gone down rather well, with over 300 listens in the first 24 hours, along with some really encouraging feedback.
Yes...YES! VALIDATE me!!
Of course the draw isn't my awful, lisping, transatlantic-accented rants but the caliber of guests on board, and obviously with "The Pirates!" opening this week having my aforementioned chat with Peter Lord is a huge boon, not to mention some insightful contributions from Aardman's Miles Bullough on last week's tax break announcement and Fraser MacLean on his recent book. The next few podcasts have some fantastic guests lined up as well, so knock wood people will continue to tune in. For now it's a monthly thing but depending on interest it may wind up being a little more frequent. Until then, please do give the ol' 'play' button below a click and share the Lord-have-mercy living shite out of it.
If nothing else, you don't have to read a goddamn word. Gotta count for something, right?

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Man of the Hour

I officially have boat envy.

This month's Skwigly feature is up, and it's a fairly monumental one. I was very privileged to get to meet with Peter Lord (one of the triumvirate which brought the world a little animation studio called Aardman, in the farcically unlikely scenario that anyone reading an animation-themed blog such as this wouldn't know that already). Obviously given the impending release of his new film "The Pirates!", getting time with him was a real coup, one owed to fellow Skwigly writer (and current editor) Steve whose interview it should've been but unfortunate circumstances dictated I step in.
Not that I'm complaining. It was a great opportunity and yet another legend I've been able to sit down and natter with. Also the interview goes hand-in-hand with the latest Skwigly development - which will be revealed next week - that we're all quite excited about.
In the meantime do get settled and give it a read, he's a very fascinating, candid fellow with some very interesting insights into the film and filmmaking in general:

•A Conversation with Aardman's Peter Lord on "The Pirates!"

Saturday, 17 March 2012


Three of my films - "Ground Running", "The Naughty List" and "Norton & Friends" (my Opie & Anthony mini-short) are getting a rare local screening this coming Tuesday (20th, not the 27th as suggested by the flier below) at CineMe Shorts here in Bristol. It'll also be the first and possibly only time my O&A animation will be seen on a screen bigger than a computer monitor so I'm looking forward to that.It'll take place at the Tobacco Factory - a fine venue where I frequently go to, amongst other things, draw naked people - at 8pm and tickets are a fiver (more info here). So if you're a local come on down and berate me.As well as being shown Monday afternoon at 2:05pm, two more confirmed April broadcast slots for "La Lista Traviesa" (the Spanish incarnation of "The Naughty List") will be on Thursday 12th at 2:05am and Thursday 26th and 1:35am over on Canal+ Xtra. So if you overdid the ol' afternoon siesta and can't sleep, give it a watch.
On a completely separate musical note, I've started doing my first live shows of 2012. Nothing worth advertising, just little slots here and there to stay practiced and work out some new material. I've also started recording again and have put online my first studio recording since "The Book of Women". It's kinda different, sort of melancholy country-western-ish, which is something I'd never imagined coming out of me. Give it a listen and, if you like, a free-as-gratis download over at SoundCloud.
High Midnight by Struwwelpeter

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Getting The Lead Out

Assuming you've been able to pick yourselves up off the floor (doubtless struck down by the staggering originality of today's blog heading) here are some more examples of my strides taken with the ol' life drawing. And by 'strides' I really mean 'trembling, baby deer steps':

I'm gradually working through my issues with faces, using a less-is-more approach with women especially. I've also been taking some cues from the class organiser and attempting some more abstract approaches. These are from a few body-in-motion exercises, having the model's movements inform the curvature of the line work. They came out sort of caricature-ish, not the kind of thing I'd usually come up with so it was quite interesting in that respect:Here are some more with a male model, creating shapes using the joint positioning and weight distribution as a springboard:
While the scanner's on and the sketchbook's open, I may as well bung up a few more scribblings from going out with the Bristol Sketchers. Some standard stuff:

And some sketches from a recent Arnolfini exhibition to end on:

Sunday, 4 March 2012

They're moles. Not condoms. So I've been told.

Something musical for you all, this is a video I worked on recently for the German band Die Ärzte. It's for the lead single "zeiDverschwÄndung" off their next album which, now I'm seeing it all put together and not in little chunks, is pretty darn catchy. They hadn't been on my radar but as far as I can tell they're pretty huge in Germany, as the number of views indicates.

Ordinarily I like to have this blog be just about personal projects and keep the commissioned work separate, however this kinda falls more into the category of pitching-in with mates for the fun of it than 'work' work. I mainly did compositing and VFX with a few snatches of animation thrown in here and there. It was directed by Tine Kluth, also a bit of a legend down Germany way and the only animator I've ever met who can competently dance. Her website is barren but, in the hope that one day it won't be, check her out here.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Up North Down South

"Ah, crap. These guys again."

Just another quick remind-the-world-I'm-still-alive post with some news on the latest broadcast slots for "The Naughty List". This March Canal+ Xtra will be screening it on the 12th at 3:06am and then again at the notably more civilised time of 2:06pm on the 19th.It will also be shown as part of the Shire International Short Film Festival, one of a number of Cinewest festivals that have been giving it some much-appreciated exposure down-under (following on from its inclusion in the Auburn International Film Festival last year and Short Soup in January). The screening will be on March 28th and takes place in Sutherland, New South Wales. Which, for the geographically-impaired, is in Australia. Not Wales.
As previously mentioned, the upcoming Roanne Animation Short Film Festival will see the film participating in the International Competition 1 alongside such personal faves as 'Luminaris', 'Playing Ghost' and 'Morris Lessmore', a little film that just picked up an Oscar, so my expectations of winning anything myself are, as ever, not high. Just glad to be involved. The screening will be on Friday 23rd, 9pm at the Espace Renoir.
"Ground Running" will also be shown in the 'Best Comedies' section, which also includes Richard Phelan's 'Damned' and Joanna Quinn's 'Dreams & Desire - Family Ties' on the 25th at 6:30pm, same venue. The line-up on the whole looks great, other talents including Virgil Widrich, Luis Cook, Osman Cerforn, Louis Hudson, Philip Hunt, Jadwiga Kowalska, Mikey Please, Spike be honest, this could take a while, but the full programme is viewable online. Good stuff indeed.