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..

Wednesday, 10 September 2014


This Friday The Boxtrolls, the latest film from LAIKA will be released in cinemas in the UK. With all of us at Skwigly being massive fans of the visual style of Coraline and ParaNorman, this one's pretty hotly anticipated and we managed to bag some nice coverage in the lead-up to release.
Up now we have the latest episode of Lightbox which features an exclusive interview with LAIKA President and CEO Travis Knight, a pretty huge get and a major player in the uniquely fascinating story of how the studio came to be (detailed very well in this article from a couple months back). Also featured in this episode is actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright (from Game of Thrones, as the EPK informs me) who plays the film's main character Eggs. This one can't be embedded for use of film clips, though they were provided by the PR company for press purposes so I'm not sure what the dilly-oh is, there. At any rate if you're in the UK you can give it a watch by clicking below:
 Many thanks to Tom Sanders for getting the interviews done. You can also have a read of Laura-Beth's review of the film from last week. It looks to be a good'un.
Laura-Beth is also helping out with a new project by armature specialists Animation Toolkit, in which they'll be putting the equipment they sell to professional use in their own short film Pooch Proposal. It's early days yet but we have it on good authority that some serious animation talent will be involved, so follow them on Twitter and Facebook as it'll be one to watch.
Lastly here's a quick chat with JG Quintel, a very nice fellow who gave us some time at this year's Annecy Festival to talk about his series Regular Show which airs on Comedy Central. It's a fun one so if it's passed you by thus far I'd recommend giving it a look if you get a chance.

Thursday, 4 September 2014


There's some nice new content for y'all over in Skwiglyland. Granted everything that will ever happen, good or bad, in the foreseeable future has been rendered mere background noise after this week's Faith No More news, but on the ever-so-slight offchance that some of you aren't as affected by that as I then why not check out our latest episodes of Lightbox?
In anticipation of his latest short Subconscious Password screening at Encounters later this month, I've repurposed our Chris Landreth interview from our Annecy Special, wherein the forgetful soul talks to Steve about his process.
Keeping things Canadian, this week's episode features my old paisan Phil Vaucher who does things with sand and salt man was never meant to do. Very impressively, I might add. Many moons ago Phil sold me the very lightbox who posed for my mediocre CG intro that opens each episode.
Our third respectable Canuck of the week is visual artist Randall Lloyd Okita, whose NFB short The Weatherman and The Shadowboxer debuts at TIFF this Sunday. It's a beautiful piece of work, especially to those with an eye for good mograph and compositing. Have a read of our interview here.
That's all for this week. Go, disperse, be merry.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014