Saturday, 20 May 2017

Hell god baby damn no

So funny story.
Back when I was in uni, when I wasn't recording nightmarishly cringey songs I was recording actual nightmares.
I didn't say it was a 'funny ha-ha' story.
At any rate, I was in full-on thrall to the oeuvre of one Mr. David Lynch, as I think is somewhat obligatory to a certain percentage of all creative arts students, and that naturally bled into my own work in the midst of my fumblings at some sort of individual artistic direction.
Now the return of Twin Peaks is imminent and in celebration I've reached back 15 odd years and pulled out some aural horror for you all to enjoy. Presenting for a limited time: Lodge Coffee!
The tracks featured on this release originally appeared as bridging soundscapes between the main album tracks on the presently-out-of-print first Struwwelpeter LP You're All So Precious, recorded and released in 2003. They were created using a variety of digital and analogue techniques as a tribute to the sound design and composition work of such talents as Alan Splet, Angelo Badalamenti and Lynch himself, taking particular inspiration from the soundtracks to Eraserhead and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.
Sleep well!

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Aren't we all waiting for a goat, in our own way?

Crikey, what a week. The first few days of the new job have been quite splendid, although the studio is a ways away so I have very little time to do anything bloggy around the commute. It's all more than worth it, however, and I'm really looking forward to talking more about it when it's released and I'm contractually able to, which will be a little while so hold tight.
When last we spoke, one-sided conversation as ours often tend to be, I'd just launched Klementhro online. On certain sites, it appears to have gone down well:
On others, less so:
While I'd concede Gizmodo commenters are perhaps not the film's target demographic I do have to side with them on the whole ghost-not-being-sarcastic thing.
At any rate it got the film some unexpected visibility which has largely been a positive. Most of all I'm delighted to say that it got picked for Short of the Week which I consider a genuine honour - for obvious reasons I keep abreast of a fair few blogs and shorts curation sites and SOTW has been consistently top-notch since it first began, so many sincere thanks to the team and especially Rob for the lovely write-up (also bonus points for being the first person to my knowledge - including me - to ever actually count the logs).
I mentioned in the last post that there was an upcoming screening next month, which will take place at The Yard Theatre in Hackney Wick for Short Sighted Cinema's one-day film festival The Shortest Nights. The screening that features Klementhro will be Outlands and takes place at noon on Sunday June 18th. I'll still be in Annecy that day so can't swing by myself but it looks like a great event so check it out, why doncha?
I'm not sure how to end this largely self-congratulatory post so I'll just embed the latest teaser for the new Twin Peaks. I had nothing to do with it, I'm just excited about it.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Nowhere to go

Following a fabulous weekend at CIFF with the Cardiff Animation Nights team, Klementhro has officially cleared 100 public screenings and, in celebration, is now online in full!
Much love and gratitude to all of the other folks who gave this film a chance, including Odense International Film Festival, Anonimul, LAIKA, Festival International du Film d'Animation de Paris, Animasyros International Animation Festival + Agora, Área de Contenção, interfilm Berlin, Flensburger Kurzfilmtage, Kyiv International Short Film Festival, Nuit du Court Métrage, AniScreen, Skepto FilmFest, Kraken Con, Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (ITFS), Porto7 - Festival Internacional de Curtas-metragens do Porto, Ploiesti International Film Festival (PIFF), Shorts Attack, Animaze - Montreal International Animation Film Festival, TAFF - Turku Animated Film Festival, BUSHO, Linoleum International Contemporary Animation and Media Art Festival, Fantoche, Filmfest Eberswalde - Provinziale, filmzeitkaufbeuren, Kurzfilmnacht-Tour, SoDak Motion, Kuandu International Animation Festival, Anima Mundi, Anilogue, MUMIA (Mostra Udigrudi Mundial de Animação), London Short Film Festival. Animakom Fest, Short Waves Festival, Le Court Nous Tient, Animation Unlimited and Cortoons Festival Gandia.
The film's big-screen adventures aren't over yet, however. I've recently gotten wind that it will play at a screening event in London next month, although I'll hold back on the specifics until they officially announce it.
More good news is I'm starting a new job today on a project I've been enthusiastic about for a while and it's looking to be a lot of fun. It's also looking to be quite full-on with a commute on top so my self-set completion deadline for my next film Sunscapades (end of May) is looking unlikely. That being said it's still coming together nicely and will hopefully benefit from the extra marinating time. Fingers crossed it will have some kind of premiere before the year is through.
In the meantime I recently spoke with Dan Ekis - a likeminded fellow with whom I share an enthusiasm for all things indie animation - about, well, all things indie animation, with a sprinkling of Skwigly stuff and I'm fairly certain some shameless book plugging thrown in. Check out his Animation Auteur pod/vodcast for all sorts of wonderful interviews with some animation greats - including Steven Subotnik, Janet Perlman, Patrick Smith, Ruth Lingford, Andy Martin and Elliot Cowan among others - and you can check out the episode with our conversation below (if the state of my horrific office environment is too much to handle - and yes, that is actually a cassette player behind me - you can also download an audio-only version):

Thursday, 4 May 2017

More Chats
In the past week on Skwigly there have been a couple of long-overdue (in so much as they're about people I've wanted to feature for a fair few years now) pieces gone up that are both worth sharing. Firstly I've posted up a Q'n'A with Dutch animator Joost Lieuwma of Frame Order. I first met Joost back in 2011 for that year's edition of ITFS Stuttgart, where my film The Naughty List was playing out of competition. That particular trip turned out to be a turning point in several ways - it yielded my first Skwigly features, something that's obviously become a major part of my life, and started a chain of events that got my film in the hands of one my biggest industry heroes, in front of an Annecy audience and, eventually, on TV. Those aside I have a very clear memory of how the quality of the work playing in competition deeply inspired me, far more so than any other festival had up to that point. Among said films was Joost's hilarious and brilliant exercise in simplicity Things You'd Better Not Mix Up, and as the year's passed he'd continue to make equally wonderful work such as Leaving Home, How Dave and Emma Got Pregnant and Panic! (co-directed by Daan Velsink) which I was honoured to see screening alongside my last film Klementhro when I finally made it back to Stuttgart last year. Since then Joost has been knocking out a series of brilliant micro-shorts called Cartoon-Box, one of which will be playing at Stuttgart tomorrow (alas I didn't have anything to submit to this year's edition but knock wood Sunscapades will make the grade in 2018). Have a read of the interview here and treat yourself to some of his work, you won't regret it.
Another feature you should have a read of is Laura-Beth's recent conversation with Bristol-based director Emma Lazenby. Emma's work, generally centered around medical subjects (although she recently served as Art Director on the recent Disney series Nina Needs to Go! that some other buddies of mine worked on) has always proved to be thoughtful, charming and a great example of how animation can be used to put across more sensitive topics without necessarily being stoic or clinical. Back in 2010 her ArthurCox/Channel 4 film Mother of Many deservedly won itself a BAFTA and it remains a particularly strong marriage of visuals (with some uncompromisingly non-cinematic yet accessible depictions of childbirth and midwifery) and sound, boasting a wonderful percussive soundtrack by David Schweitzer.
Since then she has gone on to form ForMed Films, other films of note including One of a Kind, A Little Deep Sleep and My Mum's Got a Dodgy Brain. In the interview - which you can read here - Emma also talks a bit about her upcoming project Perinatal Positivity for which she'll be raising funds over the next few weeks. Learn more about how you can get involved by giving the video a watch below:

Monday, 1 May 2017

Cardiff Capers

The Cardiff Independent Film Festival kicks off this weekend and tickets are available to book online from the festival venue Chapter's website. Just a reminder of some of the Cardiff Animation Nights events I'm involved with – on Saturday 6th there's a 10:15am and 11:45am screening of Cloth Cat's Animated Family Shorts that features Laura-Beth's wonderful UWE film Boris-Noris (for which I added some noises and removed some rigs) followed by Klementhro's inclusion in the second competition programme at 5:15pm.
Then in the evening I'll be joining Steve for another edition of the Skwigly Animation Quiz, where teams are invited to put civility and decorum to one side as they pillage the prize table in as vicious and depraved a manner as possible. The quiz is free but you might want to book a ticket to make sure there's a space for ya - also worth mentioning that it will now take place at 8:15pm rather than 7pm as I'd originally stated on here.
Also among the various screenings are some brilliant films by recent Skwigly interviewees and general animation chums such as Kim Noce, Anete Melece, Sara Barbas, Chris Shepherd, Liam Harris, Luc Gut and many more, so be sure to check out the full programme. We'll be milling in and around Chapter over the Saturday and Sunday so if you see us come say hello.
Don't forget that a week today, in celebration of Saturday being the film's 100th screening, Klementhro will debut online! Keep 'em peeled.