Thursday, 26 November 2020


You know the holiday season is nearly upon us when I won't shut up about my book being on sale. If anyone out there reading this hasn't picked it up yet and is mighty sore that they missed out on some of the recent deals earlier in the month then stop your whining and instead rejoice that both the paperback and eBook editions of Independent Animation: Developing, Producing and Distributing Your Animated Films will be available at a glorious 30% off throughout this entire Black Friday weekend! That's if you pick it up directly from the publisher which, considering they throw in free shipping, seems like a damn good option to me.

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Setbacks and Advances

Following up on the last post, over in Montreal it looks like cinemas will be closed until January 11th at the earliest, so next week's Sommets du Cinéma d'Animation will be going all-digital and postponing any physical screenings until the spring, however the online events won't extend to the short films screenings so I guess they're in limbo for now. Ah well, spreads things out a bit at least. Fingers crossed it won't be too long into the new year when things ease up, in the interim however there has been some talk about my specific section getting some kind of parallel online exhibition so if that's still going ahead I'll post an update.

There's a similar situation playing out in Hungary, where the Anilogue International Animation Festival is kicking off today in online form. Having included Klementhro in their 14th edition they've had the good manners to throw in Speed for their 18th, although the programme specifics have been shrouded in mystery until today. Needless to say the Extremely Short Animated Films section that my film is part of won't actually be taking place until their rescheduled physical edition in May, so watch this space for info on when that comes together.

An outing for Speed that will actually be going ahead as planned (unless I've just jinxed it) is its inclusion in the comedy shorts film festival Short Com from November 30th! The event will be held virtually until December 6th via XerbTV with Speed part of the official selection. This one's geolocked to the UK but there's a tentative plan for some international screenings down the line. Worth mentioning that profits from these events will be donated to The Refugee Council, if you fancy checking them out tickets are available here.

One last update for now is that the Official Selection for the 2020 Palm Springs International Animation Festival & Expo is now online with Speed part of the Animated Comedy Shorts section. This one will be running from December 22nd through to January 2nd and will take the form of an online edition as well as a series of drive-in screenings, which is a nifty solution. Don't know much else about it just yet but keep your eyes on their Facebook for updates as they come.

Monday, 16 November 2020

Proper Northern

The latest official selection announcement for Speed is the top-notch Sommets du Cinéma d'Animation over in Montreal, which takes place December 1st through to the 6th. Obviously it burns my ass to not be able to attend in person, especially given it's where a lot of my favourite people in the world live, but I was privileged to be a guest of the festival in a Skwigly capacity back in 2013 and had an absolute blast so it's wonderful to finally be involved as a filmmaker under any circumstances.
Speed plays in the International Competition of Very Short Films on December 5th at 5pm among a stellar lineup. Check out their website and socials for full schedule and ticket info as it comes. Merci, mes amis!

In the meantime, this year's Manchester Animation Festival has officially kicked off and you'd be, if you'll pardon my language, a darn ninny if you missed out on it. Some personal recommendations include the Short Films Panorama including Laura-Beth Cowley's film The Gift, the MAFter Dark live watch-party featuring Speed, Marie-Ève Lacelle's ToonBoom Harmony masterclass plus a chance to catch the new Cartoon Saloon film Wolfwalkers as well as a Snowden-Fine retrospective and Q&A. Also this year's Skwigly Quiz is looking to be a fun one - alas it's sold out at this point but for those of you who managed to nab a ticket in time we've cooked up some fun stuff for our first online version so hopefully you'll get a kick out of it. There are still plenty of other events available so be sure to check out their full schedule and lineup here.

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Old friends

A couple of familiar festivals on the horizon for Speed. From November 11th through to December 13th the digital edition of the magnificent Interfilm Berlin will be taking place and I'm grateful to be among the line-up of their special programme Eject _XXIII - The Long Night of Weird Shorts. I guess I'm nothing if not consistent as Klementhro screened as part of Eject XVIII five years ago - always nice to be back amongst my fellow weirdos. The programme will be available to stream from November 23rd-29th via the Sooner platform - from the 11th you can grab your tickets here

Another event I'm pretty stoked about is Estonia's PÖFF Shorts, the sub-festival of the prestigious Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. Way back in 2009 PÖFF was one of the first events to give my student film House Guest some indecent exposure and I've not managed to weasel my way back into any of their line-ups since, so this is a li'l nugget o' gratification. This one runs from November 17th through to the 25th and will be an online/physical hybrid event. Speed is part of the shorts programme Late Night Love that has two near-simultaneous screenings on November 25th - 7:45pm (in Hall 7 of Tallinn's Coca-Cola Plaza) and 8pm at Tartu's Athena Center. If you're not feeling it yet when it comes to physical screenings you can find info on how the online viewing works here.

Thursday, 5 November 2020


Hola m'lovelies. Hope you're all staying safe and sane as we slide into another month of nationally-regulated hermitude. Now would be as good a time as any to stock up on some fine animation literature and, thanks to the modern miracle of targeted marketing, I've just gotten wind that my book Independent Animation: Directing, Producing and Distributing Your Animated Films is part of a Mastering Animation collection curated by the fine folks at CRC Press. The collection is available via Humble Bundle and, from what I gather, is a tiered bundle where you pay in increments to unlock a range of titles in eBook format, so the more you pay the more you get access to. I don't know much more other than that and frankly have no idea if the arrangement does or doesn't benefit me in any particular way, but as the only complaint I ever hear about the book is its price tag I'm always keen to spread the word if there are more cost-effective ways for folks to get their mitts on it. Also some of the profits will go to the Hero Initiative which is a pretty decent cause.

It's a pay-what-you-like system but the site has a breakdown of what you get for your cash, what I do know is that if you go with the highest tier you get 23 books that would cost you a pretty massive wedge if you bought them all individually. Among the other books in the collection my main recommendations (some of which I've reviewed already) include Bill Plympton's Make Toons That Sell (Without Selling Out), Floyd Norman's Animated Life, Adam Phillips's Animate To Harmony as well as Tony Bancroft's Directing For Animation, Hane Bacher's Dream Worlds and Acting and Performance for Animation, an essential text on character animation by Derek Hayes and my old UWE mentor Chris Webster. 

You have about eighteen days from today to snap 'em up, if it grabs ya then you can find more info here.

If you'd still prefer the satisfying weight, girth and aroma of a physical book then the paperback edition of Independent Animation is also presently available at a reduced price as part of Routledge/CRC's current sale that goes until November 15th. As is often the case with their sale offers you get 20% off if you buy it on its own and 25% off for two or more books. Holiday season's just around the corner, don'cha know...