Thursday, 23 December 2021

Last Orders

In our final Skwigly Animation Podcast episode of 2021 we're delighted to welcome the teams behind some of this holiday season’s most anticipated animation projects. Our prolific contributor Martyn Warren speaks with Jared Bush and Charise Castro Smith, the directors of Disney's Encanto, as well as the film's producer Clark Spencer. We also welcome Jac Hamman and Sarah Scrimgeour, the directors of Magic Light's latest Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler adaptation Superworm which airs 2:30pm Xmas day on BBC1.

Another animated adaptation hitting screens on December 25th is Eagle Eye Drama's take on Terry Pratchett's The Abominable Snow Baby, which airs 7:30pm on Channel 4 following the success of their 2020 animated version of Quentin Blake's Clown; director Massimo Fenati joins us to talk about his career and how the projects came together.

Also discussed in this episode: The recent passing and legacy of respected animation historian Giannalberto Bendazzi, Manchester Animation Festival 2021 event highlights, podcast fanmail, this year’s new South Park specials and the catastrophic reception to the new seasonal stop-motion series Santa Inc. Stream above or clickety-here to download.

If you're after more holiday viewing then it's worth mentioning that the BBC4 documentary Secrets of British Animation was recently repeated, which means it'll be on the ol' iPlayer for the next few weeks. It's a great (if brief) look at what the UK has brought to the table on the animation front, occasionally interrupted by myself and Steve offering up the odd bon mot here and there, so if you missed it the first time around give it a look-see.

A'ight fam, I'm out. See y'all in '22.

Sunday, 12 December 2021

Tidings, possibly of the glad variety

Mother of Christ, this year sure pissed by quickly, didn't it?
It's been a busy time leading to a pretty major December deadline, coupled with a bit of a lull between films of my own, so things have been pretty infrequent on the blog posts front. Somehow you've all managed to get by regardless and I applaud your emotional strength. While 2022 will be a bit busier as far as stuff I can shout about, I'll throw up one more batch of 2021 updates (unless we're able to squeeze in a final Skwigly podcast before the year is through) just to remind y'all I exist.

First up is the Ax Wound Film Festival which has just kicked off and whose full schedule is now available online. If you're based in the US or Canada you can catch Laura-Beth's film The Gift as part of their Short Film + Livestream Block F, which may well feature a director Q&A. This'll kick off 8pm Stateside this Wednesday (15th) and be available through to the 20th.

Another film of Laura-Beth's I was able to elbow my way into was Crafty Witch, a film component of her PhD thesis study at UWE's Centre for Fine Print Research. Having recently screened at major film festivals Encounters, Stop Trik and MAF (with more to come), she presented a behind-the-scenes seminar on the processes involved for the CFPR last week which you can watch above.

On the less-interesting subject of my own films, I've received the wonderful news that Speed will be part of the next Anima Brussels programme, specifically their Animated Night screening. This was the event that gave my preceding film Sunscapades its last major festival sendoff moments before the world went and got itself all pandemic-ey, so it's wonderful to see Speed wrap up its festival journey the same way. While I'm not quite sure of the exact screening date yet, the festival will run from February 25th to March 6th so be sure to follow their socials for updates.

It wouldn't be the holiday season without me pointing out that my book Independent Animation, which some might say is literally the most perfect gift imaginable for the animator, animation enthusiast or sentient human in your life (hell, buy it for the dog to chew on, I don't discriminate), is on sale with a merry ol' 20% off. In fact if you combine that with the special promo code X001 at checkout you'll lop off another holly'n'jolly chunk off the price. All that plus FREE shipping - I mean, I'm pretty sure I just saved Xmas, right? You're welcome. I do it out of love.
Seriously, it's full of amazing people talking about amazing work, you'll dig it. And who knows, it might not be around forever...