Monday, 24 September 2012

My Trip to Bristol for the 18th Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival 2012

18th Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival 18-23 September 2012 Arnolfini & Watershed

Fresh back from Encounters,
                                 Networking with people from the animation industry, seeing new emerging animations which are winning awards all over the place like 'Oh Willy' which i saw on the first day, seeing sets from 'Wallace and Gromit' films and a certain 'Pirate Captains' ship. In Bristol i got the chance to meet so many idols who i aspire to be as good as in the industry who gave me great advise.

Ani 1:Feathers and Fur
First showings i saw were 'Feathers and Fur' with Birds,mammals and strange furry creatures which often take centre stage in animation, my favourites from this selection of animations was 'Oh Willy' (directors Emma De Swaef & Marc James) mainly for the overall look of the characters and sets which was all very natural but the story il let you see for yourself. Also another favourite from this selection was 'The Fox and The Chickadee' (director Evan Derushie) showing a simple story but cleverly told with great puppet animation and a most enjoyable watch.

Heres the trailer for 'The fox and the Chickadee'-

Ani 2: Trials of Life
These animations were great, i remember them all but il only talk about the ones i most favoured and gave the most empathy to the characters first 'I'm Fine Thanks' (director: Eamonn O'neill) showing a character who bottles things up then shows him reacting to them then in a different perspective which was modern and cleverly put together in the narrative.

'The Pub' (Director: Joseph Pierce) i've always been a fan of Joseph Pierce's work his what he does with characters when he rotoscopes them, morphing their face and distorting it to create an alternative way of looking at the story and each persons perspective within the Narrative. 

'De riz d'Armenie' (Director:Helene Marchal, Samy Barras, Celine Seille) "Odette tries tidying up Alphonse's souvenirs".But one dat, no more left. great consept for the disease which is such a sad and painful time for families, the 2d style also has a soft touch to it.

Here is the trailer for De Riz d'Armenie-

'Head over Heels' (Director:Timothy Reckart) My favourite short from this selection of animations because of the humour, love and empathy. Description - "A husband and wife have grown apart over the years. He lives on the floor, she lives on the ceiling,and the marriage hang in the balance".

Here is the trailer for 'Head over Heals'-

Aardman: Early Years Claymation
"One of the qualities that made Aardman Animations stand out back in the late 1970's and 80's was their use of box pop and interviewed recordings, with strong characters animated to the voices. Others such as the hubley's in America were doing it in America were doing it in 2D drawn animation,but Lord and Sproxton pioneered the technique using plastercine character model animation. With the advert of Channel 4 and its enlightened approach to animation under the generous hand of Clare Kitson, Aardman were allowed to flourish and develop their own inimitable style".

"A certain Nick Park joined forces in the mid-80s and the rest, they say, is history. This programme featured many of the outstanding early animated films for a rare opportunity to see them in their hand-crafted detail on the big screen".Too tuff to choose a favourite from this collection but Morph, Adam, Pib and Pog, Sledgehammer,Next and Wallace and Gromit which was great to see up on the big screen (well the chase sequence from the wrong trousers)

FilmWorks Launch: It Begins With An Idea
Speakers were -
 Peter Lord with Julie Lockhart and with Mark Cosgrove,
 Then Live action Director and Producer - Katarzyna Klimkiewicz and Alison Sterling.

From Left- Julie Lockhart,Peter Lord and Artistic Director for Encounters  Mark Cosgrove
The talk was greatly beneficial i got notes and found that many of ideas could be for example 'Chicken Run' is 'The Great Escape' with chickens, simply put but it works for a different Audience. Another thing Flushed away started as pirates then went into its own and research took them to the sewers. Then Pirates came from a book that was in a meeting that Peter was attending read it and was instantly telling everyone to pick up a copy.

Aardman Retrospective: From Pigs to Pirates!
"Aardman Animations saw a period of rapid expansion after the successes of 'The Wrong Trousers' and 'A Close Shave in the 90s. The company became a more diverse studio with a range of incredible stand out talent on their books. The success of the company (including several hundred international awards) was founded on the quality of their short form of work and a thriving commercials department".

"Going from strength to strength the company recently saw the worldwide release of 'The Pirates! in an adventure with scientists', their fifth feature film to date. Never known to stand still, Aardman embrace technological developments with enthusiasm and adapt their processes and output to new platforms and opportunities. This programme celebrates many of their fantastic short films from the 90s right up until the present day".

For me 'So you want to be a Pirate?' (Directed by Jay Grace) was greatly humour-us with constant gags in keeping with the characters, having them on a tv show which is run by the Pirate Captain and going to separate pirates for each parts of the show wether its finding some treasure or trying new products on the Pirate Kings Beard and my favourite a cooking programme part cooking an octopus in the oven.

Heres a scene from the 'So you want to be a Pirate?' - 

Aardman in Conversation

left-David Sproxton, Peter Lord, Nick Park, leading interview Francine Stock
from BBC Radio Four's  The Film Programme
This interview was a great opitunity and happy i got a ticket because it seemed sold out, the interview was looking at how Aardman started right, what became major inspiration and the big difference between the Great British humour and the and what chuckles the yanks is a total difference, also in coming with the Story with 'Wallace and Gromit' Wallace gets in trouble but always gets back to normal at the end but american studios seem to need a Journey of discovery or more to the point what does Wallace learn?.

Nick Park and Myself
What a Legend i really have watched every film this man has created and been amazed this is one of the greats in the animation industry who made me aspire to become an animator so you can understand why i was so happy to have a chat with nick and give my business card stuttering for the first time ever.

Aardman Exhibitions

The Papa mashey rocket from a Grand Day Out.

Creature Comforts

More Creature Comforts (this one i saw last year in the tobacco factory last year in Bristol along with some of Ray Harryhausens work)

A Set from A Curse of The Were Rabbit my favourite W&G film.

Darren Walsh Live Animation

Darren Walsh replacing a face on the Actor

"Over three days the master of mask replacement Darren Walsh shot in public an episode of his latest character 'Bob'. Having pioneered the process whilst at the University for the creative Arts in Farnham. Darren took the technique to Aardman in the 1990's where he made a global success with his loveable scamp 'Angry Kid'".

"Darren Directs a person to move incrementally like puppet whilst at the same time changing face masks in order to match a recorded voice track and change expression. It is a truly fascinating process and one that is relatively quick compared to other animation techniques".

Face masks on the wall and lighting set with second person telling him his direction.

Ani 3:Tooth and Claw
"An outstanding collection of films featuring mammals and strange beasts. Whether the creature is endowed with human traits or the story explores the uses of animals, one thing is for sure: there's nothing more appealing than a set of singing teeth..."

Again i won't mention them all but my favourites!

"'Ernesto' (Directed by Corinne Ladeinde) Great lil jolly film with singing teeth, 7 year old Ernesto feels left out when he realises he's the only kid in school with a full set of milk teeth. When his efforts to fit in fail miserably, he resorts to drastic measures to get rid of them; his teeth however, have other plans".

'The Money Tree' (May Jowdh and Alexander Young) also a friend of mine Thomas Grainger worked on this and i hope them all the best for the short, well done again guys, had such a great reception, "Barney, now glowing in financial pride soon discovers that money grows on trees doesnt always give a happy ending".

Ani:4 Time Passages
"A selection of world class animated shorts that are all strongly influenced by time. Either in the drama of a few moments, a whole life, or the impact of one globally significant event, each film beautifully tells its tale in a timely and pertinent manner".

"'Zing' (Directed by Kyra Bushor, Cynthia Collins) Busy Day in and Out , Mr.Grimm is busy with his job as the reaper, harvesting peoples lives. One day, his monotonous existence is interrupted by the door bell". Visually stunning and with touching sentements which make the story more playfull and shows a human side thats in everyone.Sadly unable to find any footage to show you.

Paul Bush Masterclass

Some great advise from someone who is in my eyes a great experimental stop-frame animator, some of the words he had to say were -Keep doing what you want to do, as you'll get better, never studied as an animator.Spoke about the Young British Artists YBA that started in the 60's which gave you the opportunity to use a great amount of materials in a communities problem being even though it was a community it was one that hated each other.

One thing he's known for is scratching into engravings and colouring in which was also done on wood and  making films that look like one thing but were another. Also i got the chance to see one of his new films for the first time shown to an audience and the new techniques he used were really great using the spots on a humans body to create a most fascinating animation.

Spotted this lovely Balloon walking in-between venues

Directors Uk Presents:Sam Fell

The talk with Sam Fell was of course shown after my second showing of 'Paranorman' which i could do with watching again, the film was of course brilliant even through the technical hitches which only gave Sam a great opportunity to tell people to see the film again but if it was my first time seeing it i would have had to have seen it again.

Then came the talk with Sam fell who was open to most questions after, the event was sold out hense why i had a seat so far back but also because i'd been over Watershed beforehand talking with such great animators who have worked at Aardman and also the likes of Tim Allen an animator that i hope to work with and learn from in the future.

Was a pleasure to talk with Sam afterwards.
Also after the talk there was a boat party not to far away where i was able to meet many people from Aardman and be able to make new connections that i will be able to keep in contact with an hope to work with in the future!'

The 'Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists' Ship

to round off my stay in Bristol i had to pop along and see her in all her glory!

(All speech shows extracts taken from Encounters brochure)