Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tricky Women Trailer online

I take it back, my flash skills must be improving and I am a real animator, it only took twenty minutes to put the Tricky Women Trailer on my website. It's right there under archive, tell me what you think?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

my website

I'm not a real animator so updating my website built in Flash is a slow process, despite Joe's great notes. Joe made it and Happily Ever After designed it and I was able to pay them with a Hackney business grant maybe four years ago now. Anyway, I've put The Old, Old, Very Old Man and the documentary footage from Shunt on the website so please have a look if you have time between making presents out of quince. (oh you too?)

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Fonic sonic magicians

Today I've been to Fonic for the mix of the music and sound effects for the Tricky Women Trailer. It was a beautiful thing working with Barnaby Templar again and also composer Bradley Miles, they've really made the trailer seem grand enough for the cinema and somehow I never notice how scrappy my animation is once Fonic has had a go. What more could I ask for? I hope it works in Vienna. I can't wait to put the trailer on my website but it will have to go on there next year when it's been shown in Vienna first.

Dead Peter

Here is last weeks little test of the rubber stamps on 35mm. I was mostly checking my registration system because I don't want the dead fellow to be flying around the frame too much, vampire or no vampire. It's quite lively in the frame none the less so I have to do some work on that. I expect if I wanted it to be very still I could use the optical printer to copy frames and then do some further printing on those.
Today I'm working out a shot list and I'm overjoyed to notice that there is a lot of repetition in the story.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Ukraine's Got Talent

It really has!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Vive McLaren!

This is a great poster by Jan Lenica. He's one of my favourite animators, I was looking at Rhinoceros again recently.

35mm cameraless animation tests

Spellbound Animation was very lucky to take delivery of a 400ft roll of 35mm from Kodak on friday. Thank you Kodak. It's colour negative so I've bleached it and started some trials. It's a new departure for me so I'm prepared to make some goofy errors. The frame size seems to be about 25mm x 16.5mm, the width equals 4 sprockets (any experts reading this, please speak up). I was looking at the McLaren table and wondering which part of it was necessary for now (the prism, the back light, the angle, the slider) but I think I'll manage without at the moment. I don't need a prism because I'm working with rubber stamps, so I'll work out a registration system relevant to printmaking rather than animation. I don't need a backlight because I'm working on clear stock so paper will do. I'll have to find a way to check the animation as I'm going along. I'll think about making a sort of video assist or else find a Moviola picsync.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Squirrels and Hens

I was looking at Norman McLaren's splendid Hen Hop on the NFB website. There's a paragraph about it by the extraordinary Don McWilliams in which he describes the moment that he found out that Norman McLaren was a hen, he says in response "your'e right Evelyn, I'm a squirrel", which is maybe obvious when you know that he makes documentaries, I hope he's a red squirrel, I bet he is.
Anyway I'm studying the McLaren Cameraless Animation diagrams and wondering how to make a special desk:
The photograph is by Sophie Quevillon. This desk might be somewhere in the NFB, look at the lovely ink spot.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Imperial Provisor Frombald

I've got three very small ideas for new films, I don't know why I've chosen this one first but maybe I had vampires on my mind.
Imperial Provisor Frombald was an Austrian official who, in 1725 in Serbia, had to oversee the exhumation of villager Peter Plogojowitch who was suspected of being a vampire. I'm making rubber stamps which I'll either stamp on 35mm or a surface I can wipe. It would be obvious to use paper, but I really hate the idea of having so many pages left behind at the end.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Autumn animation stuff

There are a lot of great animation things going on at the moment, it's very sadly the last Aurora in Norwich (really hoping it's not the end though) and Flip in Wolverhampton where tomorrow, there's a talk by Sarah Cox of the fantastic Arthur Cox. If I had a helicopter, a helipad and a nanny I'd get to them both but in the meantime there's alot of leaves to shuffle around the park with my small companions before those leaf blowers get them.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


We went to a Jaques Brel evening. The hightlight was 1927, a great mixture of animation and live theatre, very simple and funny but thoughtful too. We were also treated to Brel's 1973 film Le Far West, which should have been a ten minute film, because indeed the first ten minutes were very funny, the following 78 minutes were spent admiring the beautiful interior of Wilton's Music Hall and wondering when the hell it was going to finish.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A second visit to London Bridge

We went back to Shunt Lounge last night to video the installation. There were a lot of dainty pole dancers. It's on until Saturday if you need to see what you look like dancing to Soft Cell with a ginger moustache.
If you don't get along there, I'll get the video of the installation onto my website soon.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The sound of a butterfly

I've finished filming the butterfly film and at the risk of confusing myself and others I'm calling it Little Skipper, the same name as the 2006 version but the it describes so well what happens in the film that I couldn't get used to another one. Now I'm experimenting with some sound by recording the page sounds and making little loops and repeating sequences to play with. It's not right yet but I think it does work with sound.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Come along!

Emily and I had a busy day installing the animation for Shunt. It opens tomorrow and you can come if you like. We were so busy moving little people around the lightbox that I forgot to tell anyone except Shelly. You just go to London Bridge and through the door in the first photo, anytime after 6pm, it looks as if there is a moustache workshop too. Wow, Hazel's going to go crazy for that.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Coming & Going

Emily Tracy and I are working on an animation installation at Shunt Lounge, a really exciting space under London Bridge. We've just got a couple of weeks, it will be opening on the weds 7th October. Here's a little photograph of my lightbox for now.

Friday, September 18, 2009

well hello there ..

This dashing fellow is one of many beautiful drawings created by a female relative of mine a long long time ago. He is waiting until I have some time to create a little romance for him. Can you guess what his name is?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ignition for Engine

Last night there was a screening and discussion to mark the ignition of animate's new web place Engine. They gathered Tal Rosner, Gaelle Denis and Quaynola to talk to Chris O Reilly from Nexus about the relationship between their own projects and commercial work. O Reilly's introduction made working as an animator in the commercial sector in 2009 sound tremendously complicated and fairly unappealing, (at least to this practitioner) so it was refreshing to hear Gaelle Denis provide a healthy counterpoint. She likes to be entertained by her commercial work and uses it as a chance to be playful, use new techniques and meet interesting people. Tal Rosner has executed a serious animate commission, Without you but has also put his singular editing skills to the Skins title sequence, both of which seem to fit within his practice without compromise. Quaynola focuses on his practice and adapted the imagery to fit a commercial project when requested. I've slightly missed an opportunity to use the words throttle and choke, but time is pressing. Have a look at engine.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Large Blue

I've been remaking a film from 2006 called Little Skipper, it's hard to remake it the same so actually it's a sequel called Large Blue. I showed it in Austria and realised that I liked it a lot but the quality wasn't high enough for screening so I'm starting again. For Little Skipper I made butterfly prints of butterflies in a notebook and animated them to make a one minute film. I had used video to capture the stills but the quality wasn't great in this instance because it's hard to keep the leaves of the notebook still enough and they look a bit between one frame and another. This time I'm using my digital stills camera and Final Cut Pro.

Monday, September 07, 2009

d a u m e n k i n o - t h u m b c i n e m a

My friend Abigail sent this, it looks pretty good:
FLIPBOOK call for visual and media artists, musicians film makers and architects animators and other to create and submit a flipbook, which is based on their own practice (and express how this is related to time). The flipbooks will be showing in an exhibition, which will take place at bookartbookshop, Pitfield Street, London in November 2009.
The deadline for submitting the flipbooks is Friday, 23rd October, 2009 at 5pm. Please contact infoatabigailhirschdotnet for guidance, for any other enquiries and for the postal address where the flipbook should be sent to.

LIAF 2009 - Best of The Fest

Muto by Blu won the best film of LIAF, truly an ambitious 'ambiguous animation painted on public walls'. It's an amazing feat, he doesn't just paint on walls, he also explores adjacent ceilings, floors and holes near walls and there is some interaction with objects within the surroundings, which adds to the pleasure of watching the film. Good choice I thought. Of the other films screened I appreciated the tone and style of The Collection by Philip Warner about a group of refuse collectors. I enjoyed LIAF very much this year, I saw some very good films, and there were also a lot of other programmes I would like to have got to. The Renoir is a bit more roomy than the Curzon. Next year the focus is going to be on New York and Cameraless Films, which will be great.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

LIAF 2009 - British Panorama

I went to the British Panorama last night. It was a varied programme that seemed very British to me, a mixture of homemade, beautiful, and a bit dotty and some very funny pieces, in particular The Surprise Demise of Francis Cooper by Felix Massie and Little Face by Matthew Walker, two films I'd been looking forward to seeing for a long time, (they both have good blogs). I most enjoyed Suky Best's Animate film Early Birds. Best has made silhouettes of birds from the dawn chorus as they emerge from feeding their young or balance on a telegraph wire and the detail in the movement is sort of thrilling to watch, there seemed to be some inbalance in the sound mix because it was sometimes hard to hear the interviewees over the birdsong, but since they were talking about how surprisingly loud the dawn chorus can be, maybe it was apt if not intended. Bruce by Tom Judd is splendid and truly dark. An overweight man makes a little man mammal using a lump of meat and his USB cable, inserts a chip into his naval and can operate him with his games console. I wont reveal the ending except to say that the man behaves with appalling carelessness towards the little man mammal. The horrifying tale is told with great precision, there's not an extra frame in this film. I wonder if it will appear tonight in Best of the Fest. Hope so. More on that later...

Friday, September 04, 2009

Little jobs

We spent the day giving our allotment a trim, having left it to Nina and Tim for the whole summer and then we had to compare pastries with Neil and Vicky, UK vs. Vienna.


Here is one last snap from Vienna, it's a lovely picture of animator Maya Yonesho tucking into some heurigan fayre on our great evening out with the Tricky Women team. Maya makes wonderful films but also creates a connection between many animators by finding time to eat cake with friends around the world.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

LIAF 2009 - International Programme 3

We came back from Vienna just in time for some of LIAF. Last night I went to International Programme 3 at the Renoir with Shelly. What a strong programme of works, it was almost relentlessly masterful, I kept hoping for a low key or plain rubbish film to have a zzzzz. Of all of them Bill Porter's film On Time Off was the most striking. Many poseurs on a beach in various shades of puce morphed into the hundreds and thousands on an ice cream, but rather than just being snazzy animation, the film was about just that, hundreds and thousands of people on a beach melting like ice cream until there's a fire and everyone goes home. A tiny shot of some aeroplanes sets the broader agenda without being heavy handed and then a not so puce male arrives for the evening. Maybe a local person, or Jesus, Al Gore or Leonardo di Caprio. My favourite part was a man trying to get into his little trunks, just a couple of frames repeated three times, what a good film.

Black Dog's Progress by Stephen Irwin stood out for me too, hundreds of flip books tell the story of an unwanted pet forced to find his way in a dark world. It deserves a second or third viewing, it was very clever. The Bedwetter by I. Schiller and S.F Mueller seemed like a singular student work at first but turned into a deftly executed pixellation film with many unexpected turns. I had my mouth open for the whole 5 minutes.
The Gallic Black Tea by Serge Elissade was really popular with the audience as was This Way Up by Smith & Foulkes.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Our last day.

Today was the first day of rain which gives the impression that Vienna isn't going to be so blooming lovely when we're gone. It's not true of course, the forecast is sunny for tomorrow but at least we've found our socks and cardigans for tomorrow's return to London. Anyway, we had a few things to do today including Dobostorte at Cafe Central and a visit to Votivkirche. Maya very kindly popped round with some of her favourite variety of ice cream which we are saving until we've got everything into the rucksack.

George took some very good close up pictures of the cake display at Cafe Central so that we had a visual record of the ones he was keen on.

Donkey mess

Here is the paper that I used to make the trailer for Tricky Women. It's going to stay with Waltraud in the office here so Maya's photo is very useful to remind me of what it looks like.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tricky women

I showed some of my films and the trailer at the Tricky Women office last night, it was really nice. Maya came straight from her travels in Italy and Estonia with a bag of cantuccini and some Estonian chocolates.

what are you looking at?

A pyramid of musicians

I had another go at the trailer yesterday and this morning, so now I have two versions. I like the impression of fireworks left on the paper which suits the Tricky Women celebration. The two versions are quite similar but with different timing and colour, one or other might be better with the logo and sound so I'll work with both at the moment. This morning I showed the first one to lovely Waltraud from the Tricky Women festival and she was very kind so I feel relieved and excited about working with the noises when I get home. Tonight I'm going to be doing a meet the artist at Tricky Women.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Werner Nekes

We were really lucky to catch a portion of Werner Nekes' amazing collection at an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Budapest. It had some exhibits in common with Eyes, Lies and Illusions at the Hayward a while ago but also quite a few new contemporary pieces including two by Olafur Eliasson and a William Kentridge (which is the bottom photograph), a video made for anamorpic projection.