Friday, June 26, 2009

Don's mum must be proud.

Don Hertzfeldt's event took place last night and was good and it really was busy. How in sweet jesus does he do that? When I think of other really good animators I think it would be hard to fill Cinema 1 in the Curzon. I think it might be because his work shines out on the internet, he has a very clear graphic style and the writing is really funny and a little bit dark, plus it works if you watch ten seconds of it, and holds up over 70 minutes too. He did say in the Q&A that he wasn't especially into people watching the films on the web and it's well-known that he works on film because he prefers to present it in a theatrical setting but I think the cinema was full of people who had got into the work online.

Anyway, one of my favourite moments in his new film I'm so proud of you, was when Bill was standing at a bus stop and a man operating a leaf blower comes by. He lingers for a long time blowing a leaf that's stuck on the pavement, and the blower is quite noisy and knowing what we know about Bill's fragile state of mind, it becomes unbearable tense but funny all at once. Don did talk about those kinds of moments in his films taking a long time to get right and eventually being down to a few frames here and there. It was evident that he really relished the making of the films and that he was doing just exactly what he wanted with his life. Hooray to that!
Here's a blurry picture:

The lights are on...

The studio is mine once more! I don't get to work in there yet but having a little space of my own brings much joy and sanity. Presently I'm gathering up my best squirrel hair brushes and bubble wrapping the lucky tile that I used in The Old, Old, Very Old Man because we are all getting ready to go to Vienna for two months to do the Tricky Women residency that the film won in 2008. It's very exciting. I'll be updating my blog from the studio there.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thinking big - almost as big as Bill Brand's Masstransiscope

A really lovely artist called Emily Tracy lives nearby and one day we hope to make something big and splendid together. Musing on the possibilities and after a bit of to and fro and help from a friend we managed to come up with what we thought was a perfect and original concept. We would make an enormous stationary zoetrope that became animated when one travelled past on a train, we even found the perfect spot just coming out of Liverpool Street.. but then we found Bill Brand's Masstransiscope.

It's good isn't it? Maybe Liverpool Street could still do with a Masstransiscope..

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Don Hertzfeldt's Bitter Films

The extraordinarily popular Don Hertzfeldt is coming to London as part of a 20 city worldwide sold-out tour. Wow that's truly something for an animator. Wendy and I have got tickets to go to the Curzon Soho at the end of this month. I think I posted about his bitter films blog a few years ago, I really enjoy reading his lower cap musings, it seems like he's always busy on an animation day and night, infact he's only ever worked as an animator, and that is hard work. This image from his film 'rejected' always makes me laugh through my nose straight away.


I'm mentoring an animator/graphic artist called Magda Boreysza. She's doing her MA at the Screen Academy in Edinburgh. As you can see from her blog Fox and Comet working with her gives me a lot to think about, she publishes her own zines (Toasty Cats) with eerie, intricate but also funny drawings in them, she also illustrates, animates and is starting to think about printmaking too. I'm looking forward to seeing what she gets up to when she graduates this year.