Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ralph Shephard gets Migraine

Well it’s been a busy New Year. With “The Astronomer’s Sun” premiering at BAA, my role as producer has moved into planning and co-ordinating a film festival strategy.

So while "The Astronomers Sun" is still in my in tray, I've been able to look to the future and get back into my own film once again. I’ll do a piece about the film itself shortly, (working title "Drawing Migraine"), but suffice to say it’s been quietly tormenting me for the last three years as I grab precious moments to work on it. Any film 3years in the making that still gets you excited simply has to be made. So in a concerted effort to make complete this film in a timely fashion, I’ve teamed up with a terrific artist, my good friend Ralph Shephard, who is lending his considerable skill to layout, backgrounds, and conceptual artwork.

Ralph is a true old school artist whose enviable talent has taken him from giant sculpture, model making, corporate character prototyping, graphics, set design and building. In animation he’s worked as a storyboard artist and character concept designer for Aardman Animations, Cosgrove Hall and Splash. Ralph has been a Fellow of the British Society of Painters since 2004.
If anyone needs a true fine artist on their team, they need look no further than Ralph. Check out his stunning work at London Art

"Joan of Arc", Ralph Shephard, Acrylic on canvas.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Astronomers Sun World Premiere at the British Animation Awards

It’s finally here. The world premiere of “The Astronomers Sun”! We are very excited to launch the film at the British Animation Awards UK tour this month, where the film has been nominated for a Public Choice award for Best Short Film!

From the 8th to the 27th of February, you can catch the Public Choice screenings at a cinema near you, and vote for your favourite from a fantastic range of animated films made over the past few years. Three programmes containing a mix of animated shorts, music videos and commercials are screening at 27 venues across the UK. The Astronomers Sun plays in programme 3.
The British Animation Awards (BAA) covers all aspects of the UK animation scene, from student work to commercials, children's entertainment, short and experimental art films, music videos, new technologies.
We’d love to hear comments from people who catch to film on the blog. We are travelling to as many of the venues as we can, so if you see us, say hi!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

A natter with Shourjo

Well that was certainly a different way to spend a Friday night! Sat in BBC radio Leeds being interviewed by cool-cat Shourjo Sarkar on his late show. It was a surreal experience, but Shourjo was such an welcoming and easy person to talk to and in a few minutes I was having a great natter about animation and life as if we were life long friends. Thanks to Shourjo and producer Darren for making me feel so welcome and putting me at ease. For anyone who missed it, it's available to listen to anywhere in the world on the BBC iPlayer for the next week.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Shourjo Sarkar's late show - this Friday!

I'm excited to say, I'm going to a guest on Shourjo Sarkar's late show this Friday at 10.30pm.
I'm going to be making announcing a couple of exciting anouncments about projects I'm currently working on, as well as having a good chat. So if you want to be the first to hear, tune in! It goes out across the North on BBC Radio Leeds, York, Humber and Sheffield.

Talk: Magical Stories and Special Effects

Wednesday 17 March, National Media Museum 10.00am - 12.00pm KS4, FE: Creative and Media Diploma, Media Studies.

I'm really excited to be doing this talk For any schools interested in attending, there are spaces still availble at the National Media Museum. Hopefully see some of you there!

David Bunting will talk about his work as a professional animator. With live animation demonstrations and behind the scenes clips, David will chart the animation process, from concept to completion, giving insights into how to tell a good story.The talk will be followed by a hands on animation Worksop! Bookings are available through the National Media Museum.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

OSCAR nomination for The Secret of Kells!!!

My old college pals, Tom Moore and Paul Young have done it! Today its been announced that their first feature film, "The Secret of Kells" has been nominated for an OSCAR for Best Animated Feature Film!

Produced by their Kilkenny-based studio, The Cartoon Saloon, The Secret of Kells is one of five nominees in the Animated Feature Film category.

Since its release in 2009, The Secret of Kells, which features the voices of Brendan Gleeson and Mick Lally, has been lauded around the world, collecting awards and heep of critical acclaim and a buge amount of buzz in festivals. It is quite simply one of the most beautifully designed drawn animated films I've ever seen.

Kells , directed by Tomm Moore, will go up against massive studio films: Coraline, Up, Fantastic Mr Fox and The Princess And The Frog.

So just in case that's not clear, a small independent film, a feautre film debut for Tomm Moore and The Cartoon Saloon in Kilkenny, Ireland is up against mighty box office grossing films with major studio backing.

What a triumph!!! But I've knew Tomm and Paul well at college, and you know what - I'm not surprised, just THRILLED! These guys are and have have been extraordinary. It was Toms dream to make this film since he was about 14, and at college, he was working up a development package for the film while the rest of us were being toilet trained and discovering Guineess (well the latter for the International Students). Actually, Tom led a fair few fellow students out to Kellkenny some of whom worked on the film with him.

I'm still itching to see this film, after missing it at the London Children's Film Festival and Annecy earlier this year, but hopefully, this news will bring a much bigger distribution deal. I hope so!

The film follows 12-year-old Brendan (Evan McGuire), a mischievous monk who lives with his uncle, Abbot Cellach (Brendan Gleeson). Brendan's life is changed forever with the arrival of Brother Aiden (Mick Lally), a celebrated master illuminator who awakens Brendan's hidden talent for illumination. With the terrifying Viking hordes closing in, the future of the precious Book of Kells is in jeopardy and it falls to Brendan to save the day.

The Secret of Kells was produced by Cartoon Saloon, Les Armateurs (France) and Vivi film (Belgium).