Thursday, April 15, 2010

Best Child Made Animation - Silver Salt Animation Festival

Congratulations to "The Lion at Home" (Bricknell Primary School) and "Leeds Pals" (Kell Bank Primary School) which won the “Best Child Made Animation” award at the first Silver Salt Animation Festival 2010, India's largest ever animation festival on Sunday!

As well as Silver Salt, the a collection of films from Anim8ed, the National Media Museums educational outreach programme, including "The Lion at Home" were given a special screening at the Cairo Children's Film Festival where I spent a glorious week, and will be shown at the Seattle International Animation Festival in May. The Lion at Home also picked up third prize at the National Young Filmmakers awards last weekend!

As I sadly couldn't make it over to the awards ceremony, they asked me to record a video acceptance speech for the award ceremony, so for fun, I though I'd share it with you!

Festivals like Silver Salt are incredible celebrations of child made films and I was asked to write a testimonial this testimonial for the festival.

Silver Salt Animation Festival offers a rare and important opportunity for the aspiring young animators of tomorrow to view their films in front of an audience on an international stage. As an animator who started making films with Super 8 at the age of 9, I can testify to the power such festivals hold. Screening films made by children and young people in mainstream festivals gives these films the prominence they deserve and serves to broaden the awareness of animation for both children and adults. Children’s films like “The Lion at Home” and “Leeds Pals” are wonderful in their own right, highlighting the unique way in which children see the world. But it is because these films support tomorrow’s animators that I view the “Best Child Made Animation” category as one of the most important awards in any festival.

Long may it prosper!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Tribute to Christopher Cazenove

I was sorry to hear about the death of Christopher Casonove, who died yesterday at the age of 66, after fighting a battle with septicaemia. He is who is probably best known for playing Ben Carrington in the glossy 1980s television soap opera Dynasty.

I had the real privilege to see Christopher perform live alongside John Duttine and Les Dennis in Art at Harrogate Theatre in 2003. I was working at the theatre bar at the time, and asked Mr Casonove if he would be record the voice of an animated character for my University film, "Vernic"! Being the gentleman he was, he said yes, and encouraged Les Dennis and John Duttine to also take part! We recorded a whole sequence of which I only used about a minute. His performance was a pleasure to animate. The laugh at the beginning of the film shows the skill Christopher had to infect everything with the utmost character.

A message from Barry Purves

Master animation director, Barry Purves, got in touch with us after seeing "The Astronomers Sun" in AnimFest animation festival in Athens last month. He liked the film much he has written this extraordinary write-up:

This exquisitely crafted and sensitive film manages to raise some profound and surprisingly emotional ideas, all in a few oblique, beautiful and economic minutes. Animation at its' mysterious and haunting best.

Barry Purves, who was a mentor on another 4mations Digital Short last year, is one of the worlds great puppet animation masters and inspires all of us. His new book "Basics Animation: Stop-Motion" hits the bookshops this week and includes a picture from - "The Astronomers Sun"! Co-director Jessica Cope's, graduation film, The Owl House, is also featured inside! We couldn't me more honoured and more excited to be featured in such distinguished company! Check out the Astronomers Sun blog for details information of where to see the film.