Saturday, March 26, 2011

Anim8ed & St Aidans win Hollywood film award!

I'm thrilled to announce that pupils from St Aidans CE High School in Harrogate are celebrating after their animated film, “Hungry for Health” won Best Youth Fest Animation in Hollywood, California, at the 16th edition of the annual International Family Film Festival!

This is even more special for me as I am a former pupil of St Aidans, so having the chance to work at my former high school was a really special experience. There is a chance to see a special TV report on the films success on BBC Look North next Friday at 6.30pm.

The 2011 IFFF awards celebration was held in the Chaplin Theatre at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. The IFFF’s comprehensive program of screenings, panels and special events ran from March 16 through March 20 on the Raleigh lot. With over 23 countries represented in the films officially selected this year, the IFFF truly added emphasis on its “International” status.
The St Aidans pupils made Hungry for Health, an animated campaign film promoting healthy lifestyle choices for young people. The film was made as part of the National Media Museum’s DCMS Strategic Commissioning funded Anim8ed project in collaboration with the British Library’s "Campaign! Make an Impact" initiative using public service campaigns from history to inspire young people into creating their own contemporary versions.
There is a chance to see it play closer to home, at the National Young Filmmakers' Awards, taking place on Monday 4th April as part of Leeds Young People's Film Festival.

It also plays in competition at the VAFI - International Children and Youth Animation Film Festival VaraĹždin, 29th April - 1st May 2011, partner of the Los Angeles International Children's Film Festival.

Hungry for Health also won critical acclaim last November, winning the BAF 2010 Films by Young Animators Award at the National Media Museum.

Dennis Richards OBE, Headteacher, said: “It has been an inspiration to discover an art form which hitherto we knew nothing about, which has made such an impact on so many children and the school as a whole.”

Deb Singleton, director of Bradford Animation Festival said: “This year we had a fantastic response to our call for entries for the Films by Young Animators category, both in terms of number of films submitted and the quality of the films. We awarded Hungry for Health the top prize in recognition of the filmmakers’ ambition and success in creating an engaging, funny and pacy film with a clear message. We particularly admired the creation of films within films, each of which had a distinct style, as part of the overall story.”

St Aidan’s art teacher Jane Smithson, said, 'It was a tremendous experience for our young people. They were utterly engaged with the research, writing and artwork. Some comments from the young people were "Best time of my school life", "It really improved my confidence in my ability in art". As a teacher I found it built their confidence and made me think about how I deliver my lessons, as the risk taking is what they really enjoyed'.

Simon Lee, student animator, said: “It was an amazing experience being in such a creative atmosphere led by David Bunting. I never would have thought at the start that we would finish with anything reasonable, let alone an award!”

This is the second BAF win for an Anim8ed project. The scheme has produced animations that have won awards all around the world. Anim8ed was set up in 2004 to enable young people to engage with various museum collections through animation.
IFFF is a non-profit educational and cultural organization in Los Angeles County, California.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Filmming Remember to Smile

Well yesterday we filmed our final Straight 8 entry, "Remember to Smile", Written by Laura Arnott and directed by Laura Arnott and Katy Burns. Film and Theatre director Darren Bolton supervised the shoot, along with crew supervisor Adam Kirk with myself producing. Sophie Backhouse played our lead role, and with the range of emotions she sensitively portrayed it was hard to remember that this was her first acting role.Maisy-Rae Millward and Evie Peta Backhouse played the central character at different ages of her life with other performances from Tiger Watkins-Bailey, Maidie Deighton and Jessica Barker, with our Executive Producer and Youth and Community Arts coordinator, Nicola Dixon taking a guest role.

The films now go to the Straight 8 competition organisers for developing and judging, so the first time we will get to see the film is at the premiere on July 9th!
Here's a few photos from the shoot:

 Samuel Burrows on camera. Behind him, crew supervisor, Adam Kirk offers guidance during one of the tricky handheld shots in the film.

80s children. Maidie Deighton and Tiger Watkins-Bailey dressed in 80s gear by wardrobe supervisor Emma Renhard and assistant Kimberley Scott.

Directing supervisor Dannen Bolton discussing a scene with Laura and Katy.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Filming Going Up

Behind the scenes stills from our second film, "Going Up", written by Harvey Griffin and Sam Pratt, Directed by Harvey Griffin. Filming these in one day is not easy and our young crew did themselves, and us, proud working in demanding circumstances on a very long day. Especially for our two lead actors, Mathew Oldreive and Francesca Jackson, who heroically contented with the smells of festering cream and a crammed crew in a lift.... for five hours... it was quite an achievement! Of course we had a lot of fun in the process too. Here's a snapshot. We'll post fresh pictures with words from the director soon.
From lef to right: Francesca Jackson, Mathew Oldreive, Shaun Schwegler (with reflector) and director, Harvey Griffin.
Harvey Griffin cheking a shot, with camera opperator Sam Burrows with Directing Supervisor, Madeliene Frost.

Crew supervisor, Adam Kirk checks a shot.

Trapped in the lift - Madeliene Frost talks through a scene (seperated by a wall of glass!) with Mathew and Francesca.
All in a days work!
Mathew Oldreive and Francesca Jackson in the lift.

On location with "Man from the Moon"

More pictures from the making of "Man in the Moon", for Goole Straight 8 and a few words from the Hannah Turner, the films young writer/director.Hannah Turner (Writer,Director)
On set: Alec Clark, (Man in the Moon) Hannah Turner, Director; Madeliene Frost. Supervising Director and Sam Green, Crew

Producer David Bunting talking through a scene with the Man from the Moon, Alac Clark.

Shaun Schwegler filming on Super 8, with Adam Kirk, Crew supervisor, filming digital video assist.
David Bunting, Producer talks through a shot with Shaun on camera. Director Hannah Turner is in the red jumper.
The day of the filming was great! It was a long, cold day that tested the best of us but it was all worth it to see all of the ideas come together to make one brilliant film. The cast and crew were all excellent and co-operative and easy to work with. I found the process very interesting and I have learnt a lot from the entire film course.
Hannah Turner, Director

Sunday, March 06, 2011

"Man from the Moon" in the can!

On Saturday we filmed our first short film, Hannah Turner's "Man in the Moon". All the live action is now in the can, with just one animation shot and final credits ready to film.

Shooting Man in the Moon on film, it felt only fitting that the production stills were also captured on film as well, so we will post most of the location stills in a few days, once we have them developed.
In the meantime, here's  a few pictures of last last week's progress.

On Thursday we welcomed director Madeline Frost from the Lawance Baltley Theatre in Huddesfield, who worked with our cast.
Emma Renhard did a and a couple of her students from Yorkshire coast college helped provide the films Victorian and romantic and magical themes with beautiful costumes. Here Josh Robert Darby and Jessica Perryman, pose for a Victian photograph as the Young Man in the Moon and his wife.

As well as playing the love interest, Jessica Perryman also helped with the films magical animation scenes, something as a professional animator, I had a lot of fun guiding. 

There's still plenty to do on "Man from the Moon", but today we started work on "Remember to Smile", which we film in a couple of weeks. Professional actor, Paula Henstock travelled over to Harrogate to provide the voice track for the films central character.

Paula, who is busy rehersing with Madeliene for a writing festival at Lawence Batley Theatre later this month, gave a beautifully tender reading of the films dialogue track. After a long and cold location shoot yesterday, recording dialogue in the comfort of my own home with coffee to hand felt a real treat!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Goole Straight 8 Production week

Well we've had an amazing and frantic Production week. - On Saturday, we shoot our first film, "The Man in The Moon". Can't wait! Here's some of the highlights of our week in pictures.

Tuesday - Cinematography with Adam Kirk.
Tuesday afternoon - Auditions and screen tests!

Wednesday - Shaun calling the actors from Tuesdays auditions to tell them the good news.

Rece - Finding locations for the films (the one day it rained!) Harry and Sam are testing our our Super 8 Cameras.

Thursday - Rehearsals with Director Darren Bolton.

 Thursday Lunchtime - a video conference with the crew from ITV's This Morning! Thank to Joe Eibin  production coordinator (right) for making this possible and the rest of the team who kindly gave some of their time to talk with our filmmakers and answer their questions. Jo was one of our production apprentices in Goole Silent Movie, and a terrific role model for our current young filmmakers.
Friday - music auditions with Dave Bainbridge and costume fittings with Emma Renhard.

Hungry for Health travels to Hollywood!

I'm excited to announce that the animated short film, "Hungry for Health", made by pupils at St Aidan's C E High School, is nominated for an award in Hollywood at the Youth Fest International Family Film Festival Youth Fest! on March 19th, 2011, at the Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, CA, USA.

An animated campaign film promoting healthy lifestyle choices for young people, Hungry for Health offers a unique young person's perspective on diet and childhood obesity, referencing social pressures, advertising and new media. Hungry for Health was made as part of the National Media Museum's anim8ed programme in partnership with the British Library's, Campaign! Make an Impact innovative initiative that uses history to inspire young people into active citizenship.