Thursday, October 27, 2011

California hero

Maybe it's a reference to the heroic children who made it, it's heroic success, or simply because the hero is the price of heroic icons, a lion, but The Lion At Home" is a finalist in the 2011 MY HERO International Film Festival. They celebrate stories of heroism via their festival, multi-media events, and through our parent organization The MY HERO Project, a media-arts non-profit based in Laguna Beach, CA! You can watch it now on the Kids for Kids new film website. Bowing October 21st, KIDS FIRST!’s top rated shorts for children will be available for viewing at The portfolio of indie shorts includes animation, live action, student and independent shorts and features the KIDS FIRST! Best of Fest Winners.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Betty and Dorothy premieres at Masham Arts Festival Tuesday 25 Oct

I'm looking forward to the red carpet photo call for young and old stars of Masham animated film World Premiere, which sheds light on a true WW2 romance - 25th October, 7.30pm at Masham Town Hall.Commissioned by Masham Arts Festival, ittells the uplifting story of two of Mashams oldest surviving residents.
Betty and Dorothy is animated by pupils at Kell Bank C.E. Primary School in Healy, North Yorkshire where I've spent the last few weeks working with the pupils. Back in 2009 i worked with Kell Bank to make the critically acclaimed “Leeds Pals” which commemorates the 750 people who died from the Leeds regiment on July 1st, 1916. The film won nominations and awards worldwide, from Hollywood to Bollywood and it's been a joy to be back at this very special school.

In the new film, “Betty and Dorothy”, Betty Thorbutt and Dorothy Kibbat reveal an extraordinary period of change in country life, through war and peace, and a friendship that remained constant through it all. At 9 minutes it's been the longest film I've every created with a school, though it's apt for this story which spans a lifetime. It reveals an astonishing period of change in British country life through war and peace and a friendship that remained constant through it all. brings to life an incredible World War 2 romance between a teenage farmer’s daughter and a German Prisoner of War, Willi Kibbat, shedding rare insight on an important part of British history.

Dorothy’s daughter, Christel, who accompanied her mother to a private screening of an early version of the film at Kell Bank School on Tuesday said, “It was a very special experience to meet the wonderful children and teachers of Kell Bank School and see the stories and paintings of our farm and village life made into a film. They told so well of our friendships across the years and how even our enemies can become friends if we all work together, as the POW’s did on our farms after the war. I’m very glad that Willi’s unique story is remembered in this way.”
Evoking the watercolour artwork of Nidderdale, the film was lovingly handcrafted with local artist Simon Palmer, winner of the Royal Academy Turner Watercolour Award and Masham based artist Ian Scott Massie teaching the pupils how to paint with watercolour. Dave Aston from the Digital Audio Company, who is known for Sound Design on ITV classic dramas ‘A Touch of Frost’and ‘Wire in the Blood’and Channel 4’s multi-award winning “The Astronomers Sun”, worked with children in Hull to bring to life the sounds of countryside and the drama of World War 2 in Digital stereo.

Dorothy, who celebrated her 82nd birthday this year, will be joining the young animators and the crew on the red carpet for the premiere and a Q&A. We will also be screening Leeds Pals and "The Astronomers Sun". 25th October, 7.30pm at Masham Town Hall.

Monday, 24 October 2011BEST ANIMATION at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival

A huge thank you to the audience and jury at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, USA who presented "The Astronomers Sun" with it's 16th award for BEST ANIMATION last weekend. This is the 3rd award in a row from New Mexico and it's humbling to see the NM audience take the film to their hearts.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Kudlian Animation teacher training at Robin Hood Primary

Yesterday, after months of talking about it, we finally piloted a CPD animation teacher training class with Kudlian Software at Robin Hood Primary School in Leeds with teacher Allison Darroch. The one day training course mixed professional insight and analysis of award winning films made by children combined with hands on animation experience. The origins for the course came from one of my most popular training courses at the National Media Museum. After DCMS funding for Anim8ed ended earlier this year, I asked Kudlian Software if they would consider supporting the training day. After all, I Can Animate is my number one choice when working with schools. Kudlian's commitment to education and training has made for a wonderful collaboration and together with Robin Hood Primary School we put together a day for teachers across Yorkshire. It was terrific to work with Allison and Sophie from Robin Hood and see how they are using animation in their school. And a pleasure to work with a wonderful group of teachers keen to discover new ways to use animation within their lessons.
Our group split into three teams to make a film in under 90 minutes. Ssupervised by Allison, Sohie and myself each team used a different technique - model, cut-out and drawn, capturing the animation on I Can Animate 2 with Agent v5 web cams. As well as animating, the groups experimented with the new audio tools in I Can Animate to record a multi track soundtrack before assembling the groups scenes together in Windows Movie Maker. The success of the day means the course should now be rolled out in the near future. Watch this space!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Astronomers Sun screens in MASTERS OF PUPPETS, Romania

We are honored to be screening The Astronomers Sun in the MASTERS OF PUPPETS retrospective of the 6thANIMEST international animation film festival, which will take place in October 7th to 16th 2011 in Bucharest, Romania. It will also be screened on the Creepy animation night of this year edition of the festival.