We had the best weather on Friday, sunny and warm, but during the night the rain came down. Despite the rain and mud, it was an amazing experience and I was gratefull to be there screening my films. Thank you Tania.
A TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS AT SMALL BIRDS SINGING screened at Edinburgh in 2009, and I was looking forward to visiting Edinburgh again this year with HINTERLAND, screening in the Nokia Shorts Weekender programme, Animated Interations. http://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/This year there were no prizes… we were there to see films, meet people and hopefully make a few interesting contacts. The Festivalhouse@Teviot was the EIFF 2011 hub hosting a wide range of events, debates, installations, club nights and screenings. I enjoyed the Nokia Shorts Animation screenings, Bafta and Shooting People Short Sighted was informative http://shootingpeople.org/shortsighted/, and I was pleased to watch Chris Shepherd’s films again at his master class ‘Making the leap from short film to features’ http://www.chrisshepherdfilms.com/ Another interesting event was Aardman and Wieden + Kennedy: Shooting world record for smallest stop-motion animation.
And their new attempt to make the largest stop-motion animation which is a work in progress. I also dipped in and out of an informative two day conference on Animated Documentaries http://www.animatedrealities.co.uk/ which was a great opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones.
Annecy Animation Festival is the biggest animation event of the year, and is not for the faint-hearted. Now on my seventh year, I’m beginning to get the hang of it. Once again it was a fantastic festival! For best coverage of the festival, read Steve Henderson’s Annecy coverage on Sqwigly Online Animation Magazine.
Tiny Elephants is thrilled that Hinterland will have its Premiere at Edinburgh International Film Festival in June 2011. It will be screening at 18.00, on Saturday 25 June at George Square Theatre in the Nokia Shorts Weekender programme ‘Animated Interactions’. Hinterland is our fourth short, set in Steven Appleby’s cartoon world of Small Birds Singing.
Although Hinterland is just 2 minutes in length, the film took six months to make. Making convincing ‘plastic’ bottles from clay was a challenge, and many of the sets were complicated to build, for just a few seconds filming. In addition, the last scene required a lot of patient stop-motion and lengthy post-production, and I ‘d like to thank Callum Strachan and Jeremy Richard for their expertise in After Effects.
Tiny Elephants was pleased to receive some help from Vision+Media’s Completion Fund. This helped to pay for the After Effects by Callum and Jeremy and allowed a small budget for professional ‘Sound Sculpting’ by Paul Rogers (from The Long Dead Sevens). Paul also did a great job on the music for Old Hinterland and the Credit Sequence (using plastic and other junk sounds as instrumentation). And thanks again to Verbal Vigilante Music for their fantastic SBS theme music which transports us into the Small Birds Singing World and introduces Spandisman, Consommé and Delphinium.
And since this has turned into an extended ‘thank you session’ I’ll just mention the lighting skills and DOP advice of Joe Dembinski, the prop-making help of Guy Levy and the fantastic voice of Kerry Shale who brings all the characters to dysfunctional life.
And last, but not least, thank you Steven Appleby for yet again allowing me to play in your world and with your characters. Incidentally, not only does Steven have a Creative Advisor role, but he also supplies original ‘family portraits’ which adorn the rooms of Small Birds Singing.
The Grand Easter Egg Hunt was selected for screening in the Best of British category at Stuttgart this year. I’ve heard a lot about this festival and have been unsuccessful with previous submissions, so I decided to go. My flight was delayed, I missed the connection, and arrived at Stuttgart 5 hours late having missed the afternoon and evenings’ screenings, but was delighted to bump into my pal Wendy Chandler from Australia…see below. So we went for some food and good German beer instead.
There were still some great programmes on offer over the last two days, in fact far too much choice. So I managed a couple of International programmes and Studio AKA presentation. Industrial Light & Magic had an entertaining presentation on the making of Rango ‘ Down and Dirty’. An interesting event was the One o’clock ‘Meet the Directors’ discussions. And Ron Diamond enlightened us on How to Get Into the Oscars.
Not to mention the British Shorts.
The festival garden outdoor screen was in operation all day and was a great way of including local families and sunbathers (27°C). It was a lovely festival, well run and friendly.
Apart from the films, it was just great to see old friends and meet new ones…