Archive for the ‘OIAF’ Tag

Ottawa International Animation Festival – Blog #3

Wallace, special guest at OIAF 

 

Wallace, special guest at OIAF

 

The week of the OIAF wrapped with award-winners and fascinating presentations. I loved hearing about the goings on at Aardman Animations from Helen Brunsdon, Development and Broadcast Manager. She brought along some old friends including Wallace, Grommit, and Morph and introduced us to some new friends like Purple and Brown, Pib and Pog, and Angry Kid. Aardman, best known for its claymation marvels, is branching out to other forms of animation. They produced the lyrical and disturbing “The Pearce Sisters” as a festival piece to highlight their CGI animation: it has won a BAFTA and received prizes at Clermont-Ferrand and Anima.

Aardman has been ground-breaking in mobile content. Angry Kid is on multiple carriers and even Morph, one of their oldest characters filmed on 16mm, works well on mobile. Aardman is also producing more adult or “rude” content, as Brunsdon called it, so check out Jeffrey the Aussie with no Cozzy (cartoon nudity!) and JellyBeats (strong language from jellyfish) for a taste.

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Announcing the launch of Super U’s Animation Contests

I’m writing from the Ottawa International Animation Festival. I’ve met lots of animators here from schools across Canada, like Emily Carr University, and through the United States. They’re here for inspiration that can only come from meeting people of like-mind and with the same interests.

It was a spark of inspiration that led Michel Beaudet to create Tetes a claques (now TAC.tv, too). He was playing around with different animation techniques in the basement of his house and came up with the unique style of the TAC.tv characters – the dim pilots, the Halloween kids, the farting frogs.

We at Super U are so excited to be partnering with Michel and TAC.tv to launch our first animation contests. I’ve been telling the animators here at the festival about the contests. Michel has said that the “Internet is sucha  great tool to give a voice to emergent artists.” This is exactly what Super U is dedicated to.

The animation contest opens for entry on Thursday, September 25 and we’ll be running 4 contests a year and a best of contest in August 2009 – the top prize is $7,500.

Today was the Billings’ Estate picnic sponsored by Cartoon Network with food by Lone Star (thanks!). They had a cool pumpkin carving competition. I hope the animators entering our film contest are as inventive as these artistic geniuses:

Ottawa International Animation Festival – Blog #2

Matt Senreich, unidentified blonde, Seth Green

Matt Senreich, unidentified blonde, Seth Green

I had the pleasure of seeing the Co-Creators of Robot Chicken (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim), who were the keynote speakers on Thursday at the OIAF. Seth Green (you know him as Scott Evil from Austin Powers) and Matt Senreich produce this stop-motion sketch comedy series and are real fans of animation, actors and pop culture. They came up with the idea in 2000 – before broadband – and told some entertaining storiesabout the early years of fedexing huge tapes coast to coast, working full-time at day jobs and getting by on 3 hours of sleep a night for 9 months. They had some great advice: Make a demo or a pilot (to compensate for the utter lack of imagination of the people you’re pitching to – Green’s words).

Green also said that the immediacy of the internet makes it a great place to use as a launching pad. I really agree with that – lots of animators at the conference are talking about the ability to make something and have it seen by people almost instantaneously. We really hope that they’ll take advantage of the new animation contests here at Super U. Watch this space tomorrow for special details about the contest announcement on www.superu.ca

Ottawa International Animation Festival – Blog #1

Parliament Buildings from the National Gallery

Parliament Buildings from the National Gallery

Welcome to a special series of posts from the Ottawa International Animation Festival. This morning, the Television Animation Conference started off with a bang – the Government of Brazil announced that they have co-production funding available for animation. (Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll track down the contact info.) The keynote speaker was Brown Johnson, President of Animation for Nickelodeon which sounds like a fun place to work: they have fun houses at Halloween, funny car competitions and tie day on Friday. I wonder if Super U will beat them to the first annual “underwear on the outside day”?

Animators - and future animators - in the Book Lounge

Animators - and future animators - in the Book Lounge

The Pitch This! session pitted enthusiastic animators against experienced commissioners from CBC Kids, Teletoon, PBS Kids and Jetix. At breakfast, I sat with the guys who were pitching The Mulligans – a series set around a kids’ golf school – and they were sweating bullets. I admire their chutzpah. Here’s some great feedback I gleaned: Complex character descriptions can be used to fuel the storyline. And: defining the age-range is crucial when pitching. If you’re an animation creator, here’s the scoop on what the Canadian ‘casters are looking for: Teletoon wants boy comedy and teen/tween dramedy, CBC is taking pitches for shows for 4-6 year olds, and a 7:30 am before school show with a broad appeal for young families and they’re looking for shorts.

Stay tuned for some exciting news about animation contests on Superu.ca.

Gotta run to Happy Hour! Here’s a shot of me by the National Gallery of Canada.

Clare at the National Gallery of Canada (Louise Boureois sculpture "Maman")

Don’t you know who I am?

The dreaded six-word phrase uttered by would-be celebs from airports to restaurants worldwide. Now that we’re heading into festival and market season in Canada – Toronto, Atlantic, Ottawa Animation, Vancouver are all in September – it’s time to tell the world who you are by updating your bio for the delegate book.

Robert Wong, Director of the Provincial Tax Credit program for the film and television industry in BC, used to submit fake bios. He included record of his participation in the Extreme Shredding finals of the Tax Credit Games in which he lost both hands and had them replaced with flamethrowers. Bob was the hit of Strategic Partners!

In my fake life, when I am unable to find work in my chosen field as muse to Clive Owen, or find my career as pharmacist to Anna Nicole Smith abruptly ended, I decide to take a day job. So, here I am at Super U! In my spare time I enjoy green tea, macrame, visiting my friends in rehab and planning for my next police car chase to be broadcast live in prime time.