Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Whiteboard-a-Mation: Kristofer Ström

The best way to cure the wounded soul blighted by rejection: groovy animation. Here's an amazing bit of animated goodness, all hand drawn on whiteboard by Swedish animator Kristofer Ström. This is sumthin' we at TAIS have got to try! Pay particular close attention to his use of color and his interaction with his's livin' graffiti, and it's enough to pull me clean outta my phunk. Here's his folio site:

It's as much fun to look at as it is to play with. Nice!

1st film, 1st rejection letter...

I have officially arrived as an animator. For I have just been verbally kicked in the nuts by Chris Robinson. Read on, gentle blog viewer:

Dear Neil

Thank you for submitting First Time Out to the Ottawa 2007 International Animation Festival.

I'm sorry to say that it was not selected for this year’s Festival. With the more than 2070 entries submitted we - once again - had a difficult task selecting this year’s films. In the end, only 96 films were selected for Competition and 31 for Showcase. The list of selected films will be on our website soon at

I hope that you will not be discouraged by the bad news. We consciously try to keep our competition spaces smaller than many festivals. As such, the OIAF is probably one of the hardest international animation festivals to get into.

Despite the lousy news, we still encourage you to attend this year’s festival. We’ll be featuring programs such as a special four-part retrospective of UPA Studios, tributes to Saul Steinberg and Poetry in Animation plus retrospectives of Joanna Quinn, Janet Perlman. Dušn Vukotic and Head Gear Animation

If you are looking for a new job or animation school you won't want to miss Animators for Hire and Career Day. Also be sure to visit the Animarket Trade Show.

For the first time, Laika and OIAF will present Salon des Refusés on Thursday September 20th and Friday September 21st from 11:00am to 2:00pm at CLUB SAW. Bring this letter with you for a chance to have your film screened! Letters will be randomly selected. Participants must bring their own NTSC DVD. (You must be over 19 to attend because you will be able to drown your sorrows with alcoholic beverages)

Don’t forget about the Television Animation Conference (TAC) which will be held Sept. 19-20 at the Chateau Laurier Hotel. For information on TAC visit:

We wish you luck in the future and encourage you to submit your work to as many festivals as possible – and be sure to send us your future work.

Kind regards,

Chris Robinson
Artistic Director

Yeah, I kinda felt in me bones that First Time Out just wasn't a fit for Ottawa...still, I feel like kickin' puppies or strangling Rebel commanders right now. Phuck. Ironically, Spence is still a mixin', thinkin' about an August 1st deadline. Now he's got all the time in the flippin' world. Weep, sob, hysterics, etc.

O.k., I'm over meself. There's still Platform, Frederator, that fest down in Buffalo, the one in Seoul...somebodie's gotta see my true artistic genius. Or at least, like them some bots n' bunnies. Late.

Friday, July 20, 2007

It's freakin' lollipop day

More lollipop goodness, Korean-styles I thinks. Who cares, it's damn cute. Piggies also rock. Go buy yerselves a Chupa-Chup, you've earned it. Late.

Lollipops and fried powerblocks...the week I've had.

Rainstorms. Mixing Sessions. Smokin' PC's. 16 cents what's gonna cost me 55 bucks. Just had about 6 months worth of shit dump on me in a week, so here's a cartoon about Lollipops, Giants and Centimeter steps. I'll fill ya in on all the gory gory once I get some trainin' and some sleep. Luck to y'all.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Day of the Beer Toe: new Wildsound post

Marc's got a new blog post, and it's all puppies, rainbows and crayons. Check this for an opener:

"Whores. We're all cheap dirty whores."

Really, Marc? I've always thought of myself as more of a filthy slut. Anyhoo, go get some of that there Beurteaux wisdom as Marc pontificates and ruminates on the frustrating lives of commercial animators. Oh, and Marc, old animators don't fade away. They go 'Foosh'. Seen it happen. It's like spontaneous combustion, but it sounds a lot better. Go read.

Bellini hosts Wildsound's Feedback Fest!

Sorry, dood, couldn't hep meself. When Marc Beurteaux let me know of this swingin' monthly Toronto film fest, held at the NFB and moderated by Kids in the Hall's own Paul Bellini, I had to go and grab this image.

To be fair, Bellini's a lot more dressed and a lot more svelte of late. Plus, he lost the 'stache. When he's not holding court at the Feedback fest, he writes for FAB, a fixture mag in Toronto's gay community.

More feedback on's a monthly fest for live action, animated and experimental film works. Submission fees are 20 bucks a film, cheep! Plus, there's an after-fest gab session to discuss your film with other film makers and all present.

Click on the Bellini of days past for info on the July 24th event, featuring 'Puppet' by Patrick Smith and 'Inheritance' by Mike Weiss! And click on the Bellini of today to get info on how to submit your stuff. Meanwhile, I'll patiently await Marc's email berating me for playing up the Bellini aspect so damn much. What can I say, I is a hack. Go by a ticket, dammit!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Benjie the Bunny Bomber

After Hot Cross Bunnies, I needed a bunny chaser. Here's a bit of explosive bunny goodness from Kiwi animator Malcolm Montieth. A lil' rough around the edges, but he does manage to come up with something that feels like an ol' time cartoony show. Plus bunnies rock. In addition, Mal turns out to be a pretty damn good abstract-a-mator...check out 'Inkconsistency', a 30-sec summer school project.

Not too shabby fer a 23-year old bloke. Ah, Youtubey goodness. More later.

Aardman: Deadline

Nothing like musing on the lack of time when you've got none. Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but the 'First Time Out' final mix date looms large. Hopefully, barring an attack of rabbid gophers, I'll tie up at the docks of Lonesome Pine studios, where the Pirates bark their shins, and sail off with a finished film to make us all proud n' giggly n' shit. More later!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bunnies rock still....

It's Friday, the end of E3 and I've just spent the evening downloading game trailers, courtesy of, and transcoding them so I can play 'em on the way home on my Play-Yan equipped GBA SP. I am SUCH a freakin' dork. Anyhoo, no sketchy goodness today, no time, so here's some bunnies, courtesy of CalArts alum Elizabeth Ito. Enjay! More news on my bunnies on Monday.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Kevin Fraser METRO Article

Bit of a write up in METRO, Canada's bus and subway nooze, on one Kevin Fraser, animation prof. at Toronto's International Academy of Design and Technology. Here's a dood with an animation pedigree...Sullivan Bluth after graduation, Nelvana character designer on 'Beetlejuice' and 'Dog City', to name just two. Currently, he's workin' on his own series, 'Kyle's Tools'. And, to top it all off, he was kind enuff to give TAIS a nod as a go-to place for young potential animators to get some more info and guidance...which we is. Click on Professor Fraser's handsome mug to go to the article...meanwhile, Madi's gonna shoot him an e-mail or two, so we may get the good word from the man hisself about his current project. I'll try to track down some more info online.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Marc on Procrastination, T-Dog with practical example

Marc Beurteaux, lego-ninja and stop-motion animator of note, has recently posted a blog entry on a topic near and dear to all our animatin' hearts...procrastination. So, in honour of this and to give you an example of what Marc's talkin' about, I've waited 'til now to post about it.

Seriously, I completely friggin' fergot. Click on the happy lego man to go to his blog. Meanwhile, I'll leave you with the ultimate animated musing on the subject, Richard Condie's immortal "Getting Started", courtesy of YouTuber Apple2Gs.

First Blog, First Spam

Ah, the joy of blogging. Massive post on the TAIS showcase, and what comments does I recieves? 1, in Portuguese, talkin' about custom t-shirts. I've come of age as a blogger...I've officially been Spam-blogged! Ah, we grows up so fast. More animation goodness later today, hopefully spam-free. Can you get Spam in Portugal? The meat product, not the unsolicited mail stuff...

Thursday, July 5, 2007

TAIS Showcase report

Well, I've had a whole week to recover, so here's the post-game on the TAIS Showcase, which took place on the 27th of June.

Attendance: Full house, doods! Seriously the place was packed. Lot of curious NFB members, OCAD students and young'n's from other schools in the GTA as well as some familiar faces to TAIS circles, including Patrick Jenkins, former TAIS head-honcho. As well, lot of the filmmakers in attendance, including Mike Weiss (Inheritance), Charuvi Agrawal (10th Avatar) and Christopher Walsh, whose film The Magic Projector had it's world premiere at the show.

Films: All round a great on the poster above to link to a PDF of the program, just be aware it's a six-meg download. There were some real standouts, though. Chris Walsh's 'Magic Projector' was a gorgeous puppet animated black and white fable, complete with the dulcet tones of Canuck stage n' screen legend Gorden Pinsent.

Ashley Baird's 'Nuts and Bolts' was damn goofy fun. Puppet animation again, but this time employed in the telling of the story of a young prince and a peeping robot.

Emily Touesnard's 'Sir Gammer Vans', a surrealistic nonsense poem told in varied styles of cutout and print art was just gorgeous stuff, and a nice, tightly edited lil' film at 1:24 (I like shorts that are, well...short!)

I saw Mike Weiss' 'Inheritance' at Ottawa '06, and it made a big impression on me. A film that manages to be creepy, introspective and funny at the same time, plus some really great puppet design by Mike hisself.

And, of course, there were standout submissions from the board: Felix Heeb's 'Le Bonheur', Madi Piller's 'Toro Bravo', and Oleh Mole's 'Waiting', all premiere films.

The real standout for me was a film I didn't even know was in the screening! Lukej Gustafson's 'BLUEBEARD', a wonderfully surreal composite of CGI and traditionally animated elements, caught me completely by surprise. Programmed by Madi (I think!) as a last-minute replacement for another film, 'BLUEBEARD' feels like Max Ernst animated, with a touch of Bosch in the various creatures milling about as the title character quests for a door to...what, is never revealed. Lukej has his 9 to 5 at 'Odd Job Jack' studio Smiley Guys.

Anijam: Ah, yes, a strange tale there. Apparently, my timing was less than perfect for announcing this...we got plenty of nibbles, only one real submission, a groovy lil' toy themed piece from Jillian Catton. Two other submissions from Ryan van Steenburg and Mike Constable were adapted from existing films. What's a dood to do? Fortunately, the board cooked up the idea of using the films we had (the three abovementioned, plus films by myself, Ruth Tait and Marc Beurteaux) as interstitials. They were programmed between the larger films, to a really great effect! I think we'll probably do the exact same thing next year, only I'll announce the thing in the fall, give people plenny o' time to cook sumpthin' up.

Whew! Well, that's it! Congrats to Madi for programming a stellar show and thanks to one and all for comin'. See ya at TAIS Showcase 2008!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Pendleton Ward FTW: Adventure Time at Platform

Just had to post kudos about Pen Ward winning 'Best Film for Children' at the inaugural Platform fest in Seattle, just to list these points:

1) I like the film. Somewhat. O.k., really, I fuckin' hate it. Nothin' against ya, Pen, it just don't work for me. I especially hate the freakin' dog.

2) I'm screamingly jealous of 'stream of conciousness' directors like Pen Ward. Cuz I'm a total technician...I will literally design to the point where the original 'cute lil' short' idea gets completely obliterated in the details. Designing yerself OUT of a film, basically.

3) I really don't get why it created such a hubbub. It's damn cute, goofy fun. But it's got it's own Wikipedia page and a fansite. For a short. Wherf?

Ya ever feel like a total freakin' troll for hatin' on sumthin' everyone likes? Like the dood who walks into the room with charisma comin' out his ass, and everyone warms up to the guy, and it turns out that he's a dad and does charity work and is genuinely cool, but he just pushes yer freakin' buttons just to look at him?

That's me and Adventure Time. So, with a shake of my head at you and me at the same time, congrats, dood. O.k., I feels better now. Final mix day for my film (Adventure Time it ain't) on the 18th!