Tuesday, April 29, 2008

TAIS Ottawa '07: Joanna Quinn

Apologies for the long absence, friends...I was at home flat on my battered behind after having a portion of it carved out (out of necessity) by one of the skilled scalpel swingers at Toronto Western. Long story short, bloggin' was the last thing on my mind last week.

Fortunately, a new week has dawned, and with it, I get the chance to fulfill some long overdue promises, namely to upload some video goodness from Ottawa '07. Here, we see Joanna Quinn, she of Charmin Bears fame, holding court at the National Gallery. Rather than show her films, make a few quick comments and call it a day, she proceeded after the screening to spread her Bounty (Charmin', Bounty, get it?) over the stage for all to peruse. My fave moment is the slow "Wowwwww" that wafts up from the crowd of spellbound animation students as Joanna shows off some multilayer 'frosted cell' artwork and explains how she achieved the soft, hand-rendered look she's so famous for.

I'll have another batch of video goodness tomorrow, featuring pumpkins. You heard me right. More later!

UPDATE: Embedded a much larger MyToons uploaded version of the vid. Hopefully, the MyToons guys won't mind an animation 'related' vid being uploaded to their site, rather than an animated short. Just waiting for the picnic vid to transcode...I'll post as soon as it's ready. Later!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

2nd Channel Frederator Awards

The doods over at Channel Frederator have announced the nominees for the 2nd Fred awards, and I'm desperately trying to not be a pissy bitch over not being nominated for the 'Badass Bunny Award' category. Fred, c'mon...I love Choom Lam, Elizabeth Ito, and Ben Meinhardt's films, but did they give their bunnies huge cybernetic battle machines and killer plant monsters to fight? Hmmm?

O.k., I'm over it. The nominees this year are a freakin' stellar lineup, from 'Make Mine Shoebox' to 'Cocotte Minute'. Go. Vote. And demand more bunnies in battlesuits. I'm just sayin' is all. Phoink me.

p.s.: seriously, I'm messin'. Congrats to all the nominees, and to the fine folks at Frederator for continuing to showcase some damn fine animatin'.

NOTE: Just had someone leave their full contact info as a comment, tryin' to get ahold of Madi. I erased your comment to keep the spammers at bay, but I've passed your info on to Madi. You can also send an email to tais@bellnet.ca. Cheers!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tais and Beguiling nooze!

Ollie wouldn't want us all mopin' on such a nice day, so let's hoist a glass of the best to one of the best and look to days ahead. Events continue to hop here at TAIS and at our fave comic shoppe, The Beguiling. These posts are huge, so I'm gonna abridge 'em to just the pertinent info, the skinny if you will. For more details, click the links or head on over to the TAIS or Beguiling sites. Check it out!

free panel discussion
Saturday April 12, 1-3:30pm (reception to follow) The Melody Room, Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen Street West, Toronto

people power projectors
free projection event
Saturday April 12, 9-11pm
Images Festival closing party
401 Richmond St West, Toronto

For more info about MEDIA ART MATTERS! visit the IMAAontario website at:

Contact event coordinator Tom Leonhardt to apply for a travel subsidy at:

Wednesday, April 16, 7pm
Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON
Free admission

For More information: www.cinemathequeontario.ca

Beguiling Newsletter highlights:

1. STORE: Jillian Tamaki’s art from SKIM now exhibited in store.

For more on SKIM, visit www.groundwoodbooks.com and for more on Jillian Tamaki’s artistic process, check out this great feature at Drawn.ca.

2. ART: Michel Rabagliati now in The Beguiling’s Art Store!

You can see Michel Rabagliati’s originals online.

All of Rabagliati’s graphic novels are also available in-store, in both French and English.

3. EVENT: Free Comics for Kids Day, Saturday May 3rd

Saturday May 3rd, 2008. 12noon - 5pm
Palmerston Library, 560 Palmerston Ave (at Bathurst Subway Station)
Featuring authors Michael Cho, Steven Manale, and Jeremy Tankard

For more information please contact chris at The Beguiling.

4. EVENT: Free Comic Book Day, Saturday May 3rd

Just a reminder folks, The Beguiling will still be holding it’s regular Free Comic Book Day activities on Saturday May 3rd, from noon to 6pm in front of the store (or possibly inside if it rains…).

If you’re a local creator that’d like to come out and engage fans on the date of the event, we’d love to hear from you! Drop me an e-mail.

More information will be forthcoming.

5. EVENT: From Hanga to Manga at the Toronto Public Library

>From Hanga to Manga
Saturday April 19th to Sunday June 28th 2008
TD Gallery, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street

The Man Who made “The Great Wave”
A discussion of Hokusai by Katerine Govier
Thursday, May 22nd at 7PM
Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Auditorium, 7PM

Both events are free!

6. EVENT: Industry Night at The Vic: April and May

The Last Wednesday of Every Month
581 Markham Street, 8pm-10pm

7. CONTEST: Win free passes to Harlan Ellison Biopic at HOT DOCS

Hey Beguiling Mailing List Subscribers! The always-excellent HOT DOCS documentary film festival has provided us with 5 pairs of tickets for the new Harlan Ellison documentary DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH, showing at The Bloor Cinema on Saturday, April 26th at 9:30pm.

Want to win a pair of tickets? Here’s what you need to do:

RULES: To enter for a chance to win tickets, simply send an e-mail containing a valid e-mail address (yours), full name (yours), and functioning phone number (yours) to chris@beguiling.com with the words “HOT DOCS” and your full name in the SUBJECT LINE. E-mails must be received before 11:59PM EST on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008. All entrants must be subscribed to The Beguiling mailing list for the duration of the contest to be eligible to win. Winners will be contacted via e-mail starting Thursday April 17th. Tickets can only be picked up at The Beguiling (601 Markham Street) in person by the contest winner.

Ollie Immortal.

The Last of the Nine has past beyond the veil. What can I say? Nothing that my betters can say with more grace. Go over and read Pete Elmslie's blog for finer words than mine. Image courtesy of one Leonard Maltin.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

TAIS nooze, April edition!

Lots of good stuff happenin' at TAIS, and a few new members to welcome including local claymator Grant Dix! Here's the scoop:

Toronto Animated Image Society

1) Events:
1.1-Daniel Barrow: manual animation
1.2-Open Call for TAIS SHOWCASE 2008

2) Workshops:
2.1- Stop Motion Workshop Advanced

3) New Members


1) Events:
1.1 The Toronto Animated Image Society is proud to sponsor the Images Festival screening of Daniel Barrow:
Every Time I See Your Picture I Cry
The World Premiere of Daniel Barrow’s wonderous “manual animation.”
Co-presented with Harbourfront Centre's World Stage
Thursday April 10, 7:30 PM
Harbourfront Centre, $15/$12

Tickets and information on these and other events:http://www.imagesfestival.com

1.2 OPEN CALL to animators ! TAIS SHOWCASE 2008 and Monster Jam
All genres, mediums, themes under 15 minutes are accepted.
Submit a MiniDV or QTM file on disc. Include brief description of the film, artist bio and contact information. E-mail 2 stills 2x3 jpg or tiff 300dpi to tais@bellnet.ca
DEADLINE : Friday May 30, 2008

Monter JAM : 10 second film on MONSTERS !... Same submission form as the TAIS SHOWCASE and same deadline
Don’t delay ! submit now
Check www.tais.ca/opencall for full info

2) Workshops:
2.1- Stop Motion Workshop
Advanced (Independent Stop Motion Filmmaking)
Sunday April 20, 2008
10 – 5pm

A look at the world of independent stop-motion filmmaking, covering the
spectrum of how it's done and how best to apply it to your own potential
project. We'll take a glimpse into what equipment is used, to cost effective
lighting techniques to basic set building and prop-making techniques. Also,
fundamental animation filmmaking principals will be covered, such as the
importance of story and unique artistic style in indie filmmaking, from
someone who's been through it (and survived!).

Instructor : Mike Weiss

Born and raised in Southern Ontario, Mike studied Classical Animation at Oakville's Sheridan College. In the fall of his graduating year, he performed at the Ottawa International Animation Festival in the scratch-on-film troupe, 'Scratch Track'. Since then Mike has worked on and helped initiate several short films, music videos, and television programs utilizing a variety of animation techniques, though he most enjoys working in the tangible 3 dimensions of stop-motion. In 2005 he worked on the animated short, "Ray Harryhausen Presents: The Pit and the Pendulum", for which he was tickled to receive praise from the legend himself.

Mike's own stop-motion animated short film, "Inheritance" has been screened in festivals throughout North America and Europe, including its debut at the Ottawa International Animation Festival and its inclusion in the animation industry publication Stash magazine. He is currently working on his follow-up film with the National Film Board.

Cost : $ 50 Non-Members

$ 35 Members

Enrollment is Limited to 8 ( ONLY ONE SPOT LEFT !)

More Workshops to be announced !

3) New Members
TAIS welcomes new members:
Grant Dix
Bart Vallecoccia

Toronto Animated Image Society
60 Atlantic Avenue, suite 102
Toronto, Ontario
M6K 1X9


Freejack...our toon, yer way.

Now here's a cool idea. Smiley Guy Studios, makers of Cancon animation staple Odd Job Jack, are putting up legal torrents of their shows full content, including open flash files, up for grabs for anyone to download under a creative commons license and mash-up to their hearts content. Video game companies have been doing mods for YEARS, so why is it that a) no one has thought to do something like this before (apologies if someone has) and b) why isn't there a bigger noise about this in the animation community? Not only is this a great resource for web-vid mashup mavens but a great way for students and hobby animators to see how it's done. Check it out...kudos to Drawn for the post.

**Slight followup** This Freejack thing has been going on since 2006?!?! O.k., so this post isn't exactly breaking news. Still, download them torrents and check the stuff out, s'worth a look. Shit, how'd I miss this in 2006?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Paul Robertson: Kings of Power 4 Billion %

Paul Robertson, an Australian gent known for his japanese video game flavored animations and his love of massive titles (his most famous film? PIRATE BABY'S CABANA BATTLE STREET FIGHT 2006)has just finished his epic masterpiece. This trailer is just a taste of the 11 minutes of kinetic, frenetic, flashy, creepy awesomeness that can be downloaded in it's entirety here. Music by Paul's personal sonic saviour, Cornel Wilczek. More to come.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Ben and Me

The merry, merry douchebags over there at Cracked have posted "The 5 Most Ridiculous Lies You Were Taught In History Class", covering some noteable whoppers culled from the annals of time. Among them, the famous Ben Franklin kite experiment. From the blog:

"It's certainly true that Franklin at least proposed a kite experiment. Less certain, however, is whether or not he ever actually got around to performing it, and some sources suggest he did not. What is certain is that the experiment had nothing to do with lightning. If someone flew a kite into a storm, and it was struck by lightning, there's a good chance that person would be utterly destroyed. In fact, everyone in the vicinity would at the least suffer from hairless-scalp syndrome.

Many people today who believe the amended story of Franklin's kite experiment grew up immersed in the revisionist history of Walt Disney, whose classic cartoon Ben and Me portrayed Franklin not only as having flown the kite in a thunderstorm, but also having been a complete fucking jerk."

Y'know, strapping an adorable mousy to a flying God's wrath bullseye does seem to be asshole territory to me. The Disney film Ben and Me was directed by Disney legend Hamilton Luske, who also directed one of my all time faves, "Mickey and the Beanstalk". Rawk.