Bradford Animation Festival 2011 – Day 2

An amazing day at BAF although me and Mary failed to watch Arriety…

We had only gotten to get to two of the events today that were available for us and chose to get ourselves too. I believe though that the two events that we did get to today where the best to go to!

Studio M.I.R. was founded in 1991 by film director Mark Lyakhovetski and script writer Irina Margolina. The studio was initially formed to create documentaries but since 2005 the Studio has been producing animated films and series, receiving numerous international awards at international animation festivals.
The first two scans below are notes taken from the animations that Irina had introduced to us who have been produced and or directed by Irina herself and Studio M.I.R. There where some amazing animations that really focused on sound and played a lot with a cut out style of animation but involved so many different techniques. It was interesting to see the sort of work coming out of Russia and seeing what they have to offer for animation. A lot of animations seem to run around sound and simple images with a large impact using colour and the technique speaks the narrative rather than just looking ‘pretty’.
We were able to actually just speak to Irina as well as Barry Purves, a stop-motion animator master, who had met and worked with Irina in a few animations as well one his more recent award-winning animation ‘Tchaikovsky’. Both of them are amazing people who seem to have so much time for everyone as well as so much passion for their work and the industry. We had a quick chat with Barry and was able to not just get some amazing advice but his business card and spoke to him about having a talk/lecture at college. He seems to be really open about work and working with students which is nice to know that someone so high within the creative industry understands students and that we’re not all just looking for work but want to learn.
I took notes of his advice at the top of the third scan which hopefully we could maybe expand on tomorrow as he has a talk about his own work.

In conversation with Paul Gravett & Richard McGuire, was the other set of speakers we had gone to see today and again it was a great insight into someone who really is at the top of their game. What was interesting to me and Mary is that it seemed as though Richard McGuire didn’t really seem to ‘show off’ or show that he knew his work is well-known and amazing but very down to earth and just ‘going with the flow’, as if he’s just loving what he’s doing and not caring that he’s right at the top, although it’s not bad!
He’s an incredibly talented man with the ability to dabble in music, animation, illustration, book illustration, the list doesn’t really end!
The rest of the notes that I’ve scanned in are about the pieces that Richard McGuire had shown us and then the discussion of his work with Paul Gravett and us as the audience. The three pieces of animation that he had shown us where his work for PBS kids, Micro Loup 2 and Fears of the Dark (Peur(s) Du Noir). Again there was some great insight and advice as well as work that was inspiring and fresh! I’m sure I’ve seen his work before without realising it but I’ve written a few things and other artists he mentioned that I really need to check out. It’s nice to know what inspires those that drive and inspire yourself.
Me and Mary had again been able to have a quick chat with both Paul and Richard at the end and was able to get a little bit of advice off of Richard. I have again popped the advice from Richard as a few notes at the end of the last page scanned in. It was nice to hear him say that he feels that we (as future animators/creators) are already ahead of where he was, and that thanks to technology and just the ability to share knowledge can get ourselves so much more ahead. The work that he has seen from students seem as though they’re already at professional level that he “doesn’t see a difference in quality”. One thing I forgot to pop on the advice bit before scanning in is that he also said “keep things simple”. Some great words of advice though once again and can’t wait to see what else BAF has to offer for us.

We’ll hopefully also be getting ourselves to the Awards Ceremony as well as the Closing Night Party which would be great as well I’m sure plenty of chances to just chat with more people and some hopeful networking.

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