Bradford Animation Festival 2011 – Day 3

It just gets better and better does BAF, so glad that I decided to go in the end and pay for the tickets as they have been well worth it. The only problem I’ve had with today is that I couldn’t see completely everything that I did want to see today! That was due to some of the events over lapping but I guess it’s just one of those things… luckily some of the Level 4 people turned up today and went to one of the talks I wanted to check out so I’ll be able to find out what went down through them… hopefully.

I’ve got tons of notes, tons of advice, tons of moments and a contact here and there! I hope Mary doesn’t mind me saying this but, we where completely nervous going up to speakers, animators and other such people so far for the event but every new person we speak to and meet seems to so nice and down to earth. I’m not sure really where I get it from but you think that asking some questions to these people wouldn’t be a good idea, and once they’ve finished giving a talk, that’s it! But not at all… Luckily for us and sadly for others it seemed not a lot of people took the opportunity to talk to these creatives much after talks, just for a general chat and advice as so many of them have so much to offer.

Today we had been able to check out ‘The Animated Century’, Directed by Irina Margolina & Adam Snyder, the talk with Andy Schmidt from Pixar, ‘The Re-Animation of Frankensteins Cat’ with Alana Gilby & Curtis Jobling and Barry Purves talk on his most recent pieces of stop motion animation. Luckily we also got to meet and have a good talk with the amazing Joanna Quinn, who was incredibly nice to us and again just so helpful and inspirational. Although I know that Mary is a much much bigger fan and seemed to know almost everything about her! We got some contact details and she was actually interested enough to ask if she could look at my doodles and sketches that I happen to carry around all the time. Lucky I always have at least one sketch book with me! We also checked out the short named ‘It’s Such A Beautiful Day’ is was by Don Hertzfeldt and recommended to us by Joanna as we spoke to her outside just before it began. The short, to me, was wonderful; it played a lot with animated and real footage as well as simple imagery that really went past the comic book and realistic style as Garry has been speaking about in Contextual and Theoretical Studies. Defiantly an animation I’ll have to try to find and watch again as it’s such a great idea and simple yet interesting narrative characters.

As you can see below the notes just didn’t end today, with so much to take in I really didn’t want to forget a thing. I feel as though after this one festival I really need to get down and just produce something I’m incredibly proud of even if it is just one or two animations or even designs.
We started off by checking out ‘The Animated Century’ recommended by non other than Irina Margolina and Barry Purves which was an incredibly good decision. Although the characters discussing the work within the documentary style short film could be questioned, as Irina said herself, the content and point of what they where saying was amazing. There was so much history and knowledge within there that I couldn’t actually keep up with the note taking sadly at some points! I really need to re-read notes these in particular and check out the animations and animators on there as they have pioneered and inspired things and people who have inspired myself. An incredible collection of many types of animations from as early as the 30’s to now that looked into the history of animation worldwide. If this was to ever be available I’d defiantly check it out again as it has so much history and wealth of inspiration.

The next thing we got to watch was probably one of the most well-known events of the day, the talk with Andy Schmidt animator at Walk Disney Pixar Studios. He had come in to talk about his work within animation but mainly focusing on the process and using Cars 2 as the primary example. He was incredibly down to earth and ‘chilled’! We got some great insight into the very hard-working but very fun life of working at Pixar from it’s incredibly long and work driven days having to animate and refine and animate to building your office into a castle, bars and the many many recreational and hobby building areas. There’s too much to really say about what he spoke about but it’s all in the notes, even if some of it may not make complete sense as I jotted them down quite quickly. Luckily for myself I’ve spoken to some people already in Pixar and Disney and they too have given similar advice and in some cases expanded on it which is great to hear. As he was being ‘mauled’, for a better word, by many students and fans of Pixar he actually mentioned his wife use to do 2D animation in the classic form of ink and cell. So I took this opportunity to actually speak to his wife about how the digital side of animation affected her as well as advice and she too had a wealth of knowledge and experience. Rounding up to really telling us to just try everything and accept different jobs, it all builds up.

Re-animation of Frankenstein’s Cat was brilliant as well with so much to take in as well as nicely having two people who have made so much tell you the honest truth. There was no two ways around the talk with Alan Gilbey and Curtis Jobling they had so much to give, again it’s just all in the notes. We where able to talk to Curtis Jobling after the talk and he was kind enough to give us some advice, although having given tons in the talk, he said about how we need to really check out things, knock on doors and be proud of our work. Have confidence in ourselves and work and only shows whats best, never pad out any showreels or anything. Even if it’s one or two animations, if they’re good and have that spark then they’ll be worth it. We luckily got some contact information with Curtis as well and hope to just get the opportunity of having a look around some studios, look at work, advice and any other possibilities!

Barry Purves work is incredible, I do not know why I hadn’t seen it before. That’s pretty much what had summed up that talk with him for myself, his stop motion animations where incredibly well thought out and smooth, it worked so well with the sound and music and had such deep narrative buried within them. For me and Mary we’ve had so much advice and great knowledge thrown onto us because of Barry with him talking to us yesterday and today as well as the talk. It’s great to know there’s such highly proclaimed animators out there willing to spend time to help and teach students that really want to have a future in animation.

All forms of animation run so well together and all involve having to give a character life and tell a story no matter how that may be portrayed. This seems to be the most common theme and bit of advice that we’ve been getting through out BAF. Try everything and don’t be scared to experiment, these are the days to test, try to play. Play with colour and play with sound, we are story tellers and actors.

Apologese for the incredibly long post, but as you can tell… if you’re an aspiring animator and around here, you’ve missed out.


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