Bradford Animation Festival 2011 – Day 4

What can I say… well… lots but I don’t think anyone could really handle the amount of excitement and knowledge I’ve been able to get out of one short week at BAF.

Today we had the privilege of watching some of Geoff Dunbr’s work as well as a short documentary about his life in animation, Japan’s newest and experimental animation that is trying to be promoted much more around the world under the group named ‘CALF Animations’ and the brilliant Fraser Maclean, Scott Caple and Roy Naisbitt talking about the art and evolution of animation layout. So many amazing thing’s fit into one day, as well as having seen these we had gone to the BAF awards reception and ceremony and then the BAF closing night party!
If you’ve been checking out my blog recently I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed how much I’ve been able to ramble on about the screenings and talks so really you’ll know it’s all in my notes.

Geoff Dunbr’s work was absolutely incredible with a great use of colour and style to provide the viewer with the narrative. I really need to check out the people he’s mentioned within the short documentary about his animation career as they’re incredibly interesting aswell and some studios that was also mentioned that are in the UK. Here’s the notes I got down from the talk although it was much more of a viewing experience…

When we went to watch the CALF Animations I personally found that the animations where incredibly experimental and some what fresh, although they really did play with the mind of the viewer. CALF was set up by a group of animators due to the lack of publicity within Japan of its new and upcoming animators beyond anime. They began by creating DVD’s and trying to get more well-known but then went into showing works at animation festivals and events which then allowed them to be more well-known and a larger worldwide audience. There was some crazy things within those animations as well as some amazing moments. It was great to see PiKA PiKA also involved as I’ve known their work for a while now and love the playful, large amounts of colour but also the collaboration side of its animations. The notes I’ve got down are in order of the screenings although the notes stopped before the end as I didn’t feel as though I had much else to write down but focused on just watching them. The animations where,

In A Pig’s Eye – Atsushi Wada, 2010

JAM – Mirai Mizue, 2009

Consultation Room – Kei Oyama, 2005

PiKA PiKA 2007 – TOCHKA, 2007

Usual Sunday (Edit) – Oyama, 2003/2009

The Mechanism of Spring – Wada, 2010

MODERN – Mirai Mizue, 2010

PiKA PiKA at Reel Asian Film Festival – TOCHKA, 2007

Day of Nose – Atsushi Wada, 2005

Gentle Whistle, Bird and Stone – Wada, 2005

METROPOLIS – Mirai Mizue, 2009

PiKA PiKA Workshop at Media Seven – TOCHKA, 2007

HAND SOAP – Kei Oyama, 2008

The talk on the evolution of layout was brilliant with the passion that was clearly shown from all three of the speakers and Neil Boyle, also an incredible animator and director of ‘The Last Belle’ and as Roy said a true prodigy of Richard Williams, also went up to join in the talk. A truly unique talk that really opened my eyes to an amazing side of animation that is clearly looked over and sadly grouped too often with the term ‘concept art’. You couldn’t really ask for anymore with this talk and myself and Mary had to run out afterwards to get hold of Fraser Maclean’s book ‘Setting the Scene’. We actually where lucky enough to get signatures from them inside the book and I’ll be going through the book like a mad man very soon! Again it was all about the passion, determination and research going into creating work for an animation as layout as it practically drives the animation and decide how it looks and ends up. Without people like Scott Caple we wouldn’t have the look, feel and some of the actual images for films like Mulan, Tarzan, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Incredibles.
What really topped it off for myself was the fact that all four of them where such great people. They opened up to us talking casually about all things animation and creative as well as being interested in what we do and other general areas! There’s so much history, knowledge and skill within each one of them it was a thrill to talk and hear everything they had to say.

The after party and BAF awards was a moment that I’m sure to remember for a long time and probably blabber on about a little longer…
It was great to see all the various animations as well as everyone involved in the festival, with an intense amount of clapping. But being able to casually chat to all these famous, well-known and accomplished animators, directors, artists, was truly a privilege. Knowing that they are in the end just normal people but so happy to help people with the same passion and enthusiasm as ourselves is inspiring. We luckily did get another chance to ask some more questions, just have a great time with many different people and get some contact details just for chats and advice.

Overall the event was one that I’m so glad I went too and worth every penny. The experience, knowledge and creativity in the place was over flowing but only if you dared talk, listen and learn. I could rant on about the advice and just general lovely chats we where able to have with these legends and entrepreneur’s of animation but I think overall the main points that was coming from them is to try everything, experiment, this is the moment in our lives where we have the most time and can play with everything. Get lots of life drawing done! Get that right because we can get away with many things but not the human figure. We need to get out there and experience everything like opera, theatre, different cultures. We need to be persistent and proud in what we do and our work, nothing comes easy. As the amazing Richard Willaims once said always do 20% more work than what’s expected from you. We are creators, we are story tellers, we give things weight, emotions, purpose and life.
“Movement is our business. Reflection of life, fantasy and dreams” – Geoff Dunbr

As to quote Barry Purves brilliant animation Tchaikovsky – “Inspiration doesn’t come to those who are lazy, it’ll only come to those who call it.”


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