Canterbury Anifest!

I have literally just returned back from Canterbury and what a lovely, but small, place it was!
I had been a little cheeky with Sacha and had taken an earlier train to London first before returning to Leeds as I had planned to check out Canterbury but it was smaller than I expected! Thankfully we were able to meet up with Sacha’s family, the lovely Fray Price (Creative Director and Producer in the marketing department at the ‘Disney Channel’) and Al Cronin (PR at the production and editing company ‘Suite’) for a nice chilled day and lovely chats.
Some brilliant talks from Dreamworks Cassidy Curtis, Aardmans Jim Parkyn and Will Becher, Double Negatives Eamonn Butler and Pixar’s Dan McCoy which was mainly set up by the festival director Dan Richards.

The talks were a lot more technical than the talks that had occurred at Bradford Animation Festival and were interesting to see other places than around Yorkshire! There was a lot to be taken away again though from the guest speakers as well as some inspiring animations from the international and british short films that were placed into the competition this year. Personally the international shorts were some what better than the majority of the british shorts, although there were some great shorts from the British animators! Specially well done to Jack Tillet with ‘Rail’ and Ana Stefaniak with ‘Dreamlands’ which were great short animations winning (Rail) audience choice and (dreamlands) best british short.
It was really nice to talk to both the guys from Dreamworks and Aardman as well as other students such as Jack who gave me a nice DVD copy of his animated short! It’s great to see how down to earth and relaxed everyone in the field of animation, and most creatives, are.

Yey for signatures!

Hopefully I’ll have more information and more in-depth discussions on the talks as Mary had recorded the talks using a dictaphone, which is more useful as Cassidy’s talk on his work was perfect, as were most of the others, for my dissertation.

The event really opened my eyes again and help re-enforce the dream of becoming an animator. One thing I did decide though over the weekend, was to stop thinking I can simply get a job at these large companies (although they really are amazing) and I need to focus on being able to portray a story. No matter where I start or what it’s for, if I can’t tell a story through my animations, I won’t be going anywhere.
As Eamonn mentioned… “funny is money” as he talked about portraying the story as well as understanding animation as that will come over time, as well as being able to have an “understanding the still moments”.

Although it may not have been for everyone and not quite what some had expected, it was great to have a more in-depth talk on the behind the scenes, the reasons why and a look into areas that have always eluded myself.


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