Sunday, 5 May 2013

Episode III

I have recently realised the workout our fingers must get from typing on a keyboard, or perhaps I am simply too overcome with exhaustion from my first ten mile jog. That's right folks, the Electric Elkboy can run like an ambient missile, his luxuriant beard clinging on for dear life. I have assembled a 'cycling playlist' for my charity bike ride next weekend, so I think listening to the likes of Shaggy, Rick Astley and the Power Rangers theme tune have been truly inspirational throughout my training. Not actually trained on a bike yet though...

There is under a week to go before we put pedal to the metal so if you fancy sponsoring myself (tactically in the middle) and Sam (with the air horn on his handlebars) then click right HERE . It's for a hovercraft charity called HoverAidreaching the unreachable, where super hovercrafts fly to Madagascar and save people. That is exactly what they do.

I've had another busy month or so, hence the lack of blogging, however it has all been productive. I have finally finished the music video for 55 BPM (the local Birmingham duo) and we are currently sorting out the online distribution. I think they would like to release the video from their YouTube account (being their track) so I shall let you know when it's up and running. I will most likely post a link on Facebook, but might include it as part of this blog. This is because my blog is, in a sense, a bizarre diary for me, so I like to include whatever project or shenanigans I am currently involved in.

It was rather sad to see Pablo leave. Charlotte Rose, member of 55 BPM, has got some ace travelling plans and the idea is to continue Pablo's journey as he joins Charlotte on many wayward adventures. So keep an eye out for photographs and blog updates as my little buddy tans his scrawny body and finally gets rid of his ridiculous woolly hat. 

The Yamination Studio has been buzzing as usual. Sky Arts came in a week ago to film the progress of the At-Issue project. There has been some mind blowing animation from Andy Biddle, Tim Allen and Drew Roper, where our hero Bartholomew Yogart has been brought to life to follow his dream. At the moment we are taking down one set and beginning work on another; so prop making is all Thunderbirds are go in the workshop. I have been amazed at the amount of detail the team has put into each prop, to the point where it's almost functional. We use anything from the bits-and-bobs stash, so obviously there is a limit to what materials can work for certain models, but I think we have done a sterling job. Just can't show you anything! 

The animation workshop I ran for the Heritage Motor Centre was a huge success. I had great feedback from the museum and the general public who participated. It was a manic day though, and I was worried that some of the children might not get a chance to animate. But with the chaos that ensued throughout the session  it was rather difficult to have a set time with each child because each had their own interpretation of how the stop motion technique worked. Some visualised a seamless performance by moving the vehicle with their hand (without letting go, of course) and those who did understand the concept of 'moving it a little bit, then take a photograph' were not shy about the distance between each shot (average estimations of up to 50cm). But altogether I had a fantastic time and there were definitely a handful of budding young film-makers ready to get behind the camera and film their own story. I think many of the families actually had animation apps on their Ipads, so I encouraged them to have a go at home with the models they had made. The video below is what I put together for the website. Obviously I take full credit for animating the Dalek at the beginning.

Speaking of videos, I was tweeted something rather out of the blue the other day. I had forgotten that whilst visiting the Encounters Festival 2012 in Bristol, I was asked to be interviewed by the Show me the Animation team who were filming the event. So here it is, my 'new face in animation' interview! Enjoy. 

So there we go, under 5 minutes of fame. Damn I need a hair cut.

I have been short-listed for an IdeasTap brief that, if won, could find me rolling in £9000. Which is nice. However, this wouldn't be to spend willy nilly, oh no, it has a much more responsible purpose. The prize money goes towards paying off your student loan, of which mine is significant, and so it goes straight to the government. I would be over the moon to win! The list was a top 50 contenders, although one chap has entered twenty five times (complete over-exaggeration) so all my hopes now lie with a few little paragraphs, somewhere in the wilderness. These contain my idea and how it would benefit the IdeasTap team. I am unsure what I am allowed to tell you, concerning my idea, so I will take an extreme tangent and change the subject rather abruptly...

I have been scouring the hard drive and my Facebook catalogue to find random videos and this one jumped out at me. So enjoy watching myself and my brother make a mockery of ourselves. All for comedy value of course, this isn't actually what we do on a day off.

I feel like I have left you folks hanging on many of my projects, but I promise I shall upload the music video as soon as possible. And I shall know soon about the IdeasTap competition. I might even continue with the idea for a mini comic book series... oh, err you didn't read that. But there is another piece of fantastic news I can leave you with and it involves The Money Tree animation once again! I received an email from Andrew Tarbet, director of the 8th Festival Internacional de Curtmetratges Mas Sorrer (which is a short film festival in Barcelona). He was perusing the Encounters website and stumbled across our animation and wants to  screen it at this festival. Well Andrew, where do we sign up?! Anyway... package sent.

Six films in six year is absolutely outrageous. This is the supposed plan for the upcoming flurry of Star Wars feature films. It was never too much of a problem (for me) with the 'new trilogy' films being released every two years but there is speculation around character spin off movies. Here are a few names that have been thrown into the mix; Boba Fett, Han Solo and Yoda. There is more than enough Star Wars franchise, why milk it with concentrated movie output?

Bah, these matters frustrate me and I am in constant worry of the Star Wars universe. I need to have a proper read through any related articles before I come to another sceptical conclusion.  At least one person has the cajones to speak up about the CGI orgy that was the prequels, no other than the good Skywalker (in the force as well as acting). Mark Hamill has high hopes of a balance between CGI and some old school SFX (click HERE for a fine read of that article). And I don't blame him! The stop motion animation work with the AT-AT Imperial Walkers and the tauntaun creatures (Empire Strikes Back) were literally out of this world. God bless Phil Tippett

May the fifth be with you? Hmm, should of posted this yesterday!

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