You Tube sensation Lasse Gjertsen to speak to Flip 07

One event planned for this year’s festival is Animation – for the YouTube Generation. We are proud (and giggling with excitement) to announce that YouTube golden boy Lasse Gjertsen will be joining us at the festival this year. He will be speaking of his online success, his plans for the future and discussing all things YouTube with the rest of the panel (TBC). This will also be a rare chance to see his iconic viral videos and animations designed for the web, on the big screen.
Here is a taster of Lasse’s work ‘
Hyperactive’ which has received over 10 million hits on YouTube, and counting.



speakers confirmed

Good news and bad news. Bad news first. This week one of our speakers dropped out. This always happens, usually a bit closer to the festival, so I’m not overly panicked about it. But it is one of our star speakers, Jayne Pilling who I was really looking forward to meeting and seeing ‘in action’. Oh well, there is always next year. Moving onto the good news, Lasse Gjersten, has confirmed for the panel on ‘Animation in the You Tube Generation’. This fella is a phenomenon, his film ‘Amateur’, has had nearly 6 million views on You Tube. Question is though, what does this mean (in cultural, economic, and aesthetic terms). I get the feeling the internet is perceived by some users as an ‘underground’ – that is, non-corporate, more ‘authentic’ than the money driven mainstream. Running through Lasse’s story is a classic thread about how he was not appreciated by his Animation School and then ended up being a star on You Tube. Likewise, there is a FAQ on David Firth’s (another big name on You Tube): ‘You’re a sell out because you had stuff on TV’.  More of this sort of discussion during the panel on the 2 November.Peter

excitement still building

many thanks to Ange for kicking of the blog with that witty and stylish entry. Now it’s my turn. Festivals are a game of two halves. First you have the calm planning period, which involves regular steering group meetings with cups of tea, biscuits and minute taking. At this stage, the festival seems to be a distant speck on the horizon and everyone indulges their fancy about what could be. After that it gets a bit chaotic. Now we have to deliver the blummin thing.  At this stage all thoughts about life after the festival disappear, there is just that one thing occupying the mind, night and day, day and night…flip….flip….FLIP!  What’s worse my right hand person, Ange, is leaving. She’s been the cornerstone of the festival and is moving onward and upward to better things. So chaos is looming and the heat it on. But this is what it’s all about, it’s what we’ve signed up for. Some people enjoy bungey jumping and white water rafting, for me it’s running a festival.

 Well that’s a little taster of running Flip – more later


Work for Flip 2007 gets underway and excitement builds

Hi Y’all and welcome to the first tentative post on this shiney-new Flip Animation Festival 2007 blog.  For those of you who have been under a stone (or otherwise engaged) the festival is now hurtling towards its fourth year and is promising to be bigger and better than ever (how cliched does that sound? – Who cares – I mean it).

The festival team are working hard; Kate, Raj and myself are aided by a group of enthusiastic volunteers (animation/media students and graduates from surrounding scholarly institutions) and we are all kept on our toes and guided on our path to festival-righteousness by Dr Peter McLuskie, Festival Director and Head of All Things Flip.

Thursday’s (1st Nov) programme is in the bag; we have an educational workshop for young people which is already taking bookings and proving popular.  The aim is to give ‘the kidz’ an insight into the animation industry, view some work, maybe get some hands-on experience.  We never had school trips like that when I was at school…

Later on that day and it’s education with a grown-up twist as this year’s symposium is launched.  Entitled ‘Drawing in the Digital’ – The University of Wolverhampton have invited the cream of the academic/animation crop to join panels and debates, keynote speeches, discussions and of course, a buffet.

The rest of the programme is still unconfirmed so far, needless to say there will be the usual gala events, Open Submissions screenings and competitions, student competitions (sponsored by ToonBoom) retrospectives, and a look at animation from foreign shores.

We are also keen to ‘get out and about’ so a lot of our Friday afternoon discussions are centering around getting Flip to make its presence felt in Wolf-town and further afield.  So far, we have an installation in the new Pop Art Gallery, possible use of the Passageway (opposite the Varsity) and various ideas for shop-fronts and screens throughout town.  And of course, we already have highlights from last year’s festival showing at the moment on the BBC Big Screen in Centenary Square in Birmingham.  The rest of our Friday afternoon meetings lately seem to consist of launching paper aeroplanes and wandering our courtyard with a clip-board pointing out power supplies – but it’s not back-of-the-class shenanigans, it’s work towards and interesting art-installation we have planned which is guaranteed to amaze and amuse…

Well, time to stop blogging and get on with some ‘real’ work – it’s a hard life being on a festival team.  Just yesterday we found out that we have to go to a local restaurant to sample their menu (for free, with wine) as part of our research…

Who said there was no such thing as a free lunch? 


PS – For those of you who like the look of the website, the images come courtesy of a Staffs Uni animation student – Ewan Brock.  We will be posting links to his MySpace etc. shortly.  His work is  forming the basis of all of our print and web design this year and is adding a touch of cred to the proceedings.  Also, he is letting us use the images as we want to, so cheers Ewan!