Mainly good news

It’s about this time of the year that things start going wrong – see last year’s postings for proof. Sad to say Drawing in the Digital Symposium will not be happening this year. A  real shame since it went so well last year and seemed to have lots of promise. I think the problem is that there have been lots of academic-type symposia and conferences this year and everyone is overtired with all that thinking and talking.

But there is good news. Firstly, Ninja Theory, that young, dynamic, BAFTA nominated games company have said yes and will be the centre piece to an afternoon of games themed activities- with an animation focus of course. They  have a strong empasis on the creative and storytelling side of things and are responsible for the visually stunning Heavenly Sword.

Secondly, we had tonnes of submissions this year, 260 from all round the world, which really is great news. It means Flip is getting out there, attracting attention, and best of all it means a great programme for all you festival goers.


Digitoons Talks and Masterclasses

The lovely folks at Hi8us are putting on a series of Free Talks & Masterclasses Featuring World Class Animators!

Hi8us, in partnership with the Creative Careers Surgery and Hello Digital, bring you a series of FREE talks across the West Midlands featuring award-winning animators and facilitated by broadcast presenter and producer, Shivani Mair of Creative Careers Surgery. The talks will feature professionals from the animation hall of fame, showing their work, talking about the challenges of animation produciton plus insights into how they made it in the industry. Among others, Oscar winners, Tandem Films, plus Europe’s largest animation company, Cosgrove Hall, will be sharing their knowledge, along with the Brothers McLeod of “Fuggy” and “Skittles” ads fame and Chris Randall, Co-founder of Second Home Productions.

skittlesHi8us, in partnership with Brothers McLeod, will also give six budding animators the opportunity to take part in animation masterclasses, final animations will be premiered at Hello Digital, the UK’s first Digital Film and Media Festival.

DigiToons Talks will take place at the following times and venues:

Tuesday 2 September 2008 – The Theatre at the Custard Factory, Birmingham, B9 4AA.
Tandem and Second Home Productions.

Wednesday 3 September 2008 – The Herbert, Coventry, CV1 5QP.
The Brothers McLeod and Charactershop.

Thursday 4 September – Light House, Wolverhampton, WV1 1HT.
Cosgrove Hall and Tandem.

All talks will run 18.30 – 20.00 with drinks from 20.00 – 21.00.

For more details please visit:

To book a place please email or call 0121 753 7700.

DigiToons Masterclasses are by application (deadline mid September 2008) and applicants must be 16 or over. For an application form and advice please email or call 0121 753 7700.

Companies billed are subject to change. Please check back for latest details.

For further details about this press release, please contact:

Kulwant Dhaliwal
Hi8us Midlands
0121 753 7700

Also download the PDF

4mations Beta has landed

”The hairy beast that is 4mations has fought it’s way off the staging server and is now out in the wild… ready to digest your animation babies.

As you´ll know, call for entries opened a few weeks ago, so there´s plenty of juicy content on the site. Some is funny, some intriuging and some just wrong. We´re actually considering replacing the cash reward with therapy vouchers, but that’s another matter.

That´s not everything, we want you to have some investigation work to do, but should give you enough to whet your appetite! Don´t forget, if you´re an animator, the sooner you get your stuff up there, the more eyeballs you´re likely to get oggling your work and the greater your chance of getting a cash reward. Just saying!

4mations has just commissioned 14 web series & game projects to be screened on 4mations from September. We´d like to give a mini round of applause to the successful animators who are now beavering away in their studios to bring you much amusement this autumn. If you´d like to find out more about the chosen few, you can click here.

Oh, and one last thing, don’t forget to watch the welcoming video right to the end… there´s a special something for you, what with you being with us from the very beginning! Plus there´s a cute kitty… come on, where´s your heart?

The 4mations Team ”

I was very pleased to find a film I hadn’t seen in years on 4mations, the heartbreaking and very slightly odd Combination Skin originally shown on Channel 4 in 1996.

WordPress doesn’t support the site yet so i can’t embed any films, which i’m sure will be sorted pretty soon.

Not Animations, CARTOONS.

Hey folks, who remembers Samurai Pizza Cats? Just me?  OK then. I’m guessing most of you young animators out there grew up on 80’s and 90’s cartoons such as Danger Mouse and He Man.

Here is a HUGE collection of cartoon opening themes from that era, most of them recorded onto VHS, remember VHS? I didn’t remember their being so many film / toy / computer game spin off cartoons and product placement since i watched this. I enjoyed watching the opening to The Maxx, a delightfully dark, adult cartoon from MTV.

Anyone remember any that are not in this collection?

Living in the SSSR

In my spare time I post on a music blog, wearecolour. I got thinking about how the animation world I’m involved in through my professional life crosses over with the music I love. Ergo, a dual post for both blogs.

Colour has previously written about Subtle, their new album Exiting Arm and touched on the trilogy of animations by SSSR, available on the rarities collection Wishingbone.

This collection of animations is some of the finest modern animation I have come across and perfectly translates the schizophrenic, dark world that Subtle have created through their music. SSSR use nostalgic imagery such as the blurry flicker of cinefilm and a hint of early black and white Disney animation and totally subvert it by layering crisp 3D objects, smudged doodles and stop motion which could detract from the overall narrative, but the uniform monochromatic style brings it all together.

SSSR are represented by UK based Passion Pictures, who are responsible for such gems as the Sony Bravia bunnies advert, the cr-eepy Domestos germ adverts, more recently the BBC ‘Return to the East’ Jamie Hewlett Olympics advert and about a billion good music videos.

Take a look-see at Swan Meat – Subtle music video by SSSR

Also worth a watch is the award winning SSSR advert for Zune Arts – music by the wonderful M. Ward,

Sita Sings the Blues

More wonderful programme news, Nina Paley’s feature, Sita Sings the Blues, will be screened during Flip 08. From the clips I ‘ve seen it looks a bit exciting and the sountrack alone is worth a trip. The film has been shown at various festivals around the world, inlcuding Annecy 2008, where it won best feature. Our screening will be one of 2 UK dates, the other will be at Leeds International Film Festival, so take your pick, as long as you choose Flip.

Torsten Reil: Using biology to make better animation

Torsten Reil talks about how the study of biology can help make natural-looking animated people — by building a human from the inside out, with bones, muscles and a nervous system. He spoke at TED in 2003; see his work now in GTA4