Friday, 17 February 2012

Running On

Another forthcoming screening for "Ground Running" has been confirmed, Serbia's Belgrade Documentary & Short Film Festival which takes place from March 30th to April 3rd, full programme to follow. The festival was kind enough to show my debut film "House Guest" for their 2010 edition so it's very nice to be included in their line-up again.As well as being broadcast tomorrow afternoon in Spain, "The Naughty List" is being shown as part of the TriMedia Festival (in which it participated last year) Fundraiser Series, beginning on March 17th at the Rialto Theatre in Loveland CO, USA.
The film will get another rare US outing later on that month, on Friday 30th, 7pm at the Clinton St. Theatre for Portland OR's Faux Film Festival, which looks to be a fun gathering of similarly auteur-stic filmage. Thank you, film festival people, the exposure is of course always much appreciated!
Righto, back into the rabbit hole I go.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Keeping Within The Lines

A few months back I'd set myself the personal deadline of December 2011 for my graphic novel "Throat" to be done by. Well, obviously that date's come and gone and, lo and behold, no book in sight. This is down to two main reasons, the first being a slight miscommunication between myself and the publishing company that had initially given me the advance to produce the first 50 pages; as it turns out that wasn't a guarantee that they'd publish the finished book, and by soldiering on and finishing the book I was very possibly being a little nearsighted. The second is that, while the book itself is indeed entirely drawn, I'm holding off releasing it until May when I'll know for sure if it has a publisher or not (if not I plan on hitting the expos with it). The benefit of this is that its given me the extra time to colour it all in.
All of it.
Like, 250 pages-ish.
On me lonesome.
I've set myself this suicidally tedious task for simple enough reasons - it makes the whole book that much more readable and, frankly, looks great (thank you, Almighty Photoshop). The plan was to only colour in the handful of preview chapters I've been putting out to promote it, but I've grown so enamoured of the bleachy colour palette and watercolour texture look that I really feel it would take the whole project to another level and make it truly worthwhile. The plan was always for the visual side of things to come second to the story - hence the angular, simplistic illustration style - but now it's looking like both elements will serve to complement one another far better.
"Shut UP, Ben. We GET it. You like colouring in. Buy a fucking colouring book already, you emotional retard."
Jesus, no need for that. Below are some examples of full-colour panel art to show off...well, the software capabilities if I'm honest:

Monday, 13 February 2012

Not about me for a change. Just kidding, I totally make it about me...

"Damned" (Dir. Richard Phelan, ©2011 NFTS)

This month's main Skwigly feature is now online, so why not give it a gander? It's a double interview with two of last year (a particular strong crop)'s NFTS grads Richard Phelan and Francesca Adams. Their films have the shared traits of being traditionally animated and having all-animal ensemble casts, though in every other respect they couldn't be further apart.
"Bertie Crisp" (Dir. Francesca Adams, ©2011 NFTS)

Phelan's "Damned" is a sweet-natured tale of a beaver with ambition whose grandiose plan to convert the forest into a giant dam goes awry, while Adams's "Bertie Crisp" is a brutally adult story of an emasculated bear whose vicious wife send him to steal the baby of their neighbour (who's already burdened with a quadriplegic, possibly vegetative husband). In their own vastly different ways they're both pissingly funny and are two of the more standout student films doing the rounds this year, so I was really glad to get a chance to chat to both filmmakers.

Animal Instinct - A Conversation with Richard Phelan and Francesca Adams

"A Morning Stroll" (Dir. Grant Orchard, ©2011 Studio AKA)

On that note it was fantastic to hear that Grant Orchard, who I'd interviewed last year, won the Short Animation BAFTA last night with "A Morning Stroll", which has been doing brilliantly and is also up for an Oscar. It really is a great piece of work and most inspiring of all is how it came together without funding, pretty much as a labour of love the studio crew contributed to in their spare time over a two year period. So mazel tov again to Studio AKA and kudos to their modus operandi!
If it's of interest you can read my interview with Grant here (I'm a coattail rider, I admit it unabashedly, but it's a darn fun ride) for some backstory on the film and his prior work to date.

A Conversation with Grant Orchard

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Fuera de estación

Very quick update to confirm a couple of February televsion broadcasts for "La Lista Traviesa". It will be shown this coming Sunday (5th) at 9pm and then again on the 18th at 4:30pm. Both broadcasts will be on Canal+ Xtra. Which is in Spain. Yep indeedy. Book your flights now.