Sunday, 13 November 2011

Bradford Animation Festival Wednesday 9th November 2011

Professional One

The Monster of Nix
Dir. Rosto / Netherlands / 2011 / 30 minutes / Style:3D

"Life is good in the idyllic fairytale village of Nix... until an all-devouring monster appears. Young Willy has to fight it. Alone."

I have to say, I didn't understand this story, it left me feeling really confused and frustrated, and so therefore I didn't enjoy it at all! This was a very bad start to the festival! The style was ok, not my most favourite but it was different. I first thought that the main character - the boy was actually a girl just from the clothes and hair but then I realised that it was a boy when he was called by his name - Willy. On a positive note, I did like the effect of the mirrored boxes and the eggs, I thought they looked amazing and were really effective! 

Brandt Rhapsodie
Dirs. Francois Avril, Morrigane Boyer, Thibaud Clergue, Paolo Didier, Ren-Hsein, Tristan Menard, Lucas Morandi, William Ohanessian, Lucas Veber / France / 2011 / 5 minutes 34 Seconds / Style: 2D

"The ordinary tragedy of a romantic encounter, sung by Benjamin Biolay and Jeanne Cherhal."

I quite enjoyed this animation, mainly because of the rhythm it had to it - it has a really nice flow. I loved the idea of animating to a song, a song in which had a story to it. So not only did it have this rhythm and flow but also a story, one that I am sure that many can relate to. the only down side to this was that the subtitles were a little distracting to the animation but that couldn't be helped, you needed to know what they were saying to know what was going on. The style was very simple and quite grown up, which straight away suggests that its aimed at adults, which makes sense with the story it is telling

A Morning Stroll
Dir. Grant Orchard / UK / 2011 / 6 minutes 47 seconds / Style: 2D, 3D

"When a New Yorker walks past a chicken on his morning stroll, we're left to wonder which one is the real city slicker."

This film was brilliant! It had three different styles, each representing three different times; one set in the 1950's - the style for that was black and white with simple drawn lines, one in 2009 which was very colourful, blocky and used flat shapes, and the other was 2059 - in the future where the world was post apocalyptic, the style for this was 3D but wasn't as bright as 2009, it was quite grey! In the 1950's scene the chicken walked past the man and the man reacted as if it was very odd, in 2009 the chicken walked past the man again and this time the man decided to film the chicken but got distracted by a game, by the time he'd finished the chicken had gone, and then finally in 2059 the chicken walked past the man...but the man was no longer a man but rather a zombie and instead of the man stopping and staring at the chicken like the previous men as if it was odd, the chicken stopped and stared at the zombie, which lead to a rather funny chase! It was a good story, it had me gripped, made me laugh and at one point even made me jump! Not surprisingly, this film won two awards at BAF this year! 

Dir. Barry Purves / France / 2011 / 14 minutes 40 seconds / Style: Stop Motion

"A winged man, a fall, a hostile encounter, a life changed forever."

This was another film that I became confused and frustrated with, I didn't quite understand what was going on. It was only when I saw it the second time in Barry Purves talk and he explained what it was about that I understood it! Basically it is a winged man - not an angel, that likes to fly (flying and wings represent freedom) but he falls to the ground and gets savaged by these demon creatures (who have little tiny black wings- Barry said that the idea of this was that if the winged man gave up this would be what he would turn into). The man picked himself up, pulls off the remaining part of his wings and finds some water, he ends up underwater swimming - or 'flying' underwater as if he has found his freedom again. The style of this animation was very simple, there was no backgrounds or scenes, just blackness with one main character (the winged man) and the three demons and some really effective lighting. This suited the story perfectly and was beautifully animated. The end bit where the man is underwater was done by using CG, which you could tell because the man wasn't as stiff as before when the puppet was being used. Other than the transition between stop motion and CG seemed pretty seamless!

Captain Hu
Dir. Basil Vogt / Switzerland / 2011 / 9 minutes / Style: Drawing on film

"After a violent storm Captain Hu is stranded with his ship in the Alps. A helpful farmer finds new uses for the deep-sea equipment. However, Captain Hu draws the line at the end."

This film was very cleverly thought out and I quite enjoyed -it wasn't my favourite though. When watching it I found myself sympathising with the captain, every time he would give the farmer some thing and then found out he needed it I found myself saying 'Oh No!!' in my head, and then when he finally was able to make his exit in the end I was cheering (in my head again)! So in that sense I felt the film was good because I was able to get involved with it in my own way! The style of the animation was very simple...just white lines on a green background which emphasized the barrenness of where he was stranded with his ship stuck upside down on the mountain and the loneliness he was probably feeling, especially as no one would help him turn his ship the right way up!. 

The Girl and The Hunter (La Fille & Le Chasseur)
Dir. Jadwiga Kowalska / Switzerland / 2010 / 5 minutes / Style: 2D

"It's raining. A small village is in big trouble. the raindrops are actually a young girls tears. And it's up to the hunter to put things in order...

I liked this story,  it was well thought out. I like the way it builds up, from the a couple of drop coming down and the villagers gathering around to see where its coming from (the girl) to the village starting  to flood and the villagers working to shift to another location, then the other location run out of space for more water and so it over fills and starts flooding the village. The village floods so much that the villagers end up on the roofs like the girl, then they all start crying!  Which speeds the flooding process up, the hunter puts his gun to the girl but ends up comforting her, she then stops crying but the villagers continue, finally the hunter gets them to stop when they see that the girl has stopped. The village starts to drain but it ends when  rain starts to pour down!  This film had good timing and was quite humorous, I enjoyed watching it. The style is quite dark which reflects the sadness of the girl. 

Student One

366 Days (366 Tage)
Dir. Johannes Schiehsl / Germany / 2011 / Style: 3D

"Starting his social work as a paramedic, young Patrick soon comes in contact with patients that are all suffering from the same problem: loneliness. As he tries to help, he gets himself into relationships that are way more demanding than expected."

This animation touched my heart, the use of emotion through expression and body language was really effective, it had me feeling really sad for the patients the man was trying to help more. It started out very slow and sad as he found out that the patients were lonely, then it picked up a bit when he started helping, but when he found that he couldn't do it all and had to let the patients down it went all slow and sad again. Finally through the help of his colleague he found a way of helping more but in a way that wasn't too demanding and that was by listening to a certain song and keeping to the rhythm of it. From then the story picked up again and finished happy. The animation had a very simple colour palette, mainly red, white and greys which put the story across very effectively. I really enjoyed it.

The Golden Bird
Dir. Cat Bruce / UK / 2011 / Style: Stop Motion (Puppets) , Cut Outs

"When   a boy goes in pursuit of a mysterious golden bird, he is lead further than he expects and discovers that in his world, things are not what they seem."

This animation was a bit of an odd one for me. I didn't like it but I didn't dislike it. My thoughts were like this with everything, for example the style and the story. I can't quite put my finger on it, I suppose it's just didn't quite tickle my fancy. I'm afraid that there isn't anything else I can think of to say about this, so I'm going to move on. 

The Bridge Chronicles (Chroniques du Pont)
Dir. Hefang Wei / France / 2010 / Style: 3D

"Qiao-Yu, a volunteer worker, keeps watch over a bridge on the Yandtze river in China, a notorious suicide spot."

This animation had a feeling of mysteriousness to it, probably because of the mistiness. Again like in 'Captain Hu' this film had me saying 'Oh no!' in my head. The style was simple with a simple muted colour palette..actually quite a drab colour palette! But that suits the story perfectly as it's quite a sad story. 

Dir. Richard Phelan / UK / 2011 / Style: 2D

"An over ambitious beaver goes too far when he gets the chance to realise his ultimate dream. Some dreams are just too big."

The story to this animation was brilliant!  it's something everyone can enjoy, young and old! It starts off with a beaver building his dam, but as soon as he finishes it it gets ruined by all sorts of creatures. There's a postcard of the Hoover Dam which is quite clearly shown that it would be his dream to build a dam the same. Finally, he gets the help of some of the other animals help to him build this dam. It turns out that the dam is a bad idea for everything the other side and so the beaver end up having to destroy it in order to help and save the other animals.  This was a very funny story and was effectively told by the use of body language and expressions. The style was  simple and cartoony which emphasized the humour and fun

Abuelas (Grandmothers)
Dir. Afarin Eghbal / Uk / 2011 / Style: Stop Motion, Cut Outs, Pixilation, After Effects Manipulated Imagery 

"In a small department in Buenos Aires, an old woman eagerly awaits the birth of her grandchild and all the joys of becoming a grandmother. However, horrific circumstances mean she will be forced to wait over 30 years."

This was a very touching film, quite sad in the middle but happy in the end when the grandmother finally got to meet her grandchild. This animation had so many different techniques of animation in you would have thought it would have been too much but it wasn't! It was done well and effectively. With the pixilation technique the animator never showed the whole person and then everything else was integrated around that. I enjoyed watching this as it was quite visually interesting and it had a nice story  and message behind it.

The Visit (Der Besuch)
Dir. Conrad Tambour / Germany / 2010 / Style: 3D

"A tragicomical story about an old woman, who, to the horror of her son, is cooking up a meal in the middle of the night for her long deceased friends. But as soon as her son has gone, the guests actually show up. Fantasy, dream or reality? What is the difference? When people get old..."

I enjoyed this animation, I wanted to say 'Oh bless her!'. Although when the son and the mother were talking about the guests she was expecting I didn't realise the people they were talking about were dead! I personally thought the son was very mean! The style of the animation was very much like Pixar films, which I would think suggests an audience of all ages! This was a lovely story, especially as the old lady's guests did turn up in the end.  

Growing Space
Dir. Kate Broadhurst / UK / 2011 / Style: 2D Drawn, Paint on Glass

"An animated documentary about adults suffering from mental health problems and the transformational healing process that comes from gardening and a community spirit."

I felt that I should be feeling something from this animation and it's story, but I didn't. It had people who are suffering from mental health problems talking about how gardening and the community spirit really helps them. Maybe I didn't really connect to this as I don't really understand or know anything about mental health problems. The style was very different to most animations I have seen, it was done like an illustrated gardening book with text like 'figure one' attached to certain objects. You can see that the animator used paint on glass as the brush strokes are quite prominent! I found this style very creative and visually pleasing. 

El Macho
Dir. Daniela Negrin Ochoa / UK / 2011 / Style: Drawn on Paper / Silkscreen Print Background

"Carlos yearns for order and calm amidst the chaos of his loud family of women. The arrival of Alfonso, an energetic poodle puppy, shatters any dreams he had of peace and quiet. Soon it's even too much for the women. Something has to be done...."

I wasn't too fond of this animation, the style didn't do anything for me but it did go with the  Mexican theme well. This story made be quite bored at the start, it didn't really capture my attention but it got better towards the end. This was basically I story about a man who lives with a house full of women, who go out and get a dog of which is male. The man initially isn't very happy about it but gradually the women get annoyed with the dog but the man begins to like it and in the end has quite a strong relationship with it. 

Swimming Pool
Dir. Alexandra Hetmerova / Czech Republic / 2010 / Style: 2D

"A night love story of two outsiders, who meet in closed swimming pool in the middle of a big city. 

I loved this story! I especially loved the twist in the end. It wasn't like any other animation I've seen or any other story I've read. I liked the style too, very simple but quite complex at the same time.I liked the build up, the whole swimming routine between the man and the lady in the pool, this was very effective, only ever seeing their top halves and then the ending where the man in charge of the pool catches them and tells them to get out. But when they get out he sees that they are only half human and so runs away where they are left to spend more time with each other in the pool. 

Panorama Three

Remembering Formby
Dir. Sue Elliot / UK / 2011 

"A brief introduction to Formby Patterson-Wright: The safest man who ever lived."

To be honest, I don't remember this one very much which I believe says it all! But on researching it I remembered what it was like. This animation was quite graphic with the use of various signs. It was quite visually interesting but in the way of animation it didn't do anything for me. 

On the Rails(Sur Les Rails)
Dir. Jeremy Guiter / France / 2011 

"An old man sees his life pass in which he made a decisive choice for the rest of his life."

The main story of this was that a young photographer in love left his partner to go to war to document it by photographs. He became famous for a really good photo but in the mean time lost his partner. It then shows him a few years later and sad, remembering the lady he loved. This was quite a sad animation but very touching. I enjoyed watching it. The style was ok but I didn't find it to be anything special. The colour palette certainly reflected and emphasized the mood of the film and reflected how the man was feeling. 

Late One Night
Dir. Anna Prager, Asaf Shub / Israel / 2010

"One night in Kishinev, Ivan, a clumsy but good natured burglar, enters Auntie Tania's meagre apartment. She is napping in the drawing room and awakes without Ivan noticing - quietly stealing behind his back to the kitchen to prepare a surprise for the luckless burglar."

I enjoyed watching this, I felt that it was a good story/ idea! When the burglar broke into the house and the old lady got up, I was waiting for her to come up behind him to and knock him out with something! But of course she doesn't, she makes him something to eat which I found very sweet! I also found this a little said, as when the burglar looks around the house looking for possessions to steal there were none! The poor old lady had nothing..except one piece of jewellery hidden behind a picture, which he finds but gives it back! I wasn't too keen on the style of this animation. It was stop motion and a little messy for me, I prefer the 'Wallace and Gromit' style stop motion where there are clean lines and a smoothness to it. 

Small Gamers
Dir. Bruno Collet / France / 2010 

"Take part in the latest adventure of the Summer Olympics! But remember to duck, because ours fly close to the ground."

This was quite a fun little stop motion animation using various toys and objects. I thought this was quite a good idea, however some bits went on a bit too long for me. I wouldn't mind using the same technique one day, by using ordinary objects to create an interesting animation. 

The Man Who Was Afraid Of Falling
Dir. Joseph Wallace / UK / 2011

"Ivor's life is turned upside down after a falling plant pot sparks a bizarre series of paranoid reactions."

This was a lovely stop motion animation of a man who was afraid of falling. It was a very sweet story and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I loved the mixture of 3D stop motion puppet and paper thought bubbles, I felt it make it very visually interesting!

One Second Per Day
Dir. Richard Negre / France / 2011

"One second of film, meaning 25 drawings per day during one year, thats the goal."

This animation had an interesting effect through movement of shapes and lines and was very visually exciting to watch...that is up until a minute or two, then it just got boring and samey! I know that the idea behind it was to do 25 drawings a day but I don't understand the reason behind the lines and shapes. By the end of this film I was very frustrated, mainly because I wanted it to end! 

Bertie Crisp
Dir. Francesca Adams / UK / 2011

"Bertie Crisp, a half bear, half panda lives in a caravan park with his sociopathic bunny rabbit wife, Grace. She is determined to have a baby- the problem is she wants on immediately, and with Bertie struggling with the... traditional method, they turn to plan B - Kidnap!"

I didn't like this story, I'm pretty sure I was frowning all the way through it. I didn't like the style either, I don't think that helped, neither did I pick up that Bertie was half panda either! I can safely say that I won't be watching this film again!

Out on a Limb
Dir. Falk Schuster / Germany / 2011

"Leaves are falling all around, colder winds are arriving and birds are gathering together in preparation for the journey south. Though autumn is at an end and winter is imminent, one bird refuses to accept that change is happening."

I LOVED the style and technique used to make this animation! It's so different to other animations that even if you don't quite get the story it's still very interesting to watch! The technique they used was smudge and click. Some part they drew on and rubbed of as they went, other parts they stuck new bits of paper on top of the old drawing and drew the new image on. I would love to try this out too. They used a very limited colour palette, mainly black and white which I felt emphasized the bleakness and coldness of the coming winter. I also enjoyed the story!   

Dir. Lera Mishurova / Israel / 2010

"In a desolate bar, a barman and waitress play "Battleship". But in another reality, the progress of the game has a fateful result."

I didn't like this animation either, I really didn't enjoy it! I found the story frustrating as it kept repeating and to be honest it took me a while to work out what was going on, I didn't like the characters I found them quite harsh and wasn't too fond of the style either! 

The Gentlemans Guide to Villainy
Dir. Aidan McAteer / Israel / 2010

"A brief guide to being bad!"

This was brilliant. It was done in the style of an old black and white silent public information film, maybe from the 50's. It had a good strong story and idea behind it with an added humour and a twist at the end!  I thoroughly enjoyed this animation.  

Dirs. Quay Brothers / Poland / 2010 

"Maska is the latest animated film by the Quay brothers, directors and puppet animators, with the music composed by Krzysztof Penderecki. Beautiful Duenna was created in order to carry out a certain mission. However, she will be forced to choose between accomplishing the task she was created for and love."

I can't remember this one very much, but I do remember not liking this one either. I looked it up on the internet to see if iIcould find a video of it but had no luck. Unfortunately this means that I have nothing to say about it. 

Music Videos and Commercials

Music Videos

Wax Tailor Featuring Charlie Winston "I Own You"
Dir. Romain Chassaing / France / 2010

"A city in miniature invaded by texts, by commercials, by advertising, by Charlie Winston, the superstar. In the TV, in the telephone, in the PC, he is everywhere... 'I Own You'."

This music video had a mixture of live action film and animation. I didn't find this video very interesting to watch. I didn't grasp the link between the visuals and the lyrics in the song and so didn't understand why they made the video like that with that content. However there's plenty to look at and watch and some of the animation in the video it quite visually effective. The technique of animation used it stop motion.

Monsieur William
Dir. Patricia Stroud / France / 2010

"Monsieur William is a perfect employee, but ignores the world outside his office. Which is the greater evil, to contribute to the corporate institution corruption or to live by the street's laws? Monsieur William offers us a singular vision of the world, and raises questions about the conventional notions of morality, crime and good and evil with humour and sarcasm."

I found this to be quite an average animation, the style and colour palette was pretty grey and overall quite boring. The only thing that perked it up was the man singing the song. It had a bit of a shocking ending and I didn't really understand the story or what was going on. 

The Waterwalk
Dir. Johannes Ridder / France / 2010

"A man goes on his way along the beach. His walk is center of a joyful choreography., accompanied by the music of the Violent Femmes."

WARNING: This is possibly the most disturbing music video ever seen, or at least so by my eyes! I didn't like this at all, it disturbed me and went on far too long for my liking. I didn't like the style either, it wasn't very aesthetically pleasing. A little advice, avoid this music video as much as possible!

Dirs. Danae Diaz, Patricia Luna / Germany / 2011

"Caffeine represents a visual metaphor for Brandt Brauer Frick's music: As acoustic sounds are put together electronically, hand drawn images are animated by traditional and computer media. in a mechanical world of men, a mass of identical people start their day with coffee. At a certain point of  a typical working day, one of them wants to break from his routine."

This was my favourite music video out of all of them. This video pretty much sums up how I think of London business people!   I love how it builds up and up and up and then that one person tries to break away from it. It also goes very well  with the music and sums up the title of the song. The style is very simple with simple colours, of which are main greys but reflects the story and people in it very well.  

Little Miss Little
Dir. Marie Bloch-Laine / Canada / 2010

"Little Miss Little is wandering through her own cardboard and paper universe. She seeks comfort in familiar objects and environment surrounding her, but the subjective landscape of her mind starts to crumble, urging her to come back to reality and civilisation."

I loved the style of this music video, it was very visually interesting and I found the technique effective, was a shame about the music! The technique and style made it quite refreshing from the rest of the films. I didn't understand the story until I read the description in the BAF programme though, so that was it's downfall!

Miss Daisy Cutter
Dir. Laen Sanches / Netherlands / 2010

"Miss Daisy cutter is an animated short film by Laen Sanches featuring 'Nux Vomica' by The Veils. If Walt Disney took some bad acid this is what his trip would look like. Don't say you weren't warned."

I didn't like this music video, it all seemed too random to me and all over the place. It won the best music video award, which I have to say I really don't agree! 

Gorillaz on Melancholy Hill
Dirs. Jamie Hewlett, Peter Candeland / UK / 2010

"On Melancholy Hill is the second video from the Gorillaz' Plastic beach album. In a continuation of the story which begins with Stylo, we follow members of the band and some of their musical collaborators on a dramatic ocean based journey in their quest to reach Plastic Beach."

This music video is pretty much a typical Gorillaz music video! Good a always and a nice style!


Dirs. Roman Kaelin, Falko Paeper, Florian Wittmann / Germany / 2011

"Popped maize is mostly eaten with salt, sugar or other flavours, typically in the cinema."

This animation was explosive!...Literally! I really enjoyed the effects in this film. Basically it was of big pieces of maize burst and popping into popcorn in ordinary places like parks in front of people. Obviously the technique used was CGI and looked really life like - as life like as a massive piece of popcorn can be! 

Compare the Market - Streets of Ambitiousness
Dir. Darren Walsh / UK / 2010

"This latest installment in the Compare the Market campaign gives us another amusing glimpse of the history of Compare the Meerkat from Alexandr Orlov.  He explains how his father set up his business on the streets of Moscow and slowly built it up to what it is today."

I was quit shocked to see this at Bradford, I had seen it so many times on the telly previous to it I nervous imagined it would be in a festival! I've always been a fan of these CGI adverts, mainly because of the great characters. I mean, the style isn't exactly anything extraordinary, but what makes these adverts so good is the content. 

The Girl Effect
Dir. Mighty Nice / UK / 2011

"In a beautiful new film commissioned by the Nike foundation through agency Wieden Kennedy and produced by Nexus Productions, director Might Nice takes us on the journey of a 12 year-old girl to escape poverty, exploitation and the risk of AIDS/HIV, to build a better future for herself and future generations. The Girl Effect is the potential of 600 million adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world."

This was a very powerful commercial, it made me have a lump in my throat by the end. If you haven't seen this then you should. The style of the animation was very simple with a limited colour palette and was very graphic-y! There was no narration or voice over but you was left to read the information, the word of which were presented very visually and clearly. This film was also made powerful through the soundtrack, which emphasized the different moods on certain bits and made you feel the words with more emotion. I loved this animation and has given me inspiration for one of my projects I am doing at the moment. 

The Last Journey (Die Letzte Reise)
Dir. Patrick Altmaier / Germany / 2011

"It's evening. Pale moonlight falls through the leaf canopy. A small old man strides along the path. He starts to search for something with his staff in the nearby bushes. Suddenly small creatures whiz out of the bushes and follow the old man. We arrive at the bottom of a giant temple and climb up to the peak while the spirits of the forest follow us. As we reach the top the shaman grabs on of the luminous balls of his staff and throws it into a bowl. A play of colours emerges and the strange creatures transform into animals of the forest, running around the old man and ascending into the night sky.

I didn't quite understand what was happening but it did look very pretty with the luminous balls! There's something about CGI that animators seem to do the same sort of style nearly all the time. Which was the same as this film, it was quite an average style CGI film and as I didn't really understand what was going on I didn't really think much of it!

The Siege (Coke)
Dirs. FX & Mat / UK / 2011

"Nexus directors Fx & Mat teamed up with top VFX house Framestore to create cinematic story of the clash of two cultures. Set in an icy fantasy world, the spot sees and army of fearsome fire warriors poised to descend upon a peaceful community of ice-dwelling creatures. Accompanying the warriors is a huge fire-breathing dragon, which leaves a burning path of destruction in it's wake and little doubt as to the outcome for the defenceless villagers. The spot originally aired on Sunday 6h February to around 85 million people and the Superbowl XLV."

This was brilliant, it felt so grand that at the beginning and in the middle I thought it was more like a clip out of a feature film, and then obviously the ending gave it away. The story kept me gripped and interested and I loved the ending! The style was CGI and really suited it!

Hermit (Einsiedler)
Dirs. Elliot Deshusses, Christian Hertwig / Germany / 2011

"An old hermit fulfils his dream of his own 'Home Cinema'. Even if a whole mountain has to be blown away."

This was a brilliant idea, I loved it! To start with I didn't know what it was going to be about but it all made sense in the end (after the build up)! I felt that the right technique was used (CGI) to get the brilliant effect of the mountain being blown up. I really enjoyed this film, it was exciting to watch.

Green Design Festival 2010
Dir. NOMIT / Germany / 2010

"Promo video for the Green Design Festival, organised by Brainlab not for profit agency, under the aegis of Municipality of Athens and the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change. The concept underlying the video is that green development produces green effect, not colour. Green development is not green. It's pink, yellow, blue..."

This film was very simple, very graphic-y and had a very limited colour palette! I didn't feel that there was much to it but it was fresh and design-y, which is good because it was a short film for a design festival! 

This Unpredictable Life
Dirs. Smith and Foulkes / UK / 2011

"'This Unpredictable Life' is a breathtaking mix of volumetric lighting and magical particles bringing to life a beautiful fantasy world through which we take an amazing trip. Cleverly playing out the central premise of the ad, that life is an unknowable journey, the film combines simplicity and sophistication with an uncomplicated but engaging central character starkly contrasted against a series of deliciously complex and abstract backgrounds. Set to a cinematic poem, we follow our hero as he swoops and wheels through lifes journey."

This is a person floating around going on life journey, the unpredictable journey of life. It's a pretty simple way of showing this but very effective. CGI was used to create this animation and I felt that it worked well and suited the message that it was trying to give.

Planters Holiday Party
Dir Mark Gustafson / USA / 2010

"Mr. Peanut appears in an innovative series of stop motion animation commercials, animation directed by Mark Gustafson, that peek into his multi-dimensional world, where people can experience his life., his humour and his friends as never before. The first commercial follows Mr Peanut's annual holiday party, giving the first glimpse into his personality and the things he cares about."

This wasn't my favourite film but was still good, it just didn't do anything for me. It certainly didn't sell me the product! 

Manege Magique
Dir. Viola Baier / Germany / 2011 

"In the backstage area of circus 'Manege Magique', a little absent-minded conductor accidentally mixes up his baton with the magic wand of the circus' magician. Unaware of his mistake he inadvertently turns the whole circus into a magical underwater world."

The style of this animation was ok, nothing 'magical', just your average 2D animation style. The story was quite interesting, I would have thought that it's more aimed at children as it's a pretty simple idea. 

Specsavers Happy
Dir. Darren Walsh / UK / 2010

"'Happy' is the latest commercial  in a campaign by leading optician brand Specsavers and uses characters from the well loved BBC children's series Mr Men. the new 2D animation spot features Mr Happy, My Greedy, Mr Messy, Mr Bump and Mr Tickle."

Using the Mr Men to advertise is a very clever idea, especially as it's advertising for a wide range of people as a wide range of people are very familiar with the Mr Men! 

Cartoon Network ID Bumpers - Riverdance & Cartoon Network ID Bumpers - Country
Dir. Alexey Alexeev / Hungary / 2010

"Animated sequence for Cartoon Network."

These were two very funny and very short animated films. The style is very much what I would describe as cartoon networks style...from what I remember from when I was younger! Very cartoony and very fun!

The Chase
Dirs. Smith &Foulkes / UK / 2011

"Smith & Foulkes have created a dynamic new spot for Venables and Bell and Intels incredible new core i5 processor - a breakneck, all action chase scene which is the perfect showcase for the new processors amazing capacity. Using a dynamic mix of live action and animation, Smith & Foulkes used every trick in the action movie book and got some hot insider tips from their DOP, Oliver Wood, of Bourne Trilogy fame, to create this thrilling spot. The result is a fantastically clever illustration of the Intel processor working at maximum capacity and showing just that the Core i5 can do. 

This was very clever and I have no idea how they did it! It was very different and very unique way of doing an animation. This is a very interesting film to watch and I can imagine that it does it's job with capturing the audiences attention to sell the Core i5 to them.   

Professional Two

Out of Erasers (Sudd)
Dir. Erik Rosenlund / Sweden / 2011

"As the world transforms, you're the last one to find out."

This was a clever film and was more like a feature film! It used live action and animation. I loved the story, it was very unique and creative and had me capture. it was filmed in black and white which worked very well, especially with the scribbles riding up people and people completely covered in scribbles. I really enjoyed this film and would watch it again!

The Lost Town of Switez
Dir. Kamil Polak / Poland , France, Canada, Switzerland, Denmark / 2010

"An accidental traveller, drawn by mysterious forces, discovers the secret of a ghostly town which lies at the bottom of a forgotten lake."

This. Was. The. Most. Beautiful. Animation. Ever!
This animation was an oil painting masterpiece that moves! It was the most  visually exciting  animation that I have every seen! The story wasn't as amazing but the visuals more than made up for it! I would love to see this again, it was truly magical.

Dirs. Alister Lockhart, Patrick Sarell / Australia / 2011

"An animated road movie set across the vast and barren landscape of Australia's Nullarbor Plain."

This is a CGI film, of which the style is pretty average. I felt that the film isn't so much about being arty, creative and unusual but more about the story and the humour. The story kept building up throughout and had continuous humour all the way through it, but the best bit was the end (not because it ended) because it had a brilliant twist that no one expected to happen!

The Maker
Dir Christopher Kezelos / Australia / 2011

"A strange creature races against time to make the most important and beautiful creation of his life."

This film was made using stop motion puppets! It was beautifully and sensitively made and I really enjoyed watching it. The story had me gripped as we watched the puppet try to make a new puppet - a lady puppet before the time runs out! I liked the style too, this was a nicely made stop motion film.

Tchaikovsky - An Elegy
Dir. Barry Purves / UK / 2011

"Alone in a locked room, the Russian composer Tchaikovsky is forced to evaluate his life and works."

This was a beautiful film by Barry Purves. I much preferred this one to 'Plume'. Barry used the Stop Motion technique and a little CGI. He only had one puppet of which was Tchaikovsky and one set, all of which was very simple but very effective. There was a good use of emotion and expression mainly through the body language of the character. I really enjoyed this film and it was also very educational, I now know all about Tchaikovsky and his life! Well done Barry.

Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan

Image from the BAF 2011 programme

France / UK 2011 - 95', Directed by Gilles Penso, Produced by Tony Dalton.

"Ray Harryhausen's work is unique in movie history. Author, co-producer, co-director, co-editor, sculpture, animator and special effect supervisor of most of his films, Harryhausen used to do by himself what's being done nowadays by dozens of artists. Incidentally, he embodies the transition between the old generation of visual effects and the new one. According to his own words, Harryhausen represents a connecting link between King Kong and Star Wars.

Supported by the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation, with an unlimited access to the personal archives of the artists, including his most famous puppets and armatures, this documentary retells ray's whole career, from his garage days in the United States to the creation of Medusa and Pegasus in the original Clash of the Titans. But more than a simple portrait, Special Effects Titan endeavours to reveal the creative chain that has been driving fantasy cinema from the early days of George Melies to the latest Hollywood blockbusters."

This was a very interesting documentary. It linked famous, more current films like Star Wars and Jurassic Park to some of Ray Harryhausen's films and how his films have influenced many films with certain creatures and how they move etc, even with the like's of James Cameron's Avatar. This was very insightful and just proved that Ray Harryhausen is a massive part of the animated film history and has had a massive influence on many films. He not only did the roles of an animator but also a model maker, director, producer etc! He is an inspiration to many and can't be given enough credit.  

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