Friday, 30 November 2012

Reflective Post: Paper Cinema's Odyssey

Yesterday night, I went to the Contact Theatre in Manchester to watch 'Odyssey', created by  The Paper Cinema.
This version of the Greek tale portrays King Odysseus who gets swept away at sea for twenty years, separated from wife Penelope, and son Telemachus.

The Paper Cinema's Odyssey (Trailer) from The Difference Engine on Vimeo.

The story is depicted live to an audience using a streaming video camera, projectors and paper cutouts and puppets. The music is also performed live by musicians. It was quirky in a good way, because you were guided into a space that may as well of been a cinema/theatre. We could see the story unfolding on the projected screen [like a cinema], but the people in charge of sequencing the movement and sound were not hidden away. They were sat or stood either side of the stage opperating the equipment and puppets. It was cool because you could see how it was done, resting any questions I had on how it was executed. Watching the clips of the film remind me of looking at an animatic in a way, perhaps the simplistic line art style and how it's animated on the screen.
The beginning bit of the tale was hand drawn and painted before it switched to the puppets. Nicholas Rawling is the artist responsible for the illustrative style. I wondered if he was inspired by Hokusai or Ronald Searle line art.

It was the first I've heard of the Paper Cinema, I heard about it last week from my tutor.
I've seen similar story styles performed in school and in films, but hadn't been to one quite like this.
When I went to watch it, I loved it.
It made a change of seeing a pre-made film in your average cinema. I certainly came out of the theatre with a greater apreciation for this style of story-tellng.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Reflective Post: Directing the Story Book

Directing the Story was written by Francis Glebas.
This book was recommended to me by Chris Gaffey, a Director I mentioned in my Behance Portfolio Crit post.
He said if I really want to do animation as a career, then I should read more material like this.
He also mentioned another book to me to help me pitch any story ideas in future. I still need to find it.

Francis Glebas.

For those who don’t know, Francis Glebas was a Storyboard artist at Disney, who has 40 years experience in working in this field.
He worked on films like ‘The Lion King’, ‘Hercules’, ‘Pocahontas’ ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’, and many more.

Anyway, I am around page 72 in this book, and I can’t put it down! It has [with no pun intended] given me direction!
Before reading this, I would half the time feel lost when beginning a new project, generally how to visually tell my piece in storyboard form, because sometimes it wouldn’t look right or it wouldn’t make sense.
This book gives out some real handy tips on the dos and don’ts that orientate around an animators/storyboard artist’s choices.

One example of Glebas's detalic story boarding.

It really has opened my eyes up to what else I could possibly do with my work. My only regret with this book was not finding it in my first year of Moving Image. It would have helped so much!!
I really can’t put this book down, I’m trying my best not to skip ahead because it features a storyboard story of ‘1001 Arabian Nights’. Also, one of the points in the book Gleblas makes is that story-delaying is essential:
-       quote about story delaying.

I am going to chase up this other book of pitching Chris mentioned to me now. Hope to find it, I’m sure I wrote it down, but I can’t find it.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Portfolio Crit 2: The Cube Gallery

A few hours ago, I went to Manchester's Cube Gallery with my friend for my second portfolio review.
_________________________________________________________________ NMS:


I first spoke to two men who represented NMS [Neo Mammalian Studios], Danny Ashton and Ian Irving.


 [Left to Right: Danny and Ian.]

I showed them some of my work:

BBC Three - Channel Ident - Family Guy:

Library + Motion Graphics (Soundless) 2011:

BBC THREE Channel Ident - Family Guy from Catherine Egan on Vimeo.

Library + Motion Graphics (soundless) 2011 from Catherine Egan on Vimeo.

They liked my pieces, saying they were good and great.
Their' work is orientated around Graphic Design and they want to eventually delve into animation as well.
They said maybe they could send me a brief as a trial, see how things go and gave me their card.
_________________________________________________________________ WRG:


I spoke to a man called Mark Gass, a Creative Director at WRG [With Reflex Group].

[Above: Mark Gass]

I showed him my Olympics video, as my friend thought it would be appropriate because WRG partially specialise in healthcare communication:

Olympic Ident Sequences from Catherine Egan on Vimeo.

He seemed to like my work, but couldn't give me much crit feedback.
He said it's not really an area he's involved so much in, but he recommended that I could have another portfolio review from other people who work in WRG aswell. People who do animation as a career. He suggested I message the two people, Ivano and Shane Richardson. Mark said so long as I mention his name to these people, my portfolio crit can go ahead.


I spoke to two men representing madhouse, Pete McCollough [a Deputy Creative Director], and Phil Rogerson I believe [an MD and Creative Director].


[Above left to right: Phil and Pete.]

I first spoke to Phil. I think he liked my work, unfortunately he couldn't give me much feedback, again a different department from what he does.
I then spoke to Pete, who also seemed to like my work aswell. 
He said though it's hard to get a rough idea about somebody until they present a reel of work to them [which I didn't have yet], but he suggested I get in contact with him once I complete my course, with a reel. 
Overall Thoughts:

+ Points:
Again, it was up my street because the event was free and I got to mingle with other creatives and receive some contact details.
It is a good experience to have, again because it makes you think about how to represent yourself in front of professionals. 
I remember Chris Gaffey telling me at the Behance event that not only is the client judging my work, they are judging me.
At this event, it was that relaxed, I didn't even think about that. It really was just laid back, it was nice. At first I was nervous, but after a while I just went with it.
I think I'll go to these portfolio reviews in future, especially for criticism. 

- Points:
I didn't really receive much criticism on my work. 
I think it might have been because so many people turned up, there was a sense of rushing around to see everyone, a sort of stamp of approval and seeing the next person in line.
I got a lot of 'It's good' comments, rather than how can I improve on it comments.
The most criticism I've received from going to both portfolio events is from Chris Gaffey and Pete McCollough. 

Getting back to the point, it has certainly built up my confidence more going to these portfolio reviews.
I would definately recommend others going.
I will go again when I have the time.