Special thanks to Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm for the super header.

Friday, September 23, 2011


The last couple of days I got to attend the Television Animation Conference in my city for work. Part of the time was spent in seminars about funding and tax credits (kind of boring but important for my work) and part was spent in interesting seminars like the interactions of social media with television stations, which touched on things like what kind of responsibilities does a TV broadcaster have if someone (especially children as much television animation is geared towards teens and down) appears to be suicidal or violent on message boards and how do you deal with that, to the emergence of animation for adults and what direction that is going in with some very funny stories. Adult Swim was there which is one of the most well-known adult oriented channels. But when I wasn't learning important stuff, I had a chance to see some of the videos that were in competition. I couldn't see them all of course, otherwise I would have spent two days in that dark room on the comfy couches watching movies, (not that it would have been a bad thing) but I got to see nearly two  competitions.

The competitions have different categories and they are submission from around the world. There are high school production, slick commercials from companies like Coke and Mr. Peanut along with college/university pieces, commercial animation studios and just people who do it for fun.

Some were very cute and really short, some were more in-depth and longer and some were 0__0. One I arrived in late because of another seminar and it was papier mache rabbits (walking and wearing clothes like people), really well done and as I watch it, suddenly the male rabbit leaves his wife in the forest, goes home, eats some papier mache food, then promptly vomits it up, takes a stuffed animal back to the forest where his wife is being attacked by a dog and a hunter who takes her away, then the husband is stuck in the leg hold trap (I didn't realize his wife was also, missed the beginning), she returns, they hug and can't get him out so she finds some white strawberries and they eat them and start vomiting blood and die. Oh. Um. Yeah. Wow. Technically so cool, but ... Not the animation you take your kids to. :-)

I found some of the ones I saw on-line. The first one is one of the more abstract concepts I saw. It is a submission from the US. 

Two from Steven Subotnick on Vimeo.

This was a Canadian submission and is more of an information video rather than entertainment. I loved the colors used and the simplicity of the animation that really got the point across.

This is only a short clip from a Canadian college which has a digital media course. It was only done in black red and white and was so beautiful with the music and how negative space was used. Wish I could have found the whole video for you.

Paso Doble teaser from Jamie Metzger on Vimeo.

I think this was my favourite. I was just captivated when I saw it. Such a cute idea and so well done.

This particular style and look, very simplistic, stark, little or no use of colour and just very basic minimal artwork seemed to crop up several times. It's not my favourite look but I an appreciate the simplicity of it in telling a story and not cluttering it up with background. It is from the US.

Stay Home from caleb wood on Vimeo.

This is a far more traditional look from Germany. It's quite a cute little story and would be good for families. I just realized this is just clips from the movie rather than the whole thing, but it's a good example of the animation.

Hinterland Trailer from Jakob Weyde on Vimeo.

This was one of the very smooth 3-D-ish animations from Pepsi who probably spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for this. Very well done of course.

This was just a cute little video that combined real video with animation. There were a few that combined live action and types of animation. I liked the little flame guys. It is from Japan.

There were others that were really interesting. If you ever get a chance to see The Last Norwegian Troll (Det siste norske trollet) which is narrated by Max Von Sydow it was excellent. Much more traditional animation but longer and a wonderful story. Unfortunately not on line. Things You Better Not Mix Up from the Netherlands had us all laughing out loud. I'm sorry I couldn't find those two on-line.

On the whole I was very impressed and while not everything was to my taste, I can appreciate the amount of work that goes into animation. One company who did a case study has been working on a feature length movie in Quebec for 2 years for Christmas release and we won't see it in English Canada until next Christmas. It's not a career for those who enjoy instant gratification. I think next year I'll get my daughter and I some passes and see some of the other shows together.

Hope you enjoy the movies, all are suitable for kids, if not appealing to them, and have a super weekend.


Chris said...

I'll have to stop back when I'm in a video viewing mood. Sounds like a cool thing to get to do for work!

Average Reader said...

Ha, ha, what Chris said! I wish I had the TIME to watch these videos. I'm definitely going to come back when I do. And I think you have the coolest job ever that they would send you to an animation festival! This flies in the face of the sterotype that government jobs are stodgy!

Tam said...

They are fun, when you have the time. I know the feeling. Well, I only get to go to the animation festival two days out of 250 or so. LOL The other 248 are spent doing boring government stuff. :-)

Actually I do have a pretty cool job, I just have to learn to appreciate it more sometimes. Hard to do some days when you are facing the old "do more with less" mantra and fighting red tape yourself.

Janna said...

Wow, that are a lot of animations. You must have seen tons of them during those two days. I like animations because they're so short and to the point (most of the times).
Have a super weekend too, Tam! :)

Tam said...

It's definitely a talent to say so much in only a few minutes. It was an interesting conference.