Thursday, 25 November 2010

Flip Festival Review

The Flip festival Animation I attended was my first festival about animation I attended. I had a lot in mind about what it is and even what it might look like, I was quite disappointed in a lot of ways but there is always something you can take with you at any events. Firstly I must say, I was quite shocked of the scale of the festival. It wasn’t much of a festival I had imagined. The festival took place in a theatre screen where everything happened one at a time.
The first day I the morning we watched some UK shorts animations for about two hours. Some animations I seen blew my mind and some was a let-down, it felt like they needed something to fill the time for the screening. One specific animation caught my eye was a stop motion animation called Astronomer’s Sun which was breath-taking and visually remarkable. It was made by couple of people who one of them happened to be at the festival for his portfolio review. It had a Tim Burton look of The Corpse’s bride in style of lighting, character model and the set. It was pretty much set up at the climax of a movie which was straight in action. It was pretty short but there was some character development and you could put the missing pieces as to what it is about.
The animation looked professionally well done, but what made me remember this were the score and the lighting effects. I loved the orchestra sound which helped a lot with the animation story telling. The lighting was really good which my favourite thing in a film is probably. It was a story of a man and his robot bear that he trying to find out what happened to his father since he was last seen working on his invention that looks like a time travel machine. He tried to get some answers by re-doing what his father which leaded him to disappear as-well.
We had a short break after the shorts screening. After that there was a portfolio review of couple of animators. I learnt quite a lot from this, what to put and what not to have. Most of the animators had the same problem with their show reel which was putting a lot of things in there that confused the audience as to what they are interested in and what is there focuses. The tips I came out with were: putting your best work first to avoid the viewer from forwarding to last and miss your best work, have your contact info at the start and end make sure it is easily readable, have something humorous to show some character and personality.
Next day morning was another screening but was for International shorts which were pretty interesting. They were professionally animated and edited. Similarly to the previous day I had one animation which I was interested in. This one was called L’uzine (The Factory). This was also a stop motion animation with a mixture of real life film. I am not into stop motion because it looked cheap even the big feature film have the same feel, but that is just me. Anyways, this animation was about a little girl’s imagination. The story was set in a factory which had these aliens queuing to go in to get their job. One by one who go in and come out the next door which was the exit already go their job. At first we don’t know what happens inside or how they get that job, but one would come out as a mechanic and another as a superhero and fly away and so on. Then we see this different looking alien who jumps in the line and sneaks in to see what is going on inside and we see the inside of the factory. We get to this big wheel with a lot of jobs written on it and every alien comes and spins the wheel and you become what it lands on. So this guy sneaks inside this room where he sees the manager who is also an alien, we see that he rigged the wheel so it wouldn’t land on his job and no one would take his place or share his job. This reminded me of Bee Movie by DreamWorks where you had bees when they turn certain age they go to the honey factory and they get to choose what they want to be. Also had some Toy Story elements in about the toys coming to life only this was through the little girl’s imagination.
Overall I seen some good stuff at the festival leant a lot but there were some issues about Andy Gent not attending the festival and the scale of it. I expected something huge outdoors with big tents and panels in every one of them where you go to anyone you’re interested in. It was an experience and I will remember it.

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