Sunday, February 24, 2008

Animated Oscar Winners

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: RATATOUILLE


Ratatouille wins the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film over Surf's Up and Persepolis.
This is the second nomination for Brad Bird and second award for Animated Feature Film he
has under his belt.

FILM SYNOPSIS
Remy the rat longs to exercise his talents as a gourmet chef and gets the chance when he
finds himself in a famous Parisian restaurant after becoming separated from his family
during an escape through the sewers. When his secret improvements to the restaurant's
food are mistakenly attributed to Linguini, the garbage boy, the two team up to form an
unlikely culinary partnership that will benefit them both.

You can find Brad's Bird thank you speech video here, Oscars.com


BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM


The Best Animated Short Film goes to "Peter and the Wolf" from Suzie Templeton and Hugh
Welchman. This is their first Academy Award Nomination.

On the same category were:
My Love (Moya Lyubov), Même les Pigeons vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go To Heaven), Madame Tutli-Putli, I Met the Walrus.

FILM SYNOPSIS
Remy the rat longs to exercise his talents as a gourmet chef and gets the chance when he
finds himself in a famous Parisian restaurant after becoming separated from his family
during an escape through the sewers. When his secret improvements to the restaurant's
food are mistakenly attributed to Linguini, the garbage boy, the two team up to form an
unlikely culinary partnership that will benefit them both.

You can find their thank you speech video here, Oscars.com

FILM SYNOPSIS
A young boy and his animal friends face a hungry wolf in Prokofiev's classic musical piece.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The 2nd Annual Elans Canandian Awards for the Electronic and Animated Arts


Congratulations to all the winners!


ANIMATION CATEGORIES

1. BEST FEATURE LENGTH ANIMATED PRODUCTION

Barbie as the Island Princess Rainmaker Animation Jennifer Twiner Mccarron

2. THE SEVEN GROUP AWARD FOR BEST ANIMATED PRODUCTION (Television Series)

Edgar & Ellen Bardel Entertainment Delna Bhesania, Barry Ward, Trish Lindsay, Barbara Ferro

3. BEST ANIMATED SHORT SUBJECT

Yellow Sticky Notes Jeff Chiba Stearns

4. BEST DIRECTION in a FEATURE LENGTH ANIMATED PRODUCTION

Barbie as the Island Princess Rainmaker Animation Greg Richardson

5. BEST DIRECTION in an ANIMATED TELEVISION SERIES

Ruby Gloom: Venus de Gloomsville Nelvana LTD Robin Budd

6. BEST MALE VOICE OVER IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE OR TELEVISION PRODUCTION

Lee Tockar George of the Jungle Studio B

7. BEST FEMALE VOICE OVER IN AN ANIMATED FEATURE OR TELEVISION PRODUCTION

Marÿke Hendrikse Johnny Test Cookie Jar Entertainment

8. BEST ORIGINAL MUSICAL SCORE

Bruno and the Banana Bunch Cuppa Coffee Studios Adam Goddard

9. BEST STORYBOARDING

George of the Jungle: Naked Ape Man Studio B Dennis Crawford / Lyn Hart

10. BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN OR ART DIRECTION

Edgar & Ellen: Crushed Bardel Entertainment Greg Huculak and Zoe Evamy

11. BEST WRITING IN AN ANIMATED PRODUCTION

Storm Hawks Nerd Corps Entertainment Rob Hoegee

12. THE ELECTRONIC ART’S AWARD FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL ANIMATED PRODUCTION (Television Series)

Family Guy Fuzzy Door Productions Seth MacFarlane, David A. Goodman, Chris Sheridan, Danny Smith

13.THE INAUGURAL AWARD FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL ANIMATED PRODUCTION (Feature)

Bee Movie: Dreamworks Animation SKG

14. LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD IN ANIMATION

Kai Pindal


ELECTRONIC GAME CATEGORIES

1. THE AUTODESK GAME OF THE YEAR

Mass Effect Bioware/Microsoft Games BioWare

2. BEST CONSOLE GAME

Assassin’s Creed Ubisoft Assassin's Creed Development Team

3. BEST PC GAME

Company of Heroes Relic Entertainment Ian Thomson

4. BEST NEW VIDEO GAME COMPANY
We are honouring two companies this year:

Blue Castle Games Rob Barrett for The Bigs

Slant Six Games Brian Thalken for their Socom U.S. Navy Seals: Tactical Strike

5. BEST SOUND DESIGN IN VIDEO GAMING

Skate Electronic Arts: Audio Director: Lance Brown Sound Designers: Francois Lafleur, Bryan Rennie, Sean Webster, Terry Fairfield

6. BEST ORIGINAL MUSICAL SCORE IN VIDEO GAMING

Assasins Creed Ubisoft Jesper Kyd

7. BEST CHARACTER IN VIDEO GAMING

Commander Shepard (Mass Effect) BioWare/Microsoft Games Drew Karpyshyn

8. BEST ART DIRECTION IN VIDEO GAMING

Mass Effect BioWare/Microsoft Games Derek Watts

9. BEST HANDHELD GAME OF THE YEAR (psp, ds, etc...)

Socom U.S. Navy Seals: Tactical Strike Slant Six Games Brian Thalken

10. BEST GAME DESIGN OF THE YEAR

Mass Effect BioWare/Microsoft Games Preston Watamaniuk

11. BEST MOBILE/CASUAL/ARCADE GAME OF THE YEAR

Skate Electronic Arts David Manriquez

12. BEST WRITING FOR A GAME PRODUCTION
Mass Effect BioWare/ Microsoft Games Drew Karpyshyn

13. THE NOKIA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING INNOVATION IN GAMING

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts Relic Entertainment Josh Mosqueira

14. THE ERNST & YOUNG AWARD FOR INTERNATIONAL VIDEO GAME OF THE YEAR

Crysis Crytek/Electronic Arts USA Cevat Yerli CEO, Crytek

15. VIDEO GAME HALL OF FAME

Don Mattrick


STUDENT ANIMATION AND ELECTRONIC GAME CATEGORIES

1. THE GOVERNMENT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA’S AWARD FOR STUDENT ANIMATED OR MOTION GRAPHIC PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR

Legend of Boruta Emily Carr Institute Bartosz Nowakowski

2. STUDENT GAME OF THE YEAR

Bloom Vancouver Film School Boring Games; Project Manager: Adrian Audet TEAM: Brennan Massicotte, Guilherme Ramos, Mike Wilson, Brian Vidovic

3. BEST ORIGINAL SOUND DESIGN/MUSICAL SCORE FOR AN ANIMATED PRODUCTION OR GAME

Le Building Vancouver Film School Doug Woods

4. BEST Student ART DIRECTION - GAME PRODUCTION

Seas of Europa Vancouver Film School Todd Agnello, David Bowring, Diego Rodriguez Pons,Ryan Stancl

5. BEST STUDENT ART DIRECTION - ANIMATED PRODUCTION

Mano Sinistra Emily Carr Institute Kate Lee

6. BEST STUDENT WRITING FOR AN ANIMATED OR GAME PRODUCTION

Documentary Vancouver Film School Lawrence Chung

7. READY TO ROCKET

Bartosz Nowakowski Emily Carr Institute



The Elans honors and accolades the Electronic and Animated Arts. Its first event in November 2006 was hosted by Hollywood Legend William Shatner. The Elans highlight Canada’s record of exceptional productivity and talent. --"As the Movie Industry goes to Hollywood for its Oscars, so the World of Video Game and Animation will come to Canada for its Elans".

For more information please visit The Elans

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Animation Festivals


Don't keep your animated short films in the shelf, put them out there, send them on a World Wide tour, get acquainted, get famous, and if you are extremely lucky you'll find a Distribution deal.

If you don't have an animated short film yet but are planning to, be sure to have or own what can hurt you the most. The copyrights. Even though you animated the film and its truly yours, an aspect that is typically overlooked is the rights of the music. Without the consent of the author you won't be able to submit it, not even to one festival alone. Plan ahead to either have original music or to contact the author in advance, it takes time to find them and to get a response, a lot of emailing and phone calls.

Festivals are great to attend but if you really want to feel the adrenaline running through your veins, you'll have to attend a festival where your film is being screened, yeup; best feeling in the world. You'll be one of the lucky ones to see the audience's reaction to what you have created. All that hard work! that summer you didn't see the sun, all those frames you treated with so much care and gave all the love in the world. It will finally pay off, *sigh...*.

Then, when you start getting emails from festivals advising that you are in the middle of the competition with some other animated short films, you jump to their website to take a look at your competitors and its clear that yours its better than others, ahh... what a great feeling! there's no doubt that your film will pass to the next selection stage, so long suckers! see you later!, see you in --- the Whaaat? You get another email saying your film didnt' make it to the next stage? what's going on? again you are visiting their website to see who made it, and unfortunately you found out. You watch some of the other films and you can't help but asking How on earth did that short film (if you can even call it like that) beat mine? and here's another one, oh... and there's another one. Who are the judges? What are they thinking? Its unbelievable, they have no appreciation for what animation truly means... What da?

Then you get an email from another festival, your film is officially selected, they send you this crazy thick document with all the specifications that you need to meet for your exhibition copy, BetaSP, DigiBeta, what? 35 mm? that's time consuming and... mega-expensive, where am I going to transfer and... double take!, what whaaat? you need it at 30fps? but film is supposed to be at 24 fps. That means I'll need a 3:2 pulldown, how do I do this? Does that means that all my wonderful inbetweens will be touched electronically?, the animation will lose some fluidity?. ARgg, ease in, ease out, favor this pose, favor the other one. All this intricate work to end like this? *sigh...*.

Oh animation festivals... there are so many now. You will need a budget from $500 to $3000 us dollars for about 50 submissions. This is how you market your film, this is the administration side of animation. Remember to be selective when looking into festivals but not too much, otherwise your film won't make it in. They receive a lot of submissions, thousands of them!

A new online submission system is Withoutabox. Its a great way to apply to a large number of festivals making your life easy with tracking numbers, press kits, dvd's, festival categories, etc. Very cost effective. Thanks Withoutabox!

Animation Festivals are known as a proven method of getting your work "out there", they have a lot of variety ranging from experimental animation with very low cost techniques to more elaborated films using the latest technology. Any film can participate. Go on, show your talents to the world.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Animator Element: Roger Gimenez


1. - How did you hear about Vancouver and its Animation Industry?

I had just finished my contract for the movie “Donkey Xote” in Spain and I sent my demo reel to Vanguard Animation. I was able to travel and live new experiences and I accepted the job offer they gave me.

2. - Was it easy to obtain a Work Permit?

In fact it was very easy. I was surprised. It took about 5 or 6 days. Vanguard did everything so fast.

3. - Can you tell us a bit about the culture at Vanguard Animation?

I think that Vanguard is a kind of a big studio. Adam Wood (ex Pixar animator) was the Animation Director and he brought the Pixar’s know-how to Vanguard. People are from all around the world and there is incredible talent. I really enjoyed working there and I had a very good time. They have a very good relationship with the workers and I wish to come back again some day.

4. - How did you get a job at Ilion Animation Studios?

I started my first contact with Ilion before flying to Vancouver. I sent the same demo reel as I sent to Vanguard. They told me that I was pre-selected for their animation team. It was on March 2007. On August I started the negotiations and finally we got an agreement.

5. - How is it like to work at Ilion?

Ilion is another big studio. We are about 200 people. Nevertheless it is their first film and I think that it needs time to build a philosophy and methods of working. Here, the structure of the animation team works with Leads, one supervisor and one director. We’re always looking for the highest quality of animation and I think we’re doing a great job. We have Dailies twice a day, one in the morning, in the screening room, and the other in the supervisor’s office. Javier Abad (the Animation Director) spends a lot of time in revising the shots and he has a very good eye to get brilliant animation full of sincerity and personality.

6. - What’s it like to jump from City to City and sometimes from Country to Country working for different animation studios?

This is a hard question to answer because I even don’t know how is it like. I mean, sometimes I feel there is a chance for me to grow up as a person and sometimes I feel that I’m tired of moving around so often. That has been my life since I became an animator in 2000. I’ve lived in 5 different cities (4 in Spain and 1 in Vancouver, Canada). So far I’ve had about 15 different homes. This is something that I’m not looking for, but I’m forced to do because here in Europe there’s not a strong animation industry and you can’t stay in one studio no longer than a project. So what I have had to do is trying to get the best project wherever that is. Because of this I’m trying to enjoy this nomad type of life, because it is also great to know different cities, languages, countries, studios and friends.
Of course, you have to forget to build a family (wife and kids), which in some moment can be important in my life.

7. - What are your thoughts about Vancouver as an Animation Destination?

I have never known a city with so many animation studios. It is just the best city for an animator, if love video games or TV series there is already a strong industry being developed. Fortunately, it seems that now Vanguard Animation and Mainframe / Rainmaker are going to do 3D Feature Films which is even better.


8.- Do you mind sharing some of your work with us?

Not at all!

video

Feature Film: "Donkey Xote"
I think that my work in this 3D film made possible for me to land a job in Vancouver to work at Vanguard Animation. This film had a big budget (about 30$ million) in Spain and it was based in Miguel de Cervantes’ book “Don Quijote de la Mancha”. It was made at Bren Entertainment and released in Spain in December 2007.

video

Feature Film: "El Sueño de Una Noche de San Juan" (A Midsummer Night’s Dream).
This is the second film made by Dygra Films in 2005. I did the entire job as a freelance from barcelona, the studio is in the other side of Spain but the communication was very good through Internet. Goya Award in 2005.

video

Feature Film: "P3K Pinocchio 3000".
This movie was a tough one to get in. There was a group of about 30 animators wanting to be part of, after the studio animation tests, it came down to only 5 animators. I think this was crucial for me to get self-confidence and believe in my chances to become an animator. This was my second film after “The living Forest”. We did 2 sequences of the film working with the director in Canada. It won a Goya Award in 2004.

video

TV Series: "Ted Vison".
This is a pilot for a TV series made in Lion Toons (Barcelona) in 2005. It was about a TV host who presented incredible world records.

video

TV Series: "Strech Oh"
This is another pilot for a TV series made at Lion Toons in 2004.

video

Feature Film: "The Living Forest".
This is the first film ever made in Europe in 3D. It was released in 2001. It is based on a book of the same name, which is pretty popular in Spain. The studio is called Dygra Films (La Coruña). This film won the Goya Award (the film Academy Award in Spain) to the best-animated film in Spain.

video

Feature Film: "Nocturna".
This is a 2D animated film; I worked in the 3D animation. I had to do some cat cycles such as: walking, running, jumping, eating, etc. and some other simple animations for a “human” character. The most difficult part of animating the cats was the tail. It had about 20 controllers, its a good example on how a rig can benefit or hinder the animation. The Animator Director gave us rigid rules to achieve what he was looking for. At the time I was a freelance animator for Bren Entertainment. Nocturna was released in October 2007 in Spain.

video

Feature Film: "Pérez, El Ratoncito de Tus Sueños" (The Hairy Tooth Fairy).
This is a film that mixes 3D with live action. It is about a tale that all Spanish children know: a little mouse (called Pérez) comes to your bed at night to exchange your fallen tooth for money. Until now, this is the most successful Spanish animated film and its budget was only 3 million dollars. It was released in 2006 and made at Bren Entertainment (Santiago de Compostela, Spain).

video

Feature Film: "El Cid, La Leyenda" (El Cid, the legend).
This is another 2D film, again I did some 3D animation like horses, humans and 3D cameras. It was made at Bren Entertainment and it got the Goya Award in 2003.


Roger Gimenez is an Animation Mentor Graduate. He has been successfully managing 2 very important skills that every artist should have, strive for a high level of quality on his art and a low level on his ego; allowing people to have opinions and make comments about his work. There is always a better way of doing it, and knowing this keeps Roger plussing and reaching for the best. Roger Gimenez has the humility to change.

If you want to find out more please visit his online portfolio at:
Roger Gimenez Online Portolio

Vancouver Animated News by Mario Pochat