I’ve just returned from Newfoundland once again and I’m excited to show off the latest masterpiece of the 2009 “2D in 2Days” kids’ workshop!
This year we had 8 participants, ages 12 and 13.
2 Days of animation began with flipbooks and learning the basic concepts of animation. After lunch we split up into two groups and brainstormed short story ideas for our stop-motion films! We built characters and sets by the end of day 1, and day 2 was full of animating and problem solving!
During all of that there were many bouncing super balls, balloons, bubbles and cartoons to watch.
These guys did a really great job.
To see more workshop masterpieces, click here:
Nagasaki Circus can now be seen (minus the beautiful, dancing credits) on Bravo!Fact’s website:
It was great to see it aired!
I’ll soon be off to Newfoundland for the 20th St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival.
This year I’ll be moderating another kids’ workshop and I’ve created another opening “signature film” for the 2009 festival screenings.
This Friday, October 9th 2009, at 8PM
Saturday, October 10th 2009, 8AM
on Bravo!FACT Presents, watch my “Nagasaki Circus”!
“ Bravo!FACT Presents EP: 505 The Word’s The Thing 2009
The Word’s the thing in this week’s episode of Bravo!FACT Presents, with 5 new shorts celebrating the literary arts. The Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s acclaimed production of Bartholomew Fair features music by ex-Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page; Jordan Scott’s verbal tic informs his poetry in Stutter; puppets bring the words of author Martin Ewen to life in Nagasaki Circus; and writing meets animation in Tanya Davis’ How to Be Alone and John Robert Colombo’s Recipe for a Canadian Novel.”
Follow the link for Bravo’s schedule:
Put on your Sunday best, get out a lawn chair and a giant foam finger! It’s a special event!
First and foremost, I’d like to announce that “Nagasaki Circus” aired on BRAVO last night, Oct. 4th, 2009. I didn’t, myself, see it, but I’ve been told. Happy day for “Nagasaki Circus”! Sad day for the cast and I missing it.
For those wishing to watch “Nagasaki Circus” on the big screen, it’ll be showing up in a couple new venues this fall.
First, check out the Pleasure Dome screening in Toronto.
I recently attended the lovely holiday party (since we, in the professional PC world no longer say “Chr-r-r-ristmas”) of BookShorts, Moving Stories Film Festival, and Pages Books TINARS (This is Not a Reading Series). It was the last stop of the nationally touring Moving Stories Film Festival, in which my film screened with a consistently pleasant reaction.
The Hollywood theme gave me an excuse to wear my nice jewelery and pose in a photo with a gun, and the season gave me an excuse to create a new batch of Frankin Toys, to give to producer Judith Keenan.
Read my instructional post on “How to build a Frankin Toy”.
(I just wanted to say the word, “bust”. I’m cheeky like that.)
I’ve recently arrived home from two days at the Ottawa Writer’s Festival where I discovered Artistic Director, Sean Wilson has the exact same head as Rick Mercer. Not the same face, mind you. Just the cranium. The shape, the hair, and the disproportionately child-like size. It was pretty cool, I must say.
I was actually in Ottawa for three days, the first being made up of a lovely evening out at McDonald’s with my “Little Brother Figure”, Aaron Bradford. I’m pretty sure he’ll thoroughly hate this paragraph. When I first met Bratworst he was in high school, with long, blue hair, and had just let his friends shave his eyebrows off. He said, “They made me.” but I highly doubt they physically pinned him down. People called him “Marilyn Manson” for a year. Now Bradford is all grow’d up, I suppose, and not actually that much younger than me, now. He has a good hair cut, he can grow a full beard, he wears pants that fit and he has begun showering regularly. It’s working for him. Back in the early days when I knew little about animation and Bradford knew little about changing his pants, I starred him in a video series for a large Youth organization. It was called, “Bradford’s Magic Photo Album“.
Evening #2 for me involved a screening of the Moving Stories Film Festival and a very friendly Hospitality Room. Paul (Quarrington) had arrived at the Hospitality Room earlier in the day and thought it very inhospitable that it was closed.
I enjoyed hearing an audience respond to my film that evening, although it was very noticeable that we were at a writer’s festival, and not a film fest. Nobody claps at readings and thus, nobody clapped at the films. …It felt kind of like church. I did, however, hear one person sheepishly air-clap and whisper, “woo-woo” after mine. That rocked.
I met Charles Hodgson, of Podictionary.com, the pod cast which explores a word root every day! I now have a CD and a book I am very interested in delving into. It’s not often you meet a real, live etymologist. In fact, it’s not often I use the word “etymology”. Where does that word come from? Charles would know!
Day #3 was for masterclasses. I attended “Adapting Books: From Page to Screen” with Judith Keenan and Paul Quarrington, moderated by Tom Shoebridge. Intriguing, entertaining, and informative.
Quarrington was trying to salvage his voice for a concert that evening with his band, The PorkBelly Futures, so his comments and answers were interspersed with swigs of Buckley’s Cough Syrup.
From six to seven I attended my own masterclass workshop, entitled, “Animating Books: From Page to Screen”. I was joined by Gary Thomas of Crush Inc. and it was moderated by Chris Robinson, Artistic Director of the Ottawa Int. Animation Festival. (Who, by the way, if he reads this post because of the Google alert that comes with the tag, is NOT a “Cranky Fart”. You heard it here.)
I really enjoyed being on the small panel of two, but only wished it could have gone longer. We screened our work and that took up some time. I realized once we were up there that both Gary and I are animation cheaters. I mean, our current, featured work was barely “animation” at all (not that we don’t animate, but what we were showing involved a lot of live-action). But then, perhaps animation by its nature is “cheating”. Yep. That’s what I’ll say. And if you disagree, you can fight me.
Then on to a nap, during which I was not able to sleep, in spite of my cushy hotel bed (two of them, actually. I love the superfluous second beds.) I wasn’t able to fall asleep on either of them.
I got up and eagerly jotted off to the big show, “Writers That Rock”, with a lovely line-up, including the most creativity I’ve seen in some long time by the hilarious Bob Wiseman (Keep an ear to the ground for his live performances, wherever you might be), and closing off with the PorkBelly Futures with Paul Q., who, by this time had a line-up of throat medications displayed for the audience, taking appropriate swigs and drops and suppositories, depending on the difficulty of the given song.
Despite his struggle to stay coherent and conscious (enough Buckley’s will do that to you), they all sounded great.
As the evening wrapped up and people headed out to be hospitable, I tried that “sleeping” thing again, with some success.
And that’s that.
Now it’s time for one of those “real jobs”, I guess.
Until the next festival…
Just one click away lies the masterpiece of the “2D in 2Days” workshop kids!
Over two days, seven kids, ages eleven to thirteen worked on flipbooks and claymation to come up with this:
I’m pretty proud of them, if I do say so myself (and I do).
My [now annual] excursion to St. John’s NFLD was, as usual, a lovely time. I’ve found that in every trip to The Rock I seem to get tricked into being educated, in some way or another. This year at the St. John’s Int. Women’s Film Festival was no exception. From Irish sailors stopping in to port, to films about Holy Heart High School, to dark comedies about Newfoundland life — everything seems to be crammed full of culture. Everything also seems to be uphill and against the rain.
I ate cod tongue.
I have yet to be screeched in.
I spent Oct. 11th and 12th with seven junior high students, creating animation flipbooks and claymation shorts for the festival-sponsored workshop, “2D in 2Days”. I was truly impressed by the quality and understanding of animation these guys achieved in only two days and it excited me to try the workshop again. I had planned it all out two years ago, but this was my first time seeing it through to fruition.
The morning of Sunday, Oct 12th was spent in the CBC radio studio, with Angel Antle, on the Weekend Arts Magazine, talking of workshops, festivals, films (specifically mine, “Nagasaki Circus”) and fire eating.
Then, a little break and on to the festival! I actually got rather distracted during most of the festival and missed a great deal of the films and workshops I had wanted to attend. I ended up starting a flipbook of my own, having been inspired by my kids from the previous week, and I hid away for most of the week.
“Nagasaki Circus” screened on the 17th with the Moving Stories Film Festival, within the St. John’s Festival — A festival within a festival. Like an onion. Or a parfait.
Luckily, I missed my flight home because I was too busy dancing atop of Signal Hill with filmmaker, Irene Duma, so I was able to attend the closing ceremonies and the after party where I was able to meet people I had hidden from all week and shove some helium balloons down my shirt. See? It all works out.
I then garnered a solid three hours of sleep, woke up while the others were still wrapping up the party, and I caught my next flight off that precious stone.
Here’s what you should expect next:
I will be on the panel of one of these masterclasses, “Animating Books: From Page to Screen”
Come to the screening Wednesday, October 22, 7:00 PM, at Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street
Tickets, passes and info: 613.562.1243.
The brilliantly written and puppeted “Nagasaki Circus” will be screened, along with many others, including Paul Quarrington’s “Pavane”, which is a short adaptation of (or alternate angle to) his latest Gillar long-listed novel, “The Ravine”.
The “Animating Books: From Page to Screen” masterclass with Rachel Peters and Gary Thomas, Hosted by Chris Robinson, and Presented with the Ottawa Animation Festival will be held Thursday, October 23, 6:00 PM.
For more information about the Writers’ Festival and all of its events, visit: www.writersfestival.org
I’ve got MY bus ticket. Do you?
I’ve spent the last year creating 6 minutes of film entitled “Nagasaki Circus”.
My longest work yet (I am a commercial maker) was written by a cynical, stilt-walking mime named Martin “Lurk” Ewen.
Martin, a mime, turned out to be one of the most articulate human beings I’ve ever encountered (innately poetic, no?) and upon reading his short story of the same name, I couldn’t help but want to try to do it justice in film.
The story sat in my mind for close to a year, searching for a style and a medium worthy of its surreal nature, and then I discovered Lee Zimmerman and his hypnotic marionette show.
I believe Lee was the piece of the puzzle that brought us all together. We all knew each other from the variety performance community, which created a great dynamic. In variety performance, there’s about a half-a-degree of separation from everyone else. I love my hippy world. I’m glad it was able to successfully cross over into my other hippy world.
Eventually the project was taken on by executive producer, Judith Keenan and Bookshorts and we ended up with funding and encouragement from Bravo!FACT as well as the National Film Board of Canada.
This was my second film with the National Film Board’s involvement and I hope it’s the sign of a long lasting relationship.
The final piece is now touring with the Moving Stories Film Festival and will be submitting to other film festivals shortly. Bravo!FACT has graciously let us hold off on airing the film until the summer of 2009 so that we can get the most out of our festival endeavors.
To read more about “Nagasaki Circus”, see what The Moving Stories Film Festival has to say in their press release.
Also, be sure to take a look at the Moving Stories tour schedule to see when it might be passing through your area!