Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Storyboarding workshop at City and Guild's

I went back to City and Guild's of London Art School this month to teach the new students. This year, I decided to hold a workshop that was closer to my practice and that would give the students the opportunity to get introduced to a subject that they had not been exposed to before. I had one day and a half with each group of twenty students, and so in that time i decided to teach an intensive storyboarding workshop.
The students had to write a short story to begin with, which they then exchanged with their classmates. After getting introduced to basic film theory and terminology, they had to create a storyboard that endorsed all the subjects we had introduced during the class. I talked to them through the differences of scenes and shots, where to place the camera, the importance of sound, and gave them a short film screening, including graduation films from the 80's until today that cover different animation and most importantly, storytelling techniques.

Animasyros Festival

This year i was invited by the organizers of Animasyros International Animation Festival in Greece to attend the festival as a member of the Jury, as last year i was awarded the Grand Prix at the festival. I was very honoured by the invitation and very happy i could go back to Greece, seeing I don't get to go back so often since my parents moved away. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet some lovely people, watch some wonderful films, and feel some warmth on my skin, after a rainy summer in London...

The festival takes place in the beautiful island of Syros, in the heart of the Cyclades, between 4 days. I arrived late on a Thursday evening, and I had 3 days of films, sun and fresh fish to enjoy with the other great members of the jury, Juergen Haas, Patrick Smith and Eva Stefani. Juergen is a professor in animation at the university of Luzern, in Switzerland, while Patrick teaches at the NYU and in Singapore and Eva teaches Theatre Studies in the University of Athens.

Although our main occupation was watching the films, we had the opportunity to take a dip in the Aegean, and have some nice meals together in the sun. We only wished the festival was slightly longer so we could have enjoyed a few more days of summer...!

Thankfully, we all agreed on which films we wanted to award, and so we gave the prizes to the following filmmakers: The Best Student Film was awarded to Korean film maker Song E Kim, for her film 'Bite of the Tail', produced in the US. We thought that the design of the film was fantastic, but also the use of symbolism and the atmosphere that Song created was wonderful. We also loved '366 Days' by Johannes Schiehsl, produced in Germany, but as we could only award one film, we had to give him the Honourable Mention for Student Film. I personally could have given that film the Grand Prix, as it was so complete, honest and simple. I hope Johannes puts the full film up online soon for us to watch it again as it is a real treat!

The Best International Film was awarded to a film that made us laugh like no other in the festival, due to its wonderfully appropriate context and its simple and effective humour. The film is called 'A Furtive Tear' and is a US production by Carlo Vorgele. Finally, we awarded the Honourable Mention to a French and Canadian production by Frank Dion, 'Edmond was a donkey', which had such a subtle design and rhythm, and was so beautiful and powerful. Finally, we awarded an honourable mention to Eleni Miltsi for her film 'Abeyance'.

Here are some pictures from our lovely time in Syros, with the guys from the Jury and Maria Anestopoulou, the festival organizer.

WWF Cursor Swarm

This summer, Dave Dan and I were contacted as Moth by Aimaq Von Lobenstein agency in Berlin, in order to make a short film for the WWF in Germany. We were instantly very excited at the idea of collaborating with the WWF and created a pitch combining their initial ideas for the film and our personal input and narrative style.
The film is a call to sign a petition against overfishing in European seas. As the WWF states, "For 30 years Europe’s Fisheries Ministers have made poor decisions that have resulted in overfishing, sending our fishing industry into decline. If this continues we will bankrupt our oceans and our fishing economy". The vote against overfishing will take place on the 20th of November.
We were very happy to hear that the film helped raising a lot of awareness and that EU politicians have already contacted the WWF to talk about their proposals. We hope that they will make the right decision next month, but until then, you still have time to watch it and to sign the petition at either the German or the UK website. The German one is decorated with our illustrations too!


WWF Cursor Swarm from Moth on Vimeo.

We worked on the film during August and September, in a lovely studio we rented out just for the purpose of this project. The studio space was kindly given to us by Sparkle Animation, where we got in our dear friends Matthias Hoegg and Mikey Please, to help us out with animation and compositing for two weeks. James Hatley, Daniela Negrin Ochoa and Kristian Andrews also helped us with animation. Most importantly though we had the chance to work with Marian Mentrup, also a good friend of ours that we had never had the chance to collaborate until this project, who did a fantastic job with the music and that we couldn't thank more.  

Motionographer did a little feature on the film, where you can read more about the production and see the full list of credits. 

BBC Science Series Pitch

In July we were contacted as Moth to do a pitch for the new BBC Science Series. We didnt win it, but we did get through the last round! Here are some stills i designed for them and that i wanted to share as i enjoyed making them!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Mountain animation

Mountain was launched online this week, so i can finally post it here too. I was responsible for the animation of the two market ladies, the computer boys, the girlfriend, and the hikers in the end.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Work at Studio AKA

I spent 5 weeks back at Aka in June and July, helping my friend Dave out with his beautiful new film 'Mountain'. The film was produced for Sicaf, and should be online by the end of this month for everybody to enjoy! I really enjoyed working on it and learning Flash properly, and i had the opportunity to work on some lovely character animation. I went back last week for a few days to help Kristian out too with his new project, where i had to animate cats! I dont have a still for that yet, but here is a still from 'Mountain'.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Work at Nexus

I spent three months at Nexus, from February until April, working on a great project directed by Johnny Kelly for Google/Avis. Except for the pleasure of working on such an interesting project, i had the chance to work with a great time of illustrators and animators that Johnny so successfully put together, resulting in us being very upset about that project ending! We kind of hung around the studio in the last week not wanting to part from each other, but they eventually made us leave...!

The brilliant team comprised of fellow Kingston animators Joe Sparrow, Tom Bunker, Jack Cunningham and Joe Bichard, compositor Dylan White, illustrators Michael Kirkham and Laurie Hastings, Jens Blank, Felix Massie, and finally young James Hatley who was doing his interneship there with us.

Here is a picture of us at the last day of the project. The animation was mainly done using Photoshop and After Effects and some stills and animation will hopefully be available to show shortly!

Teaching at AUCB and City and Guilds

I had the chance to do some more teaching this year back at City and Guilds of London Art School, with their Foundation students. I first taught them for a week in September 2011, introducing all the new students in their first week of college to different drawing exercises. We mainly worked on line and movement, while their other teachers concentrated on shading and structure.

I went back to teach the Design group twice in December 2011 and January 2012. It was a great pleasure seeing them again but also seeing their progress and their drawing evolving into their personal styles. We worked with wonderful models Zoe and Lydia, to create compositions around the themes of nature and childhood. The students were asked to bring props and to decorate the models and the environment that they then had to draw. We had 4 fun days of tea cups, high heels, balloons, skulls, roses, lacy dresses, cupcakes, bicycles, and The Cure.

In February i was invited to The Arts University College in Bournemouth, to give a presentation of my work to the students, teach them life drawing and give them tutorials with their final year BA and MA projects. I was so pleased to meet such an enthusiastic group of students, who are producing very professional and organized work. Their show is on Friday morning at the Bfi in Southbank, and i can't wait to see it!

Here are some pictures from the life room at City and Guilds. Thank you girls for such a wonderful class!

Crane TV feature

Last year, we were asked by Crane TV if we would like to make a little film as Moth Collective to feature on their website this February. Dan, Dave and I drove down to Dungeness with the lovely crew of Crane Tv, and had a beautiful and creative day out, taking pictures, filming, and doing some stop frame animation. The day ended with a well deserved fish and chips dish, and a short stop in Rye, where we met our good old friend Silas! The final piece is a live action documentary about our collective, however we added some animation in some of the shots. I animated some creatures coming out of some abandoned buckets we found on the seaside...

Worldwider Art Project

A few months ago i took part in the Worldwider Art Project, a project set up by my dear friend Sean Davies. Worldwider is a network of collaborative art projects between artists from all over the world, that hopes to explore different cultures, views and opinions through various forms of art, and to break down barriers such as distance and language. I was sent a sketchbook, where every page was illustrated by a different artist and where i had to continue the story they had created. Here is a link to their website, and the illustration I made for them. http://www.worldwiderart.com

Bolivian Instruments

I was asked to make some drawings of traditional Bolivian instruments, to accompany the text of a book written about Bolivia. Here are two of them that i liked the most.

TIQ London Animation

Earlier this year, i collaborated with my friends Sara Muzio and Daniela Negrin Ochoa on an animated promo for Lend Lease, promoting their new development, The International Quarter, in the London 2012 Olympic site. Dani and I worked on storyboarding, designing (characters and backgrounds), and animating the film, while Sara wrote the script and directed the project. Here is the final piece, some designs and a few pages of an early version of the storyboard.