Last year we finally launched our first ever Animation Industry Event – something we’d been wanting to do for a very long time. It was a great success and thanks to Creative Skillset (Skillset back then!) we were able to bring to the fore, four hot topics in the world of animation. With the varied and informed input of a huge number of animation industry speakers, we were lucky enough to be able to open up to the floor, so that you would have your chance to get answers to your questions. You can read a little more about last year’s event here
This year, well frankly it would be rude not to dive straight back in and so we’ve teamed up once again with Saint John Walker of Creative Skillset to bring you another Animation Industry Event. A new selection of Speakers (and some familiar faces from last year too) will impart their wisdom on three new topics: the future of animation in the UK; animated documentaries; and animated film titles. The fourth area, dear to the heart of team LIAF is (drum-roll) ‘sound’ – we covered it last year, it was so good, we’re going in again as there’s just so much ground to be covered.
So without further ado, below you’ll find the full run down to-date of what will be under the LIAF microscope this year, lots of details on our fantastic panel of speakers and links to get your tickets!
LIAF Animation Industry Event: To finity and beyond: The future of animation in the UK
Friday 2 October, 10:00
Government Tax breaks are heralded making the UK a different place to do animation business. Aardman themselves proclaimed the tax credit would be “transformational” for the industry. So what are the implications for animation companies, freelancers and educators alike. Are we prepared? Will there be a trickle down effect, or will big business be the only ones to gain? Are we just talking about well known brands returning to these shores (Thomas the Tank Engine from Canada, Bob the builder from the US, Noddy from Ireland) or are we looking at a new renaissance of animation innovation, exploiting new technologies and intellectual property to create the next peppa pig or harry potter.
We assemble together a group of campaigners, studio heads and educators to paint a picture of the industry in five years time.
Chaired by Saint John Walker, Creative Skillset
Miles Bullough, Independent Media Consultant, ex Head of Broadcast, Aardman Animations
Miles Bullough has been an executive producer in the kids and entertainment industries for 20 years. Until recently he was Head of Broadcast at Aardman Animations where he executive produced ‘Wallace and Gromit’, ‘Shaun The Sheep’, ‘Creature Comforts’, ‘Timmy Time’ and many other multi-award winning shows. Prior to Aardman, Miles was MD of Absolutely Productions where he executive produced ‘Trigger Happy Television’, C4’s ‘Armstrong & Miller’, ‘The Jack Docherty Show’, ‘Stressed Eric’ and many other highly regarded comedy shows. Before that Miles worked for management company IPH Westhall Ltd for whom he line-produced, most notably, series one of ‘The Word’ for Charlie Parsons, ‘As Time Goes By’ for DL Taffner and several other entertainment, kids and factual series. Miles is married and has a 16 year old daughter, lives in Bristol with his family and is currently acting as an Independent Media Consultant while fundraising for a new, Bristol-based venture in comedy and new media. When not at his laptop Miles might be found stalking the jazz clubs of Bristol or cycling round North Somerset.
Marion Edwards, VP Production at HIT Entertainment
Marion Edwards is a veteran of the UK animation industry with over 15 years experience. In 2008 she joined HiT Entertainment where she is currently Group Director, Production a role that has involved overseeing the move to CGI for such iconic brands as ‘Thomas & Friends’, ‘Bob the Builder’ and Fireman Sam. She is also Executive Producer of the upcoming CGI series ‘Mike the Knight’ which will debut in Autumn 2011. Prior to joining HiT Entertainment, Marion ran her own production and consultancy company, Red & Blue Productions. During this period she co-produced the award-winning pre-school series ‘Fun with Claude’ with the UK’s Dot To Dot Productions. The series is currently airing on Playhouse Disney in the UK and ZDF in Germany. Before setting up Red & Blue, Marion was Managing Director of Telemagination, one of Europe’s largest 2-D animation studios. During this period she executive produced shows such as ‘The Cramp Twins’, ‘Metalheads’ and ‘Pongwiffy’ and received two BAFTA nominations.
Ken Anderson, Creative Director and Executive Director at August Media Holdings, CEO Red Kite
A BAFTA award winning producer with over 20 years’ experience in the animation industry; Ken Anderson oversees all development and production for Singapore based August Media, now parent to Red Kite Animations. Ken co-founded Red Kite in Edinburgh, in 1997, and has since led the company to become one of the foremost children’s and animation production companies in the UK, responsible for hit series such as ‘Dennis and Gnasher’, ‘The Imp’ and ‘The Secret World of Benjamin Bear’.
Gary Thomas Associate Director, Animate Projects; Film Adviser, British Council
Gary Thomas is a Film Adviser at the British Council, the UK’s cultural relations agency that works promote British film internationally, where he leads on animation and also oversees the British Council’s work in film in the UK, East Asia and China. He also works as Associate Director at Animate Projects, an arts charity that champions experiment in animation (www.animateprojects.org). He was previously Head of Moving Image at Arts Council England. He initiated and coordinates Animation Alliance UK, advocating for the support of independent animation, and lobbying for investment in production, training and archive.
LIAF Animation Industry Event: Moving Documentaries: animation, truth and lies
Friday 2 October, 14:00
Animation is associated with the surreal and fantastic, but also has a long and distinguished history in documentary, from Winsor McKay’s 1918 12-minute-long film The Sinking of the Lusitania, to Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir exactly 90 years later. Persuasive, illustrative and able to get over abstract details in attractive and compelling ways, animation is still being used to document someone’s version of the truth, from propaganda to imagined visualisation of the microscopic or unseen in medical and architectural visualisation.
How do animation documentary makers describe their practice, and what is special about the medium? Can the use of animation in documentaries always be justified? Is the agenda about accessibility, or dumbing down?
Chaired by Saint John Walker, Creative Skillset.
Samantha Moore, independent film maker, Animator, Senior Lecturer in Animation at University of Wolverhampton
Samantha Moore’s animated docs include; ‘Success with Sweet Peas’ (2003), ‘doubled up’ (2004) for Channel 4 television and Arts Council England and ‘The Beloved Ones’ for the UK Film Council and Screen WM. In 2010 she made ‘An Eyeful of Sound’, for the Wellcome Trust, about synaesthesia. It won an award “for Scientific Merit” from the journal Nature at the Imagine Science Film Festival in New York, the Best Animation/Experimental film award at the Scinema Science Film Festival in Australia and a Diploma for Documentary at the Flip Animation Festival UK. This year she finished ‘Shadow Stories’ for Shrewsbury Art Gallery and Museum. Samantha teaches animation at the University of Wolverhampton and is studying for a PhD by practice at the University of Loughborough. Her PhD subject is about representing internal brain states through animated non-fiction, and she is currently making work about prosopagnosia (face-blindness) and phantom limb syndrome.
Patrick Jenkins, Artist, Animator, Film Director at Patrick Jenkins Studio
Patrick Jenkins is an award-winning artist, animator and documentary filmmaker. His recent film ‘Sorceress’ (2012) was shown in competition at this year’s LIAF, the Melbourne International Animation Festival, Melbourne, Australia, and BE FILM (The Underground Film Festival), New York, U.S.A. His previous film ‘Tara’s Dream’ won both Second Prize and Best Animation Prize at the 2010 Toronto Urban Film Festival. His film ‘Amoeba’ won first prize at the 2010 Toronto Animated Image Society Showcase. His film ‘Inner View’ (2009), an animated homage to the art of Canadian artist Kazuo Nakamura was an Official Selection of Animafest, in Zagreb, Croatia in 2010. His film ‘Labyrinth’ (2008), a surreal detective story, won 1st place in the Independent, 6 to 30 Minutes Category, at the 2009 KAFI Festival and 3rd Prize for animation at the 2010 Be Film Festival in New York City and was included in the dvd the Highlights of LIAF 2009. His documentaries, ‘Of Lines And Men: The Animation Of Jonathan Amitay’ and ‘Death Is In Trouble Now: The Sculptures Of Mark Adair’ premiered on BRAVO! Television in October 2007. His film ‘The Skateboarder’ premiered at the 2005 Montreal World Film Festival and was shown at the 2005 Ottawa International Animation Festival and the prestigious 2006 Annecy Animation Festival in Annecy, France. His documentary film ‘RALPH: Coffee, Jazz and Poetry, The Poetry of Ralph Alfonso’ premiered at the 2001 Montreal World Film Festival and was broadcast on CBC Television’s Canadian Reflections and BRAVO! Television.
Tim Webb, senior tutor at Royal College of Art
Tim Webb was born in Shropshire in 1960. On leaving school secondary school he completed a 5-year apprenticeship in Dental Technology before returning to full time art education in 1982. On completion of an Art foundation course in Shrewsbury, Webb gained a First Class BA in animation at The West Surrey College of Art (now University for the Creatve Arts – Farnham). From 1986, Webb has been working in animation. His graduation film was an animated documentary/diatribe about the politics of smoking. The film was influenced by Peter Taylor’s book ‘The Smoke Ring’ (1984). This film helped in gaining his big break. ‘A is For Autism’, was commissioned by Clare Kitson for a season of programmes on disability, screened in1992. The film continues to be shown in many festivals and resulted in Tim’s first offer as visiting tutoring work at Farham. This evolved into work in many other BA courses and eventually Webb took up his current post as Senior Tutor at the Royal College of Art in 1996.
Jonathan Hodgson, Animation Director, Sherbet, Programme Leader BA (Hons) Animation, Middlesex University
Jonathan Hodgson is a BAFTA winning animator based in London. He directed the animation for Franny Armstrong’s feature length climate change documentary ‘Age of Stupid’, which had a worldwide cinema release in 2009. Educated at Liverpool School of Art and Royal College of Art, he worked as a freelance animation director at many London animation studios before setting up Sherbet with producer Jonathan Bairstow in 1996. His early 2D animation was quite experimental and largely based on observation and personal experience. Most of his more recent work has been in the area of documentary animation. He has won numerous international awards, directed dozens of television commercials and created motion graphics for several television series. In addition, he was an art director on the children’s animated series Charlie and Lola. He combines filmmaking with teaching and somehow finds time to be the Programme Leader for BA Animation at Middlesex University. His most recent film ‘Wonderland: The Trouble with Love and Sex’ is the first full-length animated documentary on British television and was broadcast on BBC2 and BBC HD on 11th May 2011.
LIAF Animation Industry Event: In a world… the art of animated film titles
Saturday 3 October, 10:00
Type ‘Animated Title Sequence’ into Google and you’ll get 2,150,000 results which is a measure of the popularity and impact it has. Distilling a movie or tv series offer into a few seconds needs skills in storyboarding, editing, and an acute understanding of the audiences tolerances and expectations. Take the Bond films as an example, and how they evolved, and how the audience’s expectations were raised each time, making it a status symbol to be asked to make one. For something so short there are often large teams and sometimes large budgets, and always large pressures.
We look under the bonnet of the film title sequence; and ask leading proponents how you get commissioned, who is in control, what are the pressures, and how much creative leeway do you have?
Chaired by Saint John Walker, Creative Skillset.
Paul Donnellon, creative director and animation director, VooDooDog.
Paul Donnellon, originally from Dublin, studied animation and graphic design at Dun Laoighaire College of Art and Design. Paul moved to London to work with TVC, the company who animated the Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ and ‘The Snowman’. Paul’s first animation work was seen in 1986 on Raymond Briggs’ ‘When the Wind Blows’. From 2000 to 2002 Paul worked at the Oscar winning company The Mill as the consultant director of 3D animation. He also directed several commercials for The Mill for clients JWT and BBDO New York. Since then he has established his own company VooDooDog with his producer David Obadiah. In 2005 Paul was nominated for an EMMY for his outstanding animated title sequence design and direction for the Golden Globe winning feature film ‘The Life and Death of Peter Sellers’. He also won the WORLD GOLD MEDAL at the New York Festivals for his outstanding direction of an animated title sequence. Paul’s feature film work for Working Title Films include his award winning animated title sequence for Emma Thompson’s film ‘Nanny McPhee’ and graphic sequence ‘Smokin Aces’. Paul has been commissioned by Channel 4 and the Royal Ballet to direct a stop motion film of Swan Lake due for transmission 2014.
Nic Benns, Momoco
Nic Benns is the co-founder, along with Miki Kato, of film design studio, Momoco. The firm has been making main titles and commercials for 12 years, gaining international recognition for its sequences. Nic has collaborated on theatrical opening sequences with directors such as Richard Curtis, Stephen Daldry, Lasse Halstrom, Kevin Spacey and recently Dustin Hoffman. His aesthetic is cinematic, texturally rich and layered. Film Credits include ‘Contraband’, ‘Salmon Fishing In The Yemen’, ‘The Three Musketeers’, ‘One Day’, ‘An Education’, ’30 Days of Night’, ‘Alien vs Predator’ and ‘Love Actually’. TV Credits include ‘Ripper Street’, ‘Misfits’, ‘Luther’, ‘The Fades’, and ‘Great Expectations’ for which he won the EMMY in 2012 for Outstanding Main Titles. His 30 minute Sci-Fi film, ‘Copelia’, starring Vincent Regan, Ralph Brown and Olivia Williams, was shown internationally and won awards in various festivals including best VFX.
Maria Manton Producer and Director at Munky
Maria Manton has over twenty-two years experience producing animation, live action and special effects. Her love for filmmaking has led to her working with almost every type of animation style and film making technique. She’s produced literally hundreds of commercials, and to date 13 multi International award winning short films – awards including many BAA’s, a BIFA and a BAFTA nomination. Maria has also produced cult TV and online series, branding and TV & film title sequences. Maria has produced at a number of the UK’s leading animation companies and in 2000 she co-founded Slinky Pictures, which she also ran for its award winning decade, as well as producing the majority of Slinky’s diverse output over that time. Maria has also produced many music videos as well as tour content, including the entire visual content for the U2 Elevation Tour and a film for live screening at the World Cup 2010 Kick Off Party. In addition to developing feature length projects, Maria has also found time to direct, her work includes the Bull animation for the feature, ‘Bunny and The Bull’, and, most recently, she was Animation Director on a special short for The Chapman Brothers. Maria is an occasional lecturer at The NFTS and The RCA, and often sits on juries for Film Festivals and BAFTA.
LIAF Animation Industry Event: Sound in the Frame
Anyone who works in animation knows the impact sound and music makes to an animated project – but just how important are their contribution in the making of an animated film? This session will be a general discussion, with examples of the influence of these two elements in the creation of an animation project.
Chaired by Mark Ashworth Senior Sound Designer, Sound Editor
Saturday 3 October, 14:00
Mark Ashworth, Senior Sound Designer, Sound Editor
Mark Ashworth is UK based and heads the team at Erect Spider. He is an experienced Sound Designer, Musician, Technician and a Head of Department. Mark started his career as an established Artist in the genre of drum and bass and ran 3 record labels as well as a recording Artist during this ten year period, then through a love and passion of film expanded his creative talents into the field of film and in particular Sound Design and Sound Editing. Teaming up with long term friend and Film maker Robert Morgan (‘The Cat with Hands’, ‘The Separation’, ‘Bobby Yeah’) together their work has spawned a string of award winning films and most recently been nominated for a BAFTA in 2012. Mark also has a long term side project as a musician with the band ZnO as well as numerous side projects including one musical project with the Quay Brothers scorist Timothy Nelson. Mark so far this year has completed work on Steve Stones directing feature debut ‘Entity’ due for release in 2013. He has also worked on three shorts this year ‘El Armadillo’ by Darren Bransford, childrens animation ‘Paddy the Page‘ by Joe Orton & Daniella Orsini and the short film ‘Smoke’ by Maude Hirst and Sophia Jackson.
Maria Manton Producer and Director at Munky
Maria Manton has over twenty-two years experience producing animation, live action and special effects. Her love for filmmaking has led to her working with almost every type of animation style and film making technique. She’s produced literally hundreds of commercials, and to date 13 multi International award winning short films – awards including many BAA’s, a BIFA and a BAFTA nomination. Maria has also produced Cult TV and online series, branding and TV & Film title sequences. Maria has produced at a number of the UK’s leading animation companies and in 2000 she co-founded Slinky Pictures, which she also ran for its award winning decade, as well as producing the majority of Slinky’s diverse output over that time. Maria has also produced many music videos as well as tour content, including the entire visual content for the U2 Elevation Tour and a film for live screening at the World Cup 2010 Kick Off Party. In addition to developing feature length projects, Maria has also found time to direct, her work includes the Bull animation for the feature, ‘Bunny and The Bull’, and, most recently, she was Animation Director on a special short for The Chapman Brothers. Maria is an occasional lecturer at The NFTS and The RCA, and often sits on juries for Film Festivals and BAFTA.
Ruth Sullivan, Foley Artist
Ruth Sullivan is a Freelance Foley Artist. She has worked on several recent TV dramas such as ‘Misfits’, ‘Ripper Street’, ‘The Paradise’, ‘The Hunted’, ‘Downton Abbey’, ‘Spooks’, ‘Hustle’, ‘Any Human Heart’, ‘Whitechapel’, ‘Merlin’, ‘Case Sensitive’, ‘Inside Men’, ‘Outcasts’, ‘Wild at Heart’, ‘Skins’, ‘Body Farm’ plus animations including ‘Everything’s Rosie’ Series 1 & 2, ‘The 99′, ‘Little Princess’ and ‘The Cat in the Hat’. Films over the years include: ‘Troy’, ‘Eyes Wide Shut’, ‘Mamma Mia!’, ‘Creation’, ‘Proof’, ’28 Days Later’, ’1408′, ‘The World Is Not Enough’ (Golden Reel nomination), ‘Paul’, ‘Death at a Funeral’, ‘Snow Cake’, ‘Keeping Mum’, ‘Still Crazy’, ‘The Hours’, ‘My House in Umbria’, ‘Running Free’ (Golden Reel nomination) and ‘The Life and Death of Peter Sellers’ (Emmy winner).