Friday, June 20, 2014

TAAFI 2014 Part 2

Sunday at TAAFI began for me with a panel called Compelling Character Design featuring Dave Cooper, Jessica Borutski and Stephen Silver and hosted by the Guys with Pencils, Andrew Murray and Adam Hines.
L to R: Andrew Murray, Adam Hines, Dave Cooper, Jessica Borutski, Stephen Silver

Dave Cooper talked about drawing from photos and then doing multiple passes on the drawings, each time pushing the caricature and the shapes farther, as a way of warming up. Silver also agreed that figure drawing was fundamental.

The following panel was called Creating Success and was hosted by Mike Valiquette of Canadian Animation Resources and featured Rob Davies, Dave Cooper, Mike Geiger, Michael Rex and Natasha Allegri.
L to R: Mike Valiquette, Rob Davies, Dave Cooper, Mike Geiger, Michael Rex, Natasha Allegri

Each of these people had sold a show and Valiquette questioned them about the paths they followed. Davies is a partner in Atomic Cartoons and one of the creators of Atomic Betty. Cooper started out as a cartoonist and fine art painter before pitching shows and only after Pig Boat Banana Cricket was rejected by Nickelodeon and gathered an audience online did Nickelodeon reverse itself and pick the show up. Mike Geiger had been creating online animation for years. Michael Rex was a children's book illustrator who created a series of graphic novels starring a barbarian in third grade called Fangbone. Natasha Allegri had been doing online comics since high school and was invited to work on Adventure Time as a result. From there, she created the online series Bee and Puppycat. In every case except for Allegri, the shows had been in development for a period of years before getting the green light. A question I should have asked, but didn't, was whether anyone on the panel retained part ownership of the copyright of their projects and whether they had any share of ancillary rights such as merchandising.
L to R: Steve Wolfhard, Vera Brosgal, Michael Rex, Jason Thompson

Make Comics! featured Steve Wolfhard (Cat Rackham), Vera Brosgal (Anya's Ghost) and Michael Rex (Fangbone) and was moderated by Jason Thompson (The Art of Dad).  All three of the panelists work in animation: Wolfhard on Adventure Time, Brosgal at Laika and Rex on the forthcoming Fangbone series.  For Wolfhard, comics were a way to create personal work away from a day job.  Brosgal talked about how her graphic novel was a way to deal with her experiences as an immigrant and Rex created the graphic novel as part of his day job creating children's books but it got optioned for a series.

My final event of the day was a screening of Student Shorts.  Seven countries were represented, which speaks well for the quality of animation education around the world.  Overboard used a sailing analogy to talk about the production of animated films.  It was directed by Paul Zeke at the Vancouver Film School.  Harald, directed by Moritz Schneider, is a cgi film about a wrestler with a mother/manager from hell. Floating in My Mind is a beautiful film by Hélène Leroux, but I don't know if the baloon metaphor is properly worked out.  Chili Con Carne by Philippe Rolland is funny and ends with a very sick joke.  The Sugar Bugs is an epic by John Kim about bacteria.  There were two films by Sheridan grads: Backwards Cat Goes to the Vet by Tanya Kozak and Bringing up Bigfoot by Edward Coughlin.

EXTRAIT : Philippe Rolland "Chili con carne" from Ecole Emile Cohl on Vimeo.

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