Bradford Animation Festival 2014 (thoughts so far)

Up in Bradford for the animation festival, and three days in I’m really enjoying things. I’ve gotten to see some of the guys behind well known animation companies, such as Peter Lord from Aardman, and Mark Shapiro from Laika. There were Q&A sessions with both of them and it’s been really interesting to hear them talk about the industry, it’s ups, it’s downs, and all the sillyness inbetween. Today there was a screening for a short documentary about Claire Jennings, a big producer in the animation world, and she’s produced many films from, “The Snowman” to “Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit”. I never really considered just how important the producer was to the film until this talk, mainly because I’d never really understood what a producer did. But I have to say it got me interested in it, I don’t thing it will be a career path I’ll ever take myself but it definitely has given me a new found respect for people that do produce.

There have also been alot of screenings some by students and some by professionals. My feelings about these animated shorts are…mixed. There are a few I really like but there’s a large amount of them that I don’t really know what to say about them. I will go into a more indepth review in a later post after the festival is over, explaining my feelings about the shorts. But despite my mixed feelings, the ones that really stood out to me, REALLY stood out to me and I’ve gotten alot of inspiration from seeing the work of other people. There were some forms of animation used that I’d never even imagined, like animating the paintings on a wall, or using stop-motion timelapses of dying flowers to simulate a pulse. There were just so many different styles of animation and even if I didn’t like the videos I have to admit that most of the shorts I’ve seen were gorgeously animated.

I’ll be writing a followup to the entire festival after it’s over, and I hope to see more great animations!