Wednesday, 7 April 2010

THE TALE OF HOW- The Blackheart Gang

Nine months of part time work gave birth to The Blackheart Gang’s acclaimed short film called, The Tale of How. The Tale of How is the second part of a trilogy of works called the Dodo Trilogy. It is to later be flanked by The Tale of Then and The Tale of When. The Dodo Trilogy, in turn, fits into a much greater work called, The Household.In the The Tale of How we meet a giant octopus with a tree growing in his head, the terror of the Indian ocean , OTTO THE MONSTER! His lonley past time is to devour the innocent dodo’s who lived on his head. We then see the dodo’s unite and with the help of a little white mouse, we saw them escape the clutches of the terrible be-tentacled tyrant and sail off into the sunset on their mother the tree.

The Tale of How consists out of a series of 13 prints and a short animated film.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


PES (born Adam Pesapane, 26 May) is a director and animator of numerous short films and commercials.

Receiving a B.A. in English Literature at the University of Virginia, PES migrated to film as a storytelling medium. His use of everyday objects and stop-motion animation to create original material is instantly recognizable. His work has been recognized in the United States and internationally, especially the short films "Roof Sex", "KaBoom!", "Game Over", and "Western Spaghetti." An early influence on PES's animation style is the work of Czech surrealist Jan Švankmajer.

PES's first animated film, "Roof Sex," features two life-sized chairs having sex on a New York rooftop. Though only a minute long, the film took 20 shooting days to complete. In 2002, "Roof Sex" won the Best First Film award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. "Roof Sex" was featured at over 100 film festivals worldwide and won numerous awards.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

THE CAT CAME BACK- Cordell Barker

Cordell Barker was born in Winnipeg, Canada in 1956. He began his career in 1974 working for Sesame Street and collaborating on a number of commercials. In 1982, he joined the NFB where he made his first film, The Cat Came Back (1988). The short was a huge audience favourite and garnered 16 awards in addition to picking up an Oscar® nomination. He subsequently returned to advertising, directing commercials for major companies (Bell Canada, Nike, Coca Cola, etc.) before returning to filmmaking with Strange Invaders (2001). It turned out to be another sensational hit, winning 16 awards and receiving an Oscar® nomination. Runaway (2009), his third film and third collaboration with the NFB, is likewise an absurd comedy filled with latent social satire. As a filmmaker who focuses on pacing, action and narrative, Cordell Barker enjoys this particular form of expression because it enables him to make the most of his incisive sense of humour.

Saturday, 3 April 2010


Yuriy Borisovich Norshteyn (Russian: Ю́рий Бори́сович Норште́йн), or Yuri Norstein or Yuri Norshtein (born September 15, 1941) is an award-winning Russian animator best known for his animated shorts, Hedgehog in the Fog and Tale of Tales. Since 1981 he has been working on a feature film called The Overcoat, based on the short story by Nikolai Gogol of the same name.
Norshteyn uses a special technique in his animation, involving multiple glass planes to give his animation a three-dimensional look. The camera is placed at the top looking down on a series of glass planes about a meter deep (one every 25–30 cm). The individual glass planes can move horizontally as well as toward and away from the camera (to give the effect of a character moving closer or further away).
Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, Norshteyn's animations were showered with both state and international awards. Then, in a bitter twist of irony, he was fired from Soyuzmultfilm in 1985 for working too slowly on his latest film, a (presumably) feature-length adaptation of Gogol's Overcoat. By that time he had been working on it with his usual small team of three people for two years and had finished ten minutes.


Although not as publicly renowned as his National Film and Television School contemporary Nick Park, Mark Baker has nonetheless garnered Oscar nominations for his animated short films The Hill Farm (1988), The Village (1993) and Jolly Roger (1998), and is widely regarded as one of the leading British animators to emerge since the 1970s. His work typically features a deceptively simple, almost childlike hand-drawn visual style, but this conceals a far more sophisticated, adult-oriented view of the world.

Born in London in 1959, Baker made 8mm animated films in his teens (including The King's Jester, 1978), and studied animation at the West Surrey College of Art and Design, where he made The Three Knights (1982). He then spent a year animating television commercials for Richard Purdum Productions, after which he enrolled at the NFTS to study film animation. There, he spent much of the time making The Hill Farm almost single-handed. Dialogue-free, it depicts three very different groups making use of the same part of the countryside for farming, hunting and camping, and shows a vivid awareness of the essentially cyclical nature of country life. Completed in 1988, in addition to its Oscar nomination it won a BAFTA, the Grand Prix at the Annecy Animation Festival and many other awards - and was also highly praised by the great Russian animator Yuri Norstein.

After graduating in 1989, Baker worked as a freelance animator and director for various companies including TVC, Speedy Films, David Anderson Films and Pizazz Pictures. During this period he also worked on The Village, which Channel Four commissioned following widespread acclaim for The Hill Farm. Completed in 1993, it depicts life in a remote village whose inhabitants spend half the time trying to uncover each other's dark secrets, and the rest ensuring that their own stay buried.

Jolly Roger (1998), a lively romp about a cowardly pirate, was the first of Baker's films to make use of computer animation - though the artwork was originally hand-drawn on paper prior to scanning and digital manipulation. The 13-part BBC children's series The Big Knights (2000), co-directed with Astley, returned to the territory of The Three Knights in its sending-up of traditional chivalric myths. Its vocal cast included Brian Blessed as Sir Morris, whose boisterous enthusiasm compensated for his lack of skill.

More recently, Baker and Astley have catered for even younger audiences in the BAFTA-winning Peppa Pig (2004-) and Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom (2007-). The first, about a cheeky piglet and her family, has been widely acclaimed as a model example of pre-school children's animation, matching genuinely witty scripts to brightly-coloured, childlike designs that nonetheless unmistakably echo Baker's earlier work.

Michael Brooke