Saturday, May 31, 2008

if at first you dont succeed

try try again.

hokay off to Brussels and Liege on Monday. Really gonna try not to lose my bag this time:)

Then Paris for some final editing, some sound design stuff.
Have to show the latest cut to the distributors and the Irish Film Board.

Then back home . get sorted for Annecy.


Come to Annecy folks! Myself , Ross Stewart , Serge Ume and Toon Roebbens are doinga presentation of our work in progress (but almost finshed , honest!)


Friday, May 30, 2008


Fabienne the editor sent me the close to final edit today via Hobsoft.
I was supposed to be there with her working today but if you've been following my adventures you'll know I'm grounded until Monday!
Anyway it was quiet cool because although we ares till busy with the Chi Rho page and the attack sequence compositing its almost completely there as a movie - well pictures anyway, its still the temp sound effects and music since 2006 so thats kinda weird.
But since I was here Nora and Ross Stewart and even Baby Oliver gathered around the Avid and had a watch.

Feels like a big ,big part is almost over after a loooooong journey.
I know sound is 50% of the viewing experience and it would be foolhardy to imagine there are no big adventures ahead during the sound design and scoring process, but y'know I'm mainly a pictures kinda guy and the pictures being almost wrapped is very satisfying.
Everyone says its looking really great and Didier and Ivan at Les Armateurs are reportedly very happy with it.

The buzz in Cannes was very positive by all accounts.
The Celluloid Dreams brochure has some great images in it.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Praise be!


Thanks be to all thats holy!

The Fedex guy just got here and my passport and computer are in tact.
So glad the computer is in working order.

so, via internet I am working with Serge and his team in Belgium today.
No beer , but we are at least still productive this way.

Not the same as being there, but not bad!

Better try and get my presentation for annecy sorted now.
There won't be another chance I think.....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

nightmare update

back home ,

Lovely Liselott just made it up as I was preparing my application for a new passport.
Then Kairen in the studio called to say someone in Nice had called to say they had my bag.
So fingers, and indeed all extremities crossed , the bag will find its way back to me this week.
I am supposed to go to Brussels again on hopefully.

Thanks for the kind words fellow bloggers.

Its a tough old week, supposed to be finishing everything for the Chi Rho page this week as well as tidying up the editing on Friday. Tight . tight . tight.

I think I can keep up via internet and Hobsoft and all...but its not the same as being there...

oh boyoyoboy

dublin airport nightmare

Am stuck in dublin airport.

Picked up the wrong bag getting off the coach this morning at 4.30am.

Now have lost my bag , my passport, my credit cards, my computer even.
I do however have a bag of womans clothing. hoo boy.
Better leave that at lost and found.

What a nightmare.

Where ever you are out there fellow traveller! - Please send my stuff home when you realise you've got 'em!



gotta try and get an emergency passport today some how... wish me luck blogosphere!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

folimage show how its done again!

most gorgeous thing I've seen in a long long time.

practically perfect in everyway, am absolutly dying to see this.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Michel Ocelot

Crazy day yesterday. Very busy morning , then Adrien Merigeau the art director for Song of the Sea visited. He was a bit sick but we had a good chat and a nice lunch to get going on the BGs for that project. We got the train to Dublin where he got the news from Ross that the Irish Film Board has approved the funding for his short film we are trying get made -" Old Fangs".
Happy, happy days!
The guy on the train beside us was wondering why we were yelping and giving high fives and stuff . We had to explain.

Anyway Michel Ocelot visited Dublin last night and showed his absolutely gorgeously designed feature Asur and Azma.
Its really visually stunning.
The Irish Directors Guild had him over for a talk about his work and I have not seen him since 2003 or 2004 or so when we still financing Brendan. At that time he showed me some stills for Asur and Azma , the film looked just like the concepts as I remember them.
I remember he did'nt like the designs we had for Brendan at the time - too American and "Disney" he said, I thought he was right actually and as Didier Brunner had said the same thing I started to redesign them that weekend - it was an Easter Long weekend, I remember gettinga ll buzzed up to go in a new direction at that stage, ahhh far off days of youth and yore.
He's an awful nice guy, very funny and straightforward with a great attitude to animation and filmmaking in general.
He said he made notes for Asur and Asma for a year while working on other films and then wrote it in 2 weeks.


He says the dialogue always changes from the script to the storyboard as he finds the characters often say too much or it does'nt feel right once they are actually drawn up and facing each other on screen. Its a good approach I think.

Anyway it was a good night , because we had some drinks afterwards with Barry O'Donoghue and the Barley films bunch. They also got a Frameworks this year so happy days all 'round.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Some interesting stuff is evolving at the editing, more than I expected as we felt we had all the editing done up front when we locked the animatic.
Sequences moved, split up , rearranged. Small changes can make a big difference.
Some scenes I just love and that we fought so hard to get right suddenly seem unneccsary or get trimmed.
Its interesting anyway. All feels "right" even if sometimes a bit painful. Especially to cut something well animated and so on.

ahh sure story,story,story and all that.

I find myself saying " oh we cant possibly cut that" and then seeing ...hey actually that works better.

I'm learning loads.


Sunday, May 04, 2008


Right then, that must have been the most mental week of carbon emissions I've ever been responsible for.

The very lovely and nice Yaprak Moreli pictured above with her sweetheart Arre invited me to talk at the Frame by Frame animation conference in Oslo last Saturday. So of course , off I went.
It was very interesting and my speech was a lot of fun as I was publicly humilating myself by trying to operate a mac at the same time as giving a potted history of the production and the Saloon. But the Scandanavians turned out to be a much friendlier bunch than they appear in the film. In fact everyone was very friendly and interesting. I met the guys from Qvisten studio at the wrap party for their very cool feature "Kurt turns Evil" a nicely designed and animated CG film turned in on schedule and for a measly 3 million. Thats the way to do it I say. Fair play to them all.

I was delighted to meet me old ballyer comrade Olve Askim after 10 years . A grand old night was had by all as the picture above proves. As you can see neither of us has aged a day since we parted company in 1999!
Anyway it was an early start on Sunday, back to Dublin, then Kilkenny, one day at the studio catching up on piles of production problems and checking scenes, meeting our accountant for the usual scary low down , and then off to Dublin town for the class Paul, Fabian and I had agreed to give as part of the Cinemagic festival. We gave some Dublin 10 year olds a brief sneak peak of a work in progress sequence of Crom Cruach. "Looks fake" said one, "Thats because hes in a parallel world" said another (quite perceptive without any story context I thought), one little girl said she could "see tha' in the cinema alrigh' .
Anyway that evening we had the animation directors guild commitee meeting and a screening of Paul Bolgers film "Happily N'ever After". I interviewed him afterwards and its always comforting to here production horror stories from other peoples experience, makes me feel less unusual!
Paul showed me some development work hes doing on a new project and I have to say I'm all giddy about seeing that one come to fruitition. Its nice that theres another Kilkenny based director too, us bogmen have to show them whats possible beyond the pale.

Next morning it was a 4.30 am start to Brussels and I met a very nice Iranian taxi man . In my bleary eyed state I was still in animation nerd mode and ended up leaving him the name of Marjane Satrapis "Persepolis" , as he seemed very interested in it...

Well Brussels was a little fraught at first but we found solutions and I was mighty impressed with the work Gilles in WTD had done on Crom since my last trip , Frits , Toon and Mikeal all doing some nice work on the Viking attack too .
I have to say Digital Graphics in Liege are doing some excellent work.
My hat goes off to Serge and his team, who no sooner had they finished the mammoth task of ALL the ink and paint for the movie went straight on to help with the compositing. After my trip they have agreed to even more work on some really tricky sequences. Celine , Damien , Eric and Ewan and all the the team are doing really class work on the mist cat and snowy sequences.
They will also work now , with Toon, on the Chi Rho sequence at the end of the film.
Celine had a lovely idea of having all the characters and animals in the Chi Rho page seem to be alive and busy until the camera rests on them , at which time they "settle" into their formal poses as part of the page. I hope we can pull it off as its a charming concept for the final sequence

So on Friday night I finally made it back to my own bed and glad I was of it.

While I was away Spirit finished all the compositing of their scenes and I have 115 scenes to check tommorow. I've been keeping up with them on Hobsoft and with just a few small retakes I think we can finish up all the compositing in Spirit these next few days.

Katia is starting a new production in Paris tommorow , and I am having to give more and more time to new projects in the studio.
Its really a crazy place we are in now, but I feel the end is near and its a huge relief.
With a bit of luck, this will be the last month working on the images and the summer will be given over to the sound design, music and final editing.
In the mean time I have plenty to keep me busy with the comics and Song of the Sea , so no rest for the wicked as they say.

Nice sunny day today, start of May, a vegan barbeque and nice woodland stroll with the dog, the missus and the young fella. Roll on summer.