To start off my first Review and Previews for this next month with #ChildhoodFavourties Series. I will be reviewing the much loved Cinderella by Disney. Cinderella is an adaption of the european folk-tale Cendrillion, that is a moral tale of injustice and oppression and the result of enduring it with kindness and
To start off my first Review and Previews for this next month with #ChildhoodFavourties Series. I will be reviewing the much loved Cinderella by Disney.
Cinderella is an adaption of the european folk-tale Cendrillion, that is a moral tale of injustice and oppression and the result of enduring it with kindness and hope and the consequences of those who inflict suffering on others.
Now there are several variations to the tale, some gory others quite tame, but thanks to a little bit of research (on wikipedia I might add) Disney adapted the 1697 version by Charles Perrault.
Cinderella, A young ill-treated maiden is forced to live life as a hand maiden after her father dies. Constantly on hand and foot for her evil and incredibly spiteful step-mother and step-sisters, Cinderella the endearing and happy go lucky young woman, very suddenly finds her life turned around when a frustrated king decides it is time for his son, Prince Charming to get married.
Thanks to a couple of cute squeaky mice and the famous words bippity boppity boo, Cinderella is turned from maid to princess in a snap, and then she is whisked away in her iconic glass slippers to a night of love and dancing that she nor the prince will ever forget.
When I think of the story, Cinderella is a simple yet uplifting tell of good things coming to those who wait, but in the case of Cinderella to those who endure. Even though Cinderella’s dream, that one wish of hers wasn’t made quite clear in the actual story and seemed to be hijacked by her love for the prince, It still doesn’t negate the fact that it is a story of hope and belief. Ultimately not giving up on your dreams.
While the story of Cinderella, may not be every woman’s cup of tea due to the fact that, her happy ending comes from her getting married, I would still argue that there is still a lot of good in the story to teach young girls about kindness, enduring and never giving up.
Now some of my criticism actually lie in two things Gus, the mouse and the original story. I remember as a child, Gus being so stupid that it annoyed me a great deal and stopped Cinderella from being my most favourite disney classic, but then to be reminded just how infuriatingly stupid he was just never made me appreciate his character or really get into some bit of the story that involved him doing anything meaningful.
Second is the prince not remembering what the girl he fell in love with looked like, and it being decided by who could fit their feet in first rather than just finding the woman who had the missing slipper. Prince Charming were you really going to marry the red haired vixen over the blonde bun haired damsel you were dancing with the night before?
No? Of course not!
As always Disney have the trademark of outlining their characters design’s respective colours rather than outlining in black or brown. This gives for a more softer look and more appealing character designs that capture the eyes in a non-intrusive way.
The designs of characters are quite simple designs making use of basic shapes to introduce archetypes, opting for simpler character designs allowed for more detailed and extravagant backgrounds.
With the most stunning scene being Cinderella at the ball. The shift from a golden washed ballroom to the dazzling blue evening garden. This scene will surely carry you away to a dreamy state of romance.
The animator’s for Cinderella really showed off how well they can animate. The animation is masterfully done, the fluidity, the appeal, the essence of characters is all well captured.
Movements are lively and feel very real and this is due to the fact that a lot of the animation comes from studying real people interacting and moving.
Some of the best animation comes from the scene with Cinderella at the ball. I noticed that Disney really take their time with pacing the characters, when things slow down they really slow creating an almost tranquil moment of romance and life but as soon as things get hectic when that clock ticks twelve, Cinderella still keeps a certain poise and manner in her movement that is suitable for her personality and really heralds Disney as masters of their craft.
Music is always accompanying scenes, and no scene is left without background music for too long. It definitely creates ambience and sets the mood and it wasn’t until i openly looked out for music I saw how much it really sets a scene and builds up anticipation.
As a young girl the “chipmunk” singing from the mice was funny and cute and well… fun. Now at the lovely age of 22, I really found it annoying. After 15 years, 2 Alvin and the Chipmunks films and a generational wave of auto-tune, it was something that I was surprised to remember as not being too bad as a kid.
All in all the soundtrack for Cinderella is extremely catchy especially the main theme, “A dream is a wish your heart makes” this soft calming pick me up ballad will makes sure to inject a healthy dose of hope and positive thoughts before the story even begins, and it is a song that I reckon is unforgettable.
When watching Cinderella again I most definitely noticed that that stood out greatly was the animation and music to tell a story that is renowned as a classic in storytelling. Though design isn’t pixel perfect neither is it shabby, but when comparing Cinderella to a lot of Disney’s later works, Disney has improved a drastic amount setting the bar in its standards throughout the years.
As their studio has grown through the decades, so has their understanding of cinematography and storytelling. With Cinderella being one of their earliest feature lengths, in an industry that was still finding its feet artistically and commercially, Disney did an outstanding job for their time.
Nostalgia aside Cinderella presents a simple tale with a good moral attached to it and I did quite enjoy watching the film again, it never gets old no matter how many times I have seen it.
Now if you aren’t an owner of a DVD and if you have long lost your VHS copy of Cinderella, you’ll be glad to know that Cinderella is in fact free to watch on Amazon Prime, if you are a prime member and of course on Netflix.
Remember to have fun… If you keep the passion alive it is going to be there and people will enjoy it.-Effie Pappa
Today, after work I was able to attend a last minute event being held at the Apple Store in Covent Garden on Animation, the opportunity to attend a free event in animation can be rare, so there was no way I was going to pass this up especially a today is the beginning of the 23rd Raindance Film Festival! If you don’t know what Raindance is it is a major film fest and film school. Every year since 1992 the festival is held screening independent features, and shorts of various genres, languages and countries. Some big films such as Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Christopher Nolan’s Momento were screened first at Raindance.
While most people are familiar with Raindance screening live action, most may not be aware that they also screen and award for best animation. Now, I didn’t have tea at the event but if it does help I did have copious amounts of tea beforehand so it counts! Just to keep it short, today’s event involved two animators Effie Pappa and Lukas Schrank two directors and animators whose films were selected for screening at Raindance Film Festival 2015.
They had a useful amount of advice and experience to share with us.Such as learning to listen and receiving the feedback of others on your short, after some time you get used to seeing it over and over again you need fresh eyes to point out things you may have been missing. That the experience of a film is frightening at first but it can only be a good thing getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new.
Hearing the ideas behind their films was really interesting and came from a very solid place in expressing their opinions and responses to current affairs. Lukas Schrank’s film Hidden Lines: Voices from Manus Island tells the story of two men on Australia’s infamous Manus Island and this film was a response to propaganda within Australian media concerning the refugee crisis as just an example.
I also had a few questions myself for them especially in funding to make a short. Animation can be really expensive seen sing on what you are making so it was helpful to learn of their experiences in this area. Lukas said that while he hated crowdfunding for his film he had no other choice but to and realised the benefits in it such as creating a fan base, gaining more contacts and the film getting to the press, while there was a lot of positive support due to the issue that his film was drawings a perspective on he also found some not so nice commenters on his film. Whereas, with Effie her film was her MA project she was given a budget from her university so money wasn’t a huge issue and I loved how there were different solutions for everyone.
When asking about freelancing in animation, they were very honest in saying that freelancing they believed was a better option to stating creative as an animator as it allows for more time to work on personal projects. Their advice wasn’t to wait for the “Big Break” but to try out a bit of everything and to keep on experimenting and developing as an animator.
Raindance will be run in from 23rd September-4th October with Animation Screens on Tuesday 29th September 2015 at 12PM . You can buy passess online at raindancefestival.org
Dateless is a 3 minute short featuring 20something year olds as they describe what would be their ideal partner. Dateless is a fantastic piece that hits home for the single millennial as they are still navigating through the seas of the dating world. With a good share of laughs and a
Dateless is a 3 minute short featuring 20something year olds as they describe what would be their ideal partner. Dateless is a fantastic piece that hits home for the single millennial as they are still navigating through the seas of the dating world.
With a good share of laughs and a palette of characters that will stun you with frankness; Dateless is a down to earth and authentic 2D animation that will make you feel settled about your forever alone status!
For our first ever showcase I caught up with the talented animation duo Remus and Kiki on their award winning short Dateless.
Please introduce yourselves
Kiki: My full name is Kyriaki Kyriakou. Nobody can say it because I am Cyprian . So I tell everybody to call me Kiki. I’m 23 and I was born in Cyprus and I’m an animator. When I first came here, I had no idea about animation and I didn’t know how to animate. Yeah, it was a last minute decision, for me to do animation.
Remus: Remus Buznea, I’m 21 and I’m from Romania and I kind of did animation back home for a bit. I went to art school where I learned drawing and graphic design. I did a bit of animation in my own time, then I actually wanted to do that for a living so I decided to come over here and study it.
Tell me a bit about dateless, how did it come about and what really sparked the idea?
Remus: So Dateless was our second year film in university. At first we wanted to do an animation about online dating. So we started doing the research, and started going on all kinds of websites. Like Clown dating, people who were into all kinds of stuff .
Kiki: There was all kinds of weird dating websites that we were looking at.
Remus: We were looking at profiles and in the end we wanted to interview people like that and use their profiles to write something and interview them but then we found that they always tried to fake an identity when they were making an online profile. It was really hard to get through and find out who they really were. So we just decided to interview our friends which happened that they mostly were all single.
Not everyone made it on Dateless. We interviewed around 14 people, something like that.
Kiki: Yeah, I think we interviewed a little bit more than 14 people.
Remus: Yeah like 15 and we selected the ones that had the best stuff.
Kiki: Everyone had amazing stuff but we had to cut it down to 2 minutes.
Remus: ..And pretty much after everyone was interviewed, we ended up having 3 hours of audio footage.
Kiki: Almost 4 Hours
Remus: Then we decided that we should get the bits we liked the most and the ones that made the characters the most rounded I guess, because we always decided to have 3 parts to each character.
An introduction, a bit where they go more into what they are about and a third thing that would be surprising. Towards the end all the characters reveal something about themselves.
teo: I really loved that especially the little short guy, who was saying what he wanted in a partner and the two smokers, how they kind of have a very bromance moment; I actually really liked that and I loved how you guys went with the whole idea of interviewing your friends, because you knew them it made the characters become so alive, so real and relatable.
I loved how everything complimented the characters. The visual design really adds to bringing them to life. I wanted to ask what was your thought process behind the characters?
Remus: After we interviewed our friends, we did some character designs, we did multiple versions but before we interviewed them we had some early designs we decided to go with anyway even though they did’t look anything like the actual people; but when we interviewed them, Kiki was in the room with them; interviewing.
Kiki: I was there to make them feel more relaxed, because they were talking to someone that they knew.
Remus: And I was in the control room, telling Kiki the questions through her headphones.
In the control room we had a monitor, where I could see how they acted and Kiki could see it as well being in front of them. So we remembered how they acted and how they talked. We would take that and write it down, we used what we remembered from how they act.
Kiki: And it was pretty much for the characters how they look like and act.
Remus: For our friends we live with them, so we could just go up to them and say “Hey! Say this real quick?” and if we wanted to see how they act angry, we could just go up to them and make them angry.
What did you enjoy the most about making dateless?
Kiki: I guess what we enjoyed the most was coming up with the questions and then sitting in the room and asking them those and then in the interview it was pretty funny just sitting there alone.
It was really fun seeing how they would react and when they just get into the question and just go on about other things and going off topic but it was cool. And I guess coming up with the designs as well.
Remus: Yeah, we were really lucky with something like that. The recording because we had them all waiting and when I was in the control room
Kiki: It was a full studio
Remus: So, we had an audience and everyone was laughing. It was fun editing the sound because we heard it all again. We played it for ourselves just to make ourselves laugh.
Animating it was really fun, one thing we realised was things would turn out well if we really enjoyed doing it.
Remus: So we tried to incorporate the things that we like. Mostly because we were animators we added dirty jokes and we would put that in.
Kiki: Yeah, we were like put that in, put that in haha.
We added in little things that I don’t think a lot of people realised.
Remus: Yeah, we added things in the background for some of the shots. There are in-jokes in there for some of the stuff they would have in their rooms. I guess it helps bring the characters to life a bit more by showing the environment they live in, in real life, so that was fun. Pretty much all of it was fun.
The most annoying, the one thing that wasn’t fun was rendering it out. That was the one thing that wasn’t fun about it.
Kiki: We kept on pacing up and down, pacing up and down waiting for it to render. Saying ” Oh my God! Is it going to render? Is it going to freeze? Is it going to not stop?!” It was pretty much an all-nighter. Come on Mac, come on!
How did it feel to win the RTS south award for best animated student film and to have it screened at major film festivals?
Kiki: It was nice. haha
Remus: The thing is for us the main festival we were really happy with was the Cartoon Brew festival.
With Cartoon Brew, we not only got the vimeo staff pick they had Jonathan Dilworth; the creator of Courage the Cowardly Dog.
Kiki: He was one of the Judges!
Remus: Just the thought of him watching made us really really happy.
With RTS we were really happy, there was free food when we got there but we didn’t really know anyone there, it was [mostly] local TV people. We just got to meet other students from Bournemouth University.
Kiki: We met the animation students from there.
What were the different software you used to make Dateless?
Kiki: We used Photoshop and After Effects.
Remus: At first we wanted to do stop motion with paper cut-outs. Then we realised this is going to take ages if we draw it digitally then print it out and cut that out and then put it under the camera.
So we just decided to use Photoshop and then give it a texture in after effects to make it look as if it is paper.What are you currently up to after graduating?
Remus: There was this competition run by Studio Beakus in London
Kiki: There was a 10 second animation, We had a colour palette and the theme was being bold. We decided each of us would make a 10 second animation.
Remus: and we both entered it and Kiki won an internship, but because we both work together I can show up as well. haha
But Kiki technically has the internship now.
Kiki: The internship is cut in half, it is kind of given to both of us.
Remus: Yeah, the main thing is we have that and if things go OK, we might get hired for full time.
What would be your one liner or one sentence to sum up your relationship with animation?
If you can’t entertain yourself with your animation, you won’t be able to entertain anybody else
Kiki – @kyriaki248
If you don’t find something in it that you love , then you might as well not be doing it
Remus and Kiki are a must watch as up and coming animators~!
So get bookmarking and follow these talented two!
I believe this is one of Pixar's best works yet! In August myself and some friends went to watch the widely anticipated Disney Pixar's Inside Out. Unfortunately in this reviews and previews I won't be able to comment much on the short Lava that appeared at the beginning due to turning
I believe this is one of Pixar’s best works yet!
In August myself and some friends went to watch the widely anticipated Disney Pixar’s Inside Out. Unfortunately in this reviews and previews I won’t be able to comment much on the short Lava that appeared at the beginning due to turning up just a smidge late, but luckily I was just in time for the beginning of the film.
Now before I start, yes there will be spoilers but what’s a review without it!
The story of inside Out is so simple and takes complex topics in psychology and puts them into familiar concepts and imagery that even kids could understand. I was extremely surprised by how mature Inside Out was and I have to admit there were moments that made me cry. Twice.
Getting into a quick summary of the story line, Riley is the central character and she appears from the very moment of her birth into the world. From here we are then introduced to her mind and the vibrant Joy, with sadness not too far behind. Through a montage of milestones in Riley’s life as she grows up in the picturesque Minnesota, We become acquainted to anger, disgust and fear and their daily tasks in headquarters that involve controlling Riley’s actions and emotional responses through the control console.
Joy as Riley’s main emotion and is always working to keep Riley happy and I felt it came off as quite controlling at the beginning. Unfortunately it comes at the cost of Joy seriously undermining sadness’s purpose in Riley.
The key thing to remember is that Riley’s most important memories are stored as core memories and these hold together 5 islands that make up her personality traits.
Fast forward to pre-teen riley, she gets word that herself and parents will be packing up and moving to hustling and bustling San Fran, and this is where the story launches off. With Sadness constantly touching memories and making them sad, it isn’t long that devastation comes to Headquarters as Joy and Sadness are sucked down to the labyrinth of long term memories and are tasked with the mission to get back to Headquarters with Riley’s Missing core memories before all 5 islands are destroyed.
I really enjoyed the story and it’s characters, everyone had a time to shine and were each given a generous amount of screen time. What I loved the most of Inside Out was its story as simple as it was so much adventure and vibrancy was in it and I wholeheartedly believe you have become a master at storytelling once you can articulate a simple story in such an interesting and fresh way.
While I loved Inside Out and I believe it is for all ages, just as Wall-E missed the mark for appealing to kids under 5, I fell like inside Out will be just a bit too grown up for anyone in pre-school to really appreciate. While the characters themselves are appealing and will be parent’s must buys for their kids, I won’t be surprised if Inside Out would be something that completely sweeps over the heads of their children.
The animation made me reminiscent of the old cartoons I would watch on cartoon network such as Tom and Jerry and Road Runner. The movements of the characters are really exaggerated and stretched. As shown in the clip of Riley’s First Day at School, which is my favourite scene, I loved Joy’s fast and cartoon like movements. I instantly thought, wow they must have really stretched the rig for this! It felt like I was being taken to class on the 12 principles of animation with extra doses of stretch and pull and not too much that it feels awkward but finds it place in the nature of the world that they are in.
I was happy to read that the animation style of the emotions were very much done to reflect that of Tex Avery and Chuck Jones, Animator’s responsible for the likes of the Looney Tunes. From the stomping of anger to the slumps of sadness the animation is extremely well done and representative of the emotions. I by far loved how the particles were subtle but noticeable in their animation, dispersing and trailing off after them in movements that were fast paced.
When I first saw the designs of the emotions from a teaser, I have to admit I wasn’t too fond of them, from far they looked like weirdly furry things. But there is nothing like a trip to the cinema to change your perception, with a much larger and closer look; I realised how wrong I was to assume that there wasn’t much thought in the design. The little particles that disperse from these characters are gorgeous in close ups! Even Joy’s eyebrows look like they are glittering! The attention to detail is superb and the types of design they explore when Bing Bong, Joy and Sadness get stuck in abstract thought seeing them turn from Picasso-esque 3D block models to 2D drawings and then the final stage of being reduced to shapes that represent themselves such as a star and teardrop was definitely a highlight as it was a very funny moment.
While watching the film I wanted to take particular notice to how much music affects a scene and the progression of the story. The delicate notes of suspense and the rapturous Bing Bong Song. While I can’t comment much on musical scores that swept me of my feet, from the little I know of sound design it was something to really pay attention to and note how it changes your overall understanding of a scene.
Inside Out is an emotive piece of work that hits home with slices of wit and drops of universal experience. It is about change and how we as people adjust to it. How every emotion that we experience has its place and time in our lives. Inside Out explores the damage that can be done from ignoring our emotions and not letting them have their place and time, while it would be daring to wallow in sadness it can also be exhausting to always appear happy. While most of us would love to be joyful any and everyday, sometimes it is ok to feel Sad.
I am pleased to say that we have Alex Williams for our first every industry interview. I was very privledged to have had the opportunity to be taught 3D animation by him in my 2nd year of university. With years of experience under his belt as an animator and lecture in
I am pleased to say that we have Alex Williams for our first every industry interview. I was very privledged to have had the opportunity to be taught 3D animation by him in my 2nd year of university. With years of experience under his belt as an animator and lecture in various schools such as CalArts, Escape Studios and Bucks New University, I caught up with him for a little interview that would be sure to get you motivated this new term!
Alex Williams credits as an animator include Who Framed Rodger Rabbit?, The Lion King, Robots, and The Road to El dorado. Williams has also contributed a great deal into VFX working on Beverly Hills Chihuahua, The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Harry Potter and the Half blood Prince.
Alex Williams Animation Apprentice is an online animation school for those wanting to learn the art of 3D Character and Creature animation. To learn more about the course or to follow Alex and his work, be sure to check out the links below.
To begin what stirred your interest in animation and what was it that made you decide to pursue a career in it, was it always your choice in career from a young age?
I grew up with animation – my father is an animator – so it was always something that inspired and fascinated me.
What did you study in university? Was it a course anywhere related to animation and if not how did you train to eventually become an animator?
I read Modern History at University. So, no, my degree had nothing to do with animation. Though I did do a Foundation course at Camberwell. Almost all my animation training was done on the job.
What was your big break in the industry?
I got a job as an in-betweener on Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. It was an internship, unpaid. Eventually it turned into a proper job, and I began to learn the craft of animation.
Was animation for TV ever an option for you or have you always preferred working on animated feature lengths?
I have always worked on features but I would be open to doing TV.
Personal Preference: 3D, 2D or VFX?
What have been your favourite productions to work on and why?
Who Framed Roger Rabbit was a wonderful production because we knew we had a hit on our hands. There was a sense of real excitement – we felt that it would be huge.
Who are some of your inspirations in the industry or even frenemies (friendly rivals)?
Walt Disney, Hayao Miyazake and, of course, my father Richard Williams.
Now, you are the founder of the online school Animation Apprentice and you were also responsible for the world’s first online MA in 3D animation. Could you tell us a bit about how this came about and why online?
Online is a great way to learn. It is much cheaper than a classroom delivery and it democratises teaching. If you have the passion to learn you can do so from home nowadays, you just need self-discipline.
I read on the Bucks Animation Blog that you will indeed be moving to a new job at Escape Studios, congratulations! are there any other exciting things lined up for you?
Escape are launching a new four year BA/MA in animation in September 2016. It looks to be a great course.
What is a single piece of advice for aspiring animators out there, Who really don’t have a clue where or how to get started?
Start doing video tutorials online. You can download Blender for free, or a student version of Maya for free. With every tutorial you will get a bit better. And, of course, take my online course!