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Friday, 30 May 2014

The Ledge End of Phil to represent Ireland!

We're very proud to announce that 
The Ledge End Of Phil (From accounting) has been selected to be the sole representative of IRELAND this year at the

"ONE Country ONE Film Apchat International Film Festival"! 

The Ledge End will have it's French premiere at the festival between July 24th to July 27th

And if you're in the Louisiana area in July you can catch Phil at the 2014 Baton Rouge Irish Film Festival! July 18th

Also a big thanks to the lovely folks at The Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival last weekend, where The Ledge End of Phil (from accounting) was shortlisted in no less than three categories!

Best of Festival

Best Irish Short Film

Best Screenplay

Friday, 16 May 2014

13. Layouts and Backgrounds: Stefano Scapolan

As I mentioned in the colourscript post Stefano originally came onto Ledge End to work on the colourscript and then stayed on to do layouts and backgrounds which was supposed to be for 6weeks.... but instead Stefano ended up staying on the project for 6months! Creating somewhere in the region of 96 original backgrounds for the film.

I had very clear ideas of what I wanted going into the film, of how the backgrounds would be designed to be part of the visual storytelling. But working with Stefano brought a sense of painterly texture and subtlety i couldn't have imagined. Though alot of the crew members on Phil worked remotely in other parts of Europe Stefano was sitting beside me throughout the production, which meant we came to understand each others strengths and weaknesses and evolved the storytelling style within the artwork intuitively.

Depth of field was something that had been crucial in the script stage in how I wanted to reflect Phil's inner story. As we started to push the style of the backgrounds we expanded our explorations from the colourscript (our using a painterly approach to mimic the effects of live action lenses and focus) to a painterly style based that collapsed the interior depth crushing the office into a flatpack, and expanded the outside world into daring vibrant landscapes.

We worked alot with the idea of "eye protein" (a term im stealing from guillermo del toro) if "eye candy" is beautiful things happening on screen with no real depth or input to the story "eye protein" is trying using all of the elements within the frame to reinforce what you're trying to tell the audience. The characters surroundings reflecting his inner emotional life.

Stefano's input to the film is immeasurable, the backgrounds went from what could have been pretty backdrops to beautiful animation to being cinematographic elements inherent to the films storytelling.

You can check out more of his great work on his website here: Stefano Scapolan

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Upcoming Festival screenings!

Hey folks so we have some festival screenings coming up, maybe in a town near you!

The Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival
Schull, Co.Cork, Ireland

Fri 23rd of May

Palm Springs International ShortFest
California ,USA

June 17-23, 2014

The River Film Festival
Padua, Italy

28 May to 9 June

Monday, 12 May 2014

12. TRAILER 2D Breakdown

I think it's hard to process what goes into each shot of an animated film when you're only seeing the final polished visuals

So to pull back the curtain a little I've taken a section of the film we already have here on the blog, the trailer and recut it with the original layouts and animation as they look before we go into painting grading and fx.

With character animation by Jose Antonio Cerro and Vittorio Pirajno. (Excluding the opening shot of the hand straightening the picture which was animated by our great production intern Alex Bernas)

and layouts by the incomparable Stefano Scapolan, enjoy!

Friday, 2 May 2014

11. Animating the Seagull: Vittorio Pirajno

Animation had started, the production was building momentum, sand timers were filled with coins and were accumulating small piles at the opposite end, Jose had started animation on Phil...and still no animator for the gull....

We had in fact found a couple of animators who hadn't worked out for one reason or another, couldn't get the style or scheduling conflicts with other projects. I had spent so much time more worrying about Phil, I hadn't considered the gull being the hard sell

So compared to other members of the crew Vittorio came quite late in the game. Even when i was given his reel his stuff was great but i just wasn't sure if he was the right guy. It was Jose who said "trust me, this is the guy". So I gave vittorio the shot below, and he nailed it straight off! Vittorio brought the fun and spontaneity that the gulls character needed, and through out the film always added a little something to the performance that made it better.

This was the first shot Vittorio worked on, here you can see the progression from the initial rough (i spoke about above) to the final shot


On the animation for both characters I tended do redraws (taking take key poses from the animation and drawing over them) with Phil it was usually about bringing it back on style, making his movements more restrained, doing more with his eyes or small hand gestures if we could.

But with the gull it was the opposite, myself and vittorio went back and forth alot not to bring it back but to see how far we could push the little guy. When Vittorio would do a first draft of the animation, i'd often be inspired by his drawings, do redraws over his poses (usually in photoshop so i was concentrating on the graphic illustration not a frame of animation.) and then he'd take those drawings and reincorporate them back into the animation

Though phil needed to feel like he had flesh moving over his bones sometimes it was nicer with the gull for him to just feel more maleable, were as Phil was frail and weak the gull could squash,stretch and bounce back, nothing gets him down, the animation style reflected his character.

The chuck jones adage rang true of no matter how far we pushed, pulled and distorted this little bird beyond physical reality when you ran it through on screen it actually came across quite natural, like the character had always been able to do that.

Vittorio also happens to be CEO of the fantastic Monigotes studio in Madrid, so you can check out more of his studio's amazing work over on their website: