Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Matt Horan - 131216 - IADT talk

An inspirational talk last night in IADT by 2010 graduate Matt Horan! Here are a few of Matt's gems of wisdom!

A lot of your development should be about rebelling against prescribed ideas!
3 types of short animations I hate... 1. urban or post apocalyptic environment, with a vaguely environmental theme, usually a tree grows at the end. 2. films about a single depressed character (Corpse Bride style) usually stopmotion, usually watered down versions of Tim Burton. 3. My most hated of all - 2 characters doing two or three minutes of 'acting against each other'. Maybe mutually assured destruction or maybe role reversal or maybe they become best pals in the end.
A warning - film can end up being successful, but end up saying nothing!
The film school brat model of becoming a Director has become normalised! Find ways to make your work UNIQUE!
A lot of things are made in animation which should not be made.
Sometimes you don't have to animate it - you can do clever things with editing.
Green Porno 2008 Isabella Rossellini and Jody Shapiro, utterly brilliant. 'You can say important things but still have a sense of humour'.
I learned as a Production Assistant how much detail you could and should get into a HD frame. I overdesigned everything in the bgs, overworked everything. I HATE George Lucas, but I totally did a George Lucas on this one...
A lot of animators think they can do illustration, but they can't. They're too much locked into spartan film visual language and the literal aspects of film. Illustration can be learned.
Irish illustration is too twee - because that's what sells here.
Animated gif projects really play well on social media. There is a market for this material. It's the hit of animation but you don't get locked into a project for a long time.
A tip for illustration work - birds, fire and smoke all work to give an 'illusion' of activity. And trees work as framing devices.
Twitter is invaluable, not just for 'networking' but for getting to know people.
Learning how to finish a piece is so important. It really matters.
Irish people have an amazing capacity for apathy. Turn your Irish apathy on your anxieties!

Thank you Matt!

November 2016 catchup - Armenia, Dundalk and IADT Conferring

From the 5th to the 14th of November, I was in Armenia, chairing the Tempus ALIGN project peer review panels at Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts, Yerevan State Medical University and Yerevan State University of Linguistics and Social Sciences. Excellent panels and some wonderful work done by programme teams in their movement towards alignment with NQF and with Bologna frameworks.

Zbigniew and Andre at YSAFA

DQ chairs Yerevan State Medical University panel (ANSA image)

Ararat appears

The afternoon of the 18th November was IADT Faculty of Film, Art and Creative Technology conferring in the RDS. I was conferred with my Masters by Research in the Creative Arts - pictures to follow.

On Thursday 24th of November, I was part of a validation panel in DkIT (Dundalk) - Higher Diploma in Science in Technical Direction for 3D Computer Animation Production.

The wind turbine in DkIT

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

'Proceeds of Crime' in IndieCork Film Festival

'Proceeds of Crime' continues to sneak into festivals! Thanks to Producer Jennie Kelly for her efforts on festival entries and applications etc! This Friday (14th October) the film heads up Indie Cork Film Festival's - Short Film, Programme 2 in the Gate Cinema...

'Proceeds of Crime' has also been accepted for next year's CMFF (Central Michigan Film Festival)

Lastly, some lovely praise for the film from Chicago Irish Film Festival director Judith Blackburn - a great supporter of my work and a staunch 'Mister Heaney' fan... Thank you Judith! We'll do what we can to screen 'Proceeds' at next year's Chicago Irish Film Festival! Application is on the way!

Death of Michiyo Yasuda - Ghibli colourist

BBC News article on the death of Michiyo Yasuda, Ghibli's most experienced colourist...

Thursday, 25 August 2016

'Proceeds of Crime' Screens in ANIMAZE Montreal

Huge thanks to Cashell Horgan for including my 'Proceeds of Crime' film in his 'Irish Focus' selection in Montreal International Film Festival's ANIMAZE.

'The Proceeds of Crime' - An animators dark and comic response to a gangland feud in Ireland 2016.

'The Irish spotlight curated by Cashell Horgan will showcase  just a small sample of the finest animated shorts being produced in Ireland over the past two years, reflecting the diverse story telling and styles of current Irish filmmakers in animation. The selection was made possible with the support of The Irish Film Board, Network Ireland, Wildcard Distribution, Ballyfermot Senior College and IADT and Irish Animators'

'Proceeds' is screened in exalted company. Thanks again to Cashell!

Friday, 1 July 2016

Bailebeag and The Death of Gordon Murray - creator of Camberwick Green, Trumpton, Chigley and other worlds...

Thanks to my brother James for sending on the link to the Guardian's obituary for Gordon Murray, creator of Camberwick Green, Trumpton, Chigley and other stopmotion worlds... Camberwick Green started in 1966 and my father Jim Quin followed just over a decade later, with his Irish equivalent 'Bailebeag' (small town), commissioned by Liam O Murchu in RTE. The parallels between Murray's worlds and the world of Bailebeag were similar - with a distinctly retro-looking, unmodern view of society (at the time, I always felt that Murray's series had been made sometime in the early 1950s!).

Da (Jim Quin) with his (1977) version of Quin Films 'Bailebeag' - ping pong character heads!

As the Guardian obituary points out, Murray's Camberwick Green, Chigley and Trumpton were set in an idealised pre-WW1 Edwardian society, a time when England seemed uncorrupted by war, crime,societal change or class struggle. Bailebeag, with its short trousers, summer sunshine and male-dominated Irish rural idyll was set in some vague pre-mechanised 1940's summertime Ireland, the world of my father's childhood, where the priest and the Garda Sergeant were the definitive authority figures and where the postman was an exotic, bicycle borne traveller linking the parish together on a daily basis, powered by gossip and news. Not only was there no crime in Bailebeag - it never even rained in Bailebeag!

Sergeant Pat and Jimmy from the later (1984) version of Quin Films 'Bailebeag'

The original (1977) Bailebeag series shared Gordon Murray's stopmotion technical origins, with ping pong ball heads, magnetic feet and cardboard houses - very little of those originals (characters or sets) survived, although we didn't 'burn everything on a bonfire' like Gordon Murray. A lot of vehicles and props were 'bought off the shelf' in nick nack stores like Hector Grey's in Liffey Street. I was 15 or 16 at the time, fascinated by learning the 16mm and TV ropes with Da, Bill Russell, Pat Hayes, Alan Pleass and others and discovering that I could actually animate the characters and tell stories onscreen. The first Bailebeag series were shot in the converted attic of our house in 32 Leopardstown Gardens - truly the first stopmotion studio in Ireland.

Gordon Murray showed us a wonderfully metronomic way to tell childrens' TV stories, but Eric Thompson's reinterpretations of Serge Danot's 'Magic Roundabout' showed us how such childrens' programming could be both entertaining and anarchic. Later, Jiri Trnka showed how simple techniques could tell complex narratives and people like RTE's Joe O Donnell showed how childrens' programming could and should be a noble profession, not a mere stepping stone to a TV career path.

Bill Russell, Bolex and Da (Jim Quin) with the original (1977) version of Quin Films 'Bailebeag'

My career since has persisted with an explorations of the untapped potentials of stopmotion and animation. Whilst I'm not producing for TV any longer, I'm still endeavouring to make anarchic short films, new media and longer form projects. The learning, exploration and (occasionally) discovery continues... Thanks to all the early pioneers - Gordon Murray included!

Gordon Murray - creator of Trumpton, Camberwick Green, Chigley and other worlds...

LYIT panel - Higher Diploma in 3D Modelling and Animation

Thanks to all (especially AnneMarie Kelly) in LYIT for inviting me to be part of a (Thursday 23rd of June) panel for their proposed Higher Diploma in Arts in 3D Modelling and Animation. Thanks also to fellow panel members Terry Quigley (University of Ulster), Edward Harte (360 Productions) and Conann (University of Ulster), ably chaired by Dermot Finan. Well done to all!

LYIT entrance steps

LYIT interior

Friday, 24 June 2016

Tempus ALIGN - Ukraina site visits - Taras Shevchenko National University webpage!

Here's a link (from Olga Yamkova) on Taras Shevchenko National University's website (all in Ukrainian), discussing our recent Tempus ALIGN site visit...

panel arrives at the university (image from Vladimir Zaslavskiy)

panel at Museum Village outside Kyiv - Olga, DQ, Hyland, Iryna, Vladimir, Stefania
(image from Vladimir Zaslavskiy)

panel at Museum Village outside Kyiv -  Hyland, Iryna, Stefania, DQ, Vladimir
(image from Vladimir Zaslavskiy)

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Homeland at Damer House Gallery, Roscrea

Thanks to Patricia Hurl and Therry Rudin for including a 9 minute loop of our 'Carriglea - Witness to History' animated collage in Damer House Gallery's 'Homeland - A Terrible Beauty is Born' exhibition, which opened on Saturday afternoon (18th June). Some really excellent video responses on show, in an excellent space, with fantastic hosts!

Homeland - Damer House - Patricia Hurl

Homeland - Damer House - The Artists

Homeland - Damer House - exhibition blurb

Homeland - Damer House - Therry Rudin   

Homeland - Damer House - exhibition info

Homeland - Damer House - speeches

To watch our Carriglea animations...

'The Proceeds of Crime' in Galway Film Fleadh!

Jazis! My latest no-budget collaged animated offering 'The Proceeds of Crime' is scheduled as the closing film in this year's Galway Film Fleadh - New Irish Shorts, Programme 8, on Sun 10 July in the Town Hall Theatre at 12.00. I've described 'Proceeds' as 'an alphabetical journey through Ireland's 2016 gangland'. Thanks to Jennie Kelly for producing!

Congrats also to IADT graduates Fionn Boland, Catherine O Brien, Kimi Kurbanova, Elle Power and Ruth Redmond, Fiona Ryan, Olya Golubeva, Keith Kavanagh and Kayleigh Scullion for getting their films into the same programme!!!

Tempus ALIGN Ukraina site visits - Taras Shevchenko Kyiv

Monday the 13th and Tuesday 14th of June saw us conducting Tempus ALIGN site visits in Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Two programmes 'Business Informatics' and 'Sociology' were peer reviewed, again from a developmental rather than an accreditation perspective. Thanks to our great friends and colleagues Vladimir Zaslavsky and Olga Yamkova for looking after us during our Kyiv stay! And thanks to all the members of our Kyiv peer review panel - especially Nikita, Andrei, Anatoli as well as our core panel Stefania, Liza Sozinova and I, once again expertly chaired by Paul Hyland!

Taras Shevchenko National University is uniquely placed to take advantage of the international and mobility opportunities which will be presented over the coming years as education in Ukraina moves towards closer alignment with Europe's Bologna Process.

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv - concrete

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv - gable wall in the city

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv - village museum

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv - village museum - Tsymbaly musician

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv - village museum - Hyland masters the Tsymbaly

Taras Shevchenko's house interior - village museum

Taras Shevchenko's house interior

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv - village museum - Vlodimir and Iryna

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv - village museum - picnic

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv - lunchtime

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv - fog

National Ballet Kyiv

National Ballet - orchestra pit

National Ballet - Petro

Tempus ALIGN site visits - Ukraina - Khmelnitskiiy!

The 9th and 10th of June saw us conducting Tempus ALIGN site visits in Khmelnitskiiy University. Two programmes 'Cybernetics' and 'Applied Mathematics' were peer reviewed, again from a developmental rather than an accreditation perspective. Thanks to our great friends Svitlana and Pavlo Grigoryuk from Khmelnitskiiy for looking after us during our trip! Especially interesting was our tour to Medzhybizh Fort, where Baal Shem Tov died in 1760. Thanks also to the members of our Khmelnitskiiy peer review panel - especially Hanna, Laryssa, Roman, Iryna Romanets as well as our core panel Stefania, Liza Sozinova and I, again expertly chaired by Paul Hyland!

Khmelnitskiiy University, with its relative proximity to Moldova, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, is uniquely placed to take advantage of the international and mobility opportunities which will be presented over the coming years as education in Ukraina moves towards closer alignment with Europe's Bologna Process.

Kyiv (en route for Khmelnitskiiy) - Paul signs Letters of Invitation

five and a half hour bus to Khmelnitskiiy


Museum Restaurant in Khmelnitskiiy

Khmelnitskiiy - meet the Rector

Khmelnitskiiy - Panel meets the Rector

Khmelnitskiiy - Medzhybizh Fort - gateway

Khmelnitskiiy - Medzhybizh Fort - Julia, guide, Alla, Olena

Khmelnitskiiy - Medzhybizh guided tour

Khmelnitskiiy - city tour - Liza, Stefania, Pavlo, Olena, Alla

Khmelnitskiiy - city tour - playground

Khmelnitskiiy - official meal

Khmelnitskiiy - Sergei, Pavlo and Svitlana wave us away! Next stop Taras Shevchenko, Kyiv.