We Won a Panda!

By | Awards, International, Pilsner Urquell 'Legends' | No Comments

We’re delighted to announce that Pilsner Urquell ‘Legends’ has been given an International Award for Animation by the Sichuan TV Festival in Chengdu, China.

Founded in 1991, the biennial Sichuan TV Festival (SCTVF) is the leading international content market and awards in Asia. It is hosted by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) and Sichuan Provincial People’s Government and organized by Sichuan Radio, Film and Television Bureau and Sichuan Radio & Television.

Throughout the twenty year History of the festival, it has encouraged the participation of media companies, associations and cultural representatives from around the world. It has become one of the most reputable TV festivals and the most effective platforms to access the most updated TV and film marketing information in China and Asia.

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History of The Awards for Animation

For more than 20 years, Sichuan TV Festival has promoted itself in structure, scale, branding and social influence. The fast-growing event has developed itself into one of China’s grandest and most influential TV galas. It not only witnessed TV media’s great reform and development in China, but also made important contributions to the communication, cooperation and development of the TV industry between China and the world. As the main event of Sichuan TV Festival, while enhancing its reputation and influence both at home and abroad, International “Gold Panda” Awards for Animation encourages China’s original animation production and promotes communication between Chinese and overseas animation. The entries’ number, quality and category as well as the number of entrant territories increase year by year, gradually developing itself into a reputed international animation awards of influence, authority and credibility.

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Pilsner Urquell Legends nominated for Royal Television Society Award

By | Festivals, Nominations, Pilsner Urquell 'Legends', RTS | No Comments

After winning a British Animation Award and being in competition at this year’s Annecy International Film Festival, we’re thrilled to add that our ‘Legends’ film has been nominated in not one, but two categories in the RTS Midlands Awards this year! It has been shortlisted in the Best Promotional Programme category and is also in the final selection for Best Production Craft Skills. This is the second time the studio has been nominated in these awards since the short film, ‘The Animal Book’ made it through back in 2007.

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In other news, the film is also in competition at this year’s KLIK Animation Festival in Amsterdam in the International Commissioned Film Competition. The festival takes place between 12th and 17th November. This makes September a triple nomination month for this film. Thanks again to all the crew who worked so hard on this project enabling the film to keep on trucking round the world. Biscuits methinks…

Pilsner Urquell ‘Legends’ in competition at Annecy 2013

By | Annecy, Awards, Festivals, International, Pilsner Urquell 'Legends' | No Comments

Since winning the British Animation Award last year in the Public Choice Category, we learned this week that our ambitious paper animation for Pilsner Urquell ‘Legends’ has made the official competition selection at Annecy 2013. It’s another great testament to all involved, especially to Co-Producer Jim Turner. It will be screening amongst a selection of 22 other commissioned adverts from around the world on three occasions during the festival.

June 10th Theatre “MJC Novel” 14h00 (02:00 PM)
June 11th Theatre “Decavision2″ 18h00 (06:00 PM)
June 15th Theatre “Salle Pierre Lamy” 18h00 (06:00 PM)

Incidentally, ‘Salle Pierre Lamy’ (name of cinema above) is the namesake of a puppet duo created by Ian Whittle, one of the Lead Animators/Trojans/Nightshift Hero’s from the Pilsner shoot. We rather like that.

BAFTA nomination for ‘The Mechanical Musical Marvel’

By | 2D, Awards, BAFTA, Share A Story, The Mechanical Musical Marvel | No Comments

I happened to be scrambling over some ancient ruins in Little Petra (a site of animal sacrifice to be precise) when my phone trilled. Louis Hudson, lead character animator on ‘The Mechanical Musical Marvel’ had just sent me a message simply saying, ‘BAFTA Nominated!’ The film was down to the last four in the highly competitive Animation category.

Picture, if you will, the confusion on the face of our trail guide while I jumped up and down like a lunatic. Aside from putting the icing on the cake of an already fantastic trip, I later discovered the names of the other nominees. As a friend of mine put it, our short film that teaches children about the inner workings of pipe organs was in some ‘pretty august company.’

Our film shares the category with the hilarious The Amazing Adrenalini Brothers. the delightfully nutty The Amazing World Of Gumball, and the beautifully rich visual world of The Gruffalo’s Child.

It’s fair to say that myself and Julie Boden, with whom I developed the story for ‘Mechanical Marvel’ and who wrote the rhyming scheme for the film’s narration, are pretty over the moon to be nominated alongside these landmark productions. Not bad when you consider that the subject matter of our project is often viewed by some as obscure and esoteric. It’s a nice reward and testament to the 40 or so drafts of the script that we wrote.

A special mention must go to Katie Banks at Town Hall Symphony Hall, Birmingham who first entrusted the project to this studio.

As a bonus, CITV’s ‘Share a Story’ from 2011 is also nominated in the Best Short Form category. Second Home’s contribution to this body of work comprised of ‘Brainfood’, a story about a teacher who is also a mad scientist, written and read by Jack Land.

Now in its third year, Share A Story is a CITV success story. It was created by the incredible Corrinne Averiss as a competition for 5-12 year olds and keeps going from strength-to-strength. This year is the second time Share A Story has been nominated for a BAFTA in the Short Form category.

The BAFTA awards ceremony takes place on Sunday 25th November.

CITV – Finding Zero

By | Behind The Scenes, CITV, Share A Story, stop-motion | One Comment

Now on air – ‘Oh No! Where’s Zero?’ made for CITV’s ‘Share A Story’ competition. The story was written by 11 year old Alfie de Brito. We took his 6 panel storyboard and expanded it into a 1 minute film. The plasticine number characters were filmed on a rostrum camera with ‘checker-boarded’ mattes and then composited together. Photos courtesy of the very talented Cassidy Wingrove who worked on the models.

Background

Share A Story is into its third year and is a CITV success story. As a competition for 5-12 year olds, this year saw the biggest response from a CITV audience with over 5000 entrants. This more than tripled the total entrants in 2011. It has collected 2 BAFTA nominations in the Short Form category and is nominated again this year. It also won a Promax / BDA Design award this year in the Interstitial / Short Form Campaign Category.

British Animation Awards – Best Commercial for Pilsner Urquell ‘Legends’

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Recently I found myself in the surprising but pleasant position of picking up a BAA award for Best Commercial in the Public Vote Category for the Pilsner Urquell ‘Legends’ animation. After shambling on to the stage looking slightly stunned I was handed a beautiful paper sculpture of the BAA sheep atop a hill, all sealed inside a jar in a ship-in-a-bottle style, courtesy of artist/illustrator/animator/producer Yasmeen Ismail.

All the awards were hand made like this by other animators, illustrators and artists which was a really nice touch. Much better than a drop-forged metal gong on a teaky wooden base.

It’s a massive testament to the dedication and good humour of all the modellers, animators, compositors, assistants, technicians and tea-makers involved that we were able to keep going through the rough patches which were beyond our control (such as the excavation of the mains supply mid-build).

 

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – Building Narnia in Miniature

By | Behind The Scenes, Design, Modelmaking, stop-motion, Theatre Projection Design | No Comments

I used this post originally to keep the production office and other members of the creative team updated privately on progress here at the studio during the latter development stages and rehearsal process. It was a really useful tool for inviting feedback and allowing cross-collaboration with Stage and Costume Designer Tom Scutt.

 

Pilsner Urquell ‘Legends’ lives on in print form…

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Just over 12 months after the completion of the Pilsner Urquell Legends animation, ‘The Day Pilsen Struck Gold’, the studio was commissioned to construct a special replica of the original book used in the film for an extended print campaign. Using the same materials (Indian hand-pressed parchment called Khadi) and similar model-making techniques as before, a single book was made to work for both portrait and landscape executions where narrow rivers or tributaries were carved into the pages by hand. In order to scale correctly with the glass, the book (in its open state) was 660mm high by 920mm wide.

The final images were used to illustrate the unique origins of the beer and the derivation of its name. The end results were welcomed as some of their simplest, yet most effective, imagery to date.