Thursday, 27 September 2012

More screenings...

We are pleased to announce that The Last Belle will be screened at the 3D Wire International Market, held in Segovia, Spain from the 10th to the 14th of October.

For more information click HERE.

And a quick reminder for all of you in Philadelphia that The Last Belle will be screening on Friday 28th September at the Project Twenty1: Philadelphia Film and Animation Festival. Click HERE for the schedule.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Great Spring Clean - part 1

Well I'm nothing if not contrary. Having just made an analogue film in the digital age I am about to start my 'Spring Cleaning' as we enter Autumn.

There are a great many positive things about working in an analogue way, but also a few negatives: one of the greatest being how much stuff you create in the process. The Last Belle now lives in small drive that can fit in the palm of my hand, but the artwork that went into it's creation takes up some 75 boxes, plus several oversize folders.

A small section of Mount Lastbelle
 If I were some kind of Citizen Kane figure who had a vast warehouse at his disposal to store all the momentos of a lifetime then I'd be happy to keep it all for posterity. But sadly I don't have a warehouse. Just a relatively small house. So this stuff has to go.

And it's not just 35,000 cels and 35,000 drawings clogging up my life. There are endless...

                                  sheets, and...                                                            

                                             ...exposure sheets, and...

                                          ... pots and pots of paint, and...

                                  ...a couple of hundred background paintings too. 

A while back I had a fantasy that I'd like to take all this artwork into a field, pile it up high, and create a huge bonfire out of it, around which friends and family could party into the twilight. Not that I particularly enjoy destroying artwork, but ultimately all that counts is the final film -- what you used to get you there becomes irrelevant.

But then it occurred to me that burning 35,000 sheets of triacetate cel would probably create a noxious toxic cloud  large enough to wipe out a small town. And that's not the kind of publicity anyone would want attached to their film.  So we're being a bit more environmentally aware and disposing of most of this stuff in a more friendly, but sadly less spectacular, way.

Over the next few weeks/months I'll post any interesting artwork as I stumble across it. We'll keep a couple of boxes of goodies for posterity, but the rest of it can go to the great animation graveyard in the sky.

And while we're on the subject, if your appetite for 'Spring-Cleaning-Artwork-Blogs' has been whetted by reading this, let me alert you to another blog: it turns out that just a few miles up the road from me Terry Gilliam's youngest daughter Holly is also crawling through a pile of her Dad's old artwork and is posting it on her lovely blog 'Discovering Dad'.

Enjoy! It's strangley comforting to know I'm not the only one wading through paper mountains and imbibing litres of dust...  

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


Those lovely people at Skwigly Animation magazine have just posted a podcast featuring interviews with me, John Kricfalusi, and Richard Randalph. Apparently, due to an attack of the techno-gremlins the sound quality on my interview is a bit distorted... but if you are unable to make out every word I say it may create the illusion that I'm actually talking sense. Possibly.

You can download it on iTunes, or listen to it on the Skwigly website HERE.  

Friday, 14 September 2012

Attack of the Giant Dragonfly

I am currently in the middle of the Grand-Sort-Out-Of-Old-Artwork from The Last Belle (more of which in some forthcoming posts), but in the meantime I have been doing my best to avoid starting such a humongous task by catching up with old friends...

Me with maestro animators/directors Geoff Dunbar and Oscar Grillo

I mention this only because of the surreal moment I set up this group photo only to be interrupted by the sound of a small helicopter bashing against the skylight above us...

Photographus interruptus - Oscar Grillo, Geoff Dunbar, Peter Lord and
illustrator David Melling looking slightly alarmed...

It turned out to be a HUGE dragonfly, beautifully coloured, repeatedly head-butting itself against the glass in an apparent suicide bid. We sat transfixed for several minutes, before it gave up and left. It's a strange world.

OK, back to The Last Belle shortly...