Annecy animation festival is definitely one of the hi-lights of the animation industry’s calendar. Sure, there are other animation festivals around the world (currently 248 according to animation-festivals.com), but none can boast a setting or a spirit that compares to Annecy.
We saw some fantastic films this year; our personal hi-lights including the feature film Wrinkles – but here are a few more of our picks from this year…
The Story of Him
The Story of Him, by Pascual Perez, shows the life of an ordinary man and his daily routine of coffee, brandy and beer as he battles with what can only be described as severe alcoholism. It won the Junior Jury Award for a short film. Its an incredibly well animated short (no surprise; the credits list most of the Aardman crew), with a simple story, a cracking soundtrack and a great script.
One Minute Puberty
One minute puberty is a great little film by Alexander Gellner – the story is all in the title really, it’s the puberty of a young man told in one minute. What makes the film different though, is that the character is not a character but a drawing; a line. Things can happen to a line that could never realistically happen to a character – it can move and morph and react in ways that are dictated by emotion rather than being weighed down by reality.
Extracto de Lagrima
And now, one of our favourite films from this year has gone that little bit further. Una Furtiva Lagrima shows “The last journey of a fish as it sings its own requiem, from the fish market all the way to the frying pan” – it’s animated fish. Actual fish. Hard to imagine how smelly that got over a several month long shoot!
Director Carlo Vogele describes the process:
Many people have been asking me if I used a wire structure inside the fish to animate it, the answer is no. The actual bones of the fish provided all the structure I needed to move jaw and fins around, I just had to find a way to hold the poses still while I was shooting frame by frame. The solution I found most successful was to work with the fish in a half frozen state.
After purchase of the bass at the fishmarket, I’d stick it in the freezer until I was ready for a full night of animating. I would take the stinky bastard out a few hours ahead of shooting, while setting up the lights and camera. The fish would thaw from stonehard to kind of rigid in 3 hours, and for a while, its head, fins and mouth would have the right rigidity in order to hold a pose for a while.
So I’d animate as fast as I could, until the fish thawed completely and its jaw went slack… that is when invisible thread was useful : I’d lift the slack jaw with a string which I’d attach to an overhead structure off-screen.