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Sunday, June 11, 2006

A quick review of Annecy 2006

As always, it was a pleasure to be in Annecy, and this year was especially great, as I introduced the A. Film L.A. concept to many in the business. The weather was great all the time, and the food as well. Here are a few images from the trip! Click to enlarge.
View from my breakfast table   View from my breakfast table   Along the Thiou river
Tim Burton applauded   The Grand prix awarded   The winner and the jury
First, two images from my breakfast table, and a generic, idyllic Annecy setting. Below, the closing ceremony, Tim Burton was celebrated, and the Grand Prix went to the short film as shown.
The winner is on the right on the last image, with the jury.

The winner for best feature film was Renaissance, a feast of Motion Capture (now snootily called Performance Capture). Did they win because they were even able to capture the pupils in the eyes?
In any case, the jury put MoCap over Wallace & Gromit, and our own Asterix, and it certainly raised MY eyebrows.

It was great to see Cars, screened two hours before the official US release. That and the MOST wonderful screening in many years, 12 Silly Symphonies, reminded me why I ever became interested in animation: entertaining stories, great characters, wonderful, cheerful colors, clear compositions, and upbeat humor.
Oh, how I wish there was more of that...

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Michael Sporn says...

Your few photos increase my sadness on not going. It's such a beautiful town.
A lot of UK winners means more 2D; it doesn't sound too bad. I don't consider motion capture real animation - it's a cgi effect - so understand your dismay with the jury.
Interesting that Silly Symphonies are what inspired you. Somehow, I can understand that.

Monday, June 12, 2006 at 7:30:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

Well, the Sillies were PART of my inspiration. Basically, it's the whole deal. (I have a tough time explaining to people that my VERY first inspiration was Robin Hood - I seem not to be taken seriously. It does have some great animation, despite of the obvious reuses and the less than fantastic story treatment.) I just enjoy the Sillies so, as they are so positive and up-beat.

As to the jury, after questioning "is Renaissance animation at all", they decided that that was decided by the pre-selection jury, and then they included it in their deliberations. I think it certainly was weak to pass the buck like that.

Monday, June 12, 2006 at 7:44:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Gabriele Pennacchioli says...

Hey Hans, by any chance did you see a short called "Burning Safari"?
It has been done by those super talented students from the french school Le Gobelins.
If you miss it here is the link:

http://www.catsuka.com/news_detail.php?id=1149755572

Monday, June 12, 2006 at 2:14:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

Hi, Gabriele! Actually, I DID see that, and I must admit that I am in two minds about it. As with much I have seen in the last month. You know, in the old days, the animators looked at real life, or maybe at Chaplin. Then came a generation of animators that looked at the old animators' ONLY, for inspiration. All their animation just HAD to look like Milt's, even if it really didn't fit the feelings. They did not ask themselves REALLY, what is the character thinking. They used a symbol.

Nowadays, CG animation has reached that point. Most CG I have seen lately uses symbolic animation, as repeats of actions seen in the early Pixar films. The timing is made more and more snappy, while sacrificing emotions in the process. I even noticed it a few times in Pixar's own Cars, but not much. I liked Cars a lot. They still try to figure out Ollie's question we need to ask ourselves: what is the character thinking, and why does he feel that way? It makes all the difference. The thoughts drive the actions. I really feel this is a major problem with most CG as done today. Much just looks as it is moved by an invisible pupeteer...

The film looks nice, it is very well executed. Now let's see stuff from those guys without the overused actions that stand in for feelings, and you'll see the work of some great animators. Or maybe it is the director's problem.

Monday, June 12, 2006 at 2:40:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Jenny Lerew says...

I would love to attend Annecy some day--but how? I'm not a producer, company owner, will likely never have films in contention there(short ones, anyway)...is it open to professionals who simply want to see the various screenings? I guess I'd attend as a member of the public--is the public invited? Is it expensive? Are there juried awards--and who's on the jury? So many questions! ; )

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 at 11:59:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

Hi, Jenny! I have been in Annecy since 1979, around the time I started my apprenticeship with Børge Ring in Holland. It was then and is still an animation ART festival, and one of the most important ones at that. It started in 1960, and when I was there first, there were some 500 attendants. Now it's more like 5000. It is open for all who think they can afford it. Many students from all over the world, and many pros. The awards are juried, yes, and most often they go for artiness. The weather may not always be as good as this year, but the food has never disappointed. You can read more on the official Annecy website.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006 at 12:19:00 PM PDT  

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