Welcome to Thorvald!

Sometimes, the process of making a stop motion animated film is a bit like being locked in a deadly struggle with a fearsome sea serpent, only to look into its face and recognize yourself. This blog is for anyone who has battled a 12-inch tall monster of their own and discovered a worthy adversary and a beautiful friendship.

Welcome to my lair. Visit my monsters and tell me about yours.

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Saturday, 1 September 2012

Launching New Animation Festival Screening in Scotland and Egypt!

Thorvald is finally officially finished and ready to meet the world! I am sending him to festivals and will be making a trailer that I will hopefully post here very soon. In the meantime, I am already in preproduction on my next short (details to be revealed later) and am actually developing a festival of my own. I'm hoping to hear from all of the brilliant stop motion animators out there! I will be creating a full website for the festival with all relevant details but for now, here is my preliminary announcement:

Would you be interested in submitting your animated short to a festival that spans two continents, and will screen your work to a diverse international audience in two of the most beautiful and culturally rich cities in the world?
I am an independent stop motion animator and PhD Film Studies student based in Edinburgh, Scotland, and I am currently organizing a new festival for animated short films (with an emphasis on stop motion). The films selected by the festival will screen in two cities: Edinburgh, Scotland and Luxor, Egypt.

With such high-profile events as the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Fringe, Edinburgh is already a major international cultural centre attracting audiences from around the world. The current plan is to synchronize the Edinburgh section of the festival with the end of the Fringe.

Home to such famous ancient monuments as Tomb of Tutankhamun Luxor, Egypt has long been recognized for its remarkable historical value and hosts millions of tourists from all over the world every year. Now however, with the successful African Film Festival organized by the local government and the newly launched Luxor Egyptian and European Film Festival, Luxor is emerging as a modern cultural landmark as well.

The goal of this festival is to stimulate an exchange of ideas and visions between emerging Egyptian and international filmmakers. This would be the only stop motion animation themed festival in Edinburgh and the first international animation festival in Egypt.
I am of course especially interested in stop motion films, and hope that such mythologically and historically rich screening locations as Edinburgh and Luxor may encourage submissions in the following directions:

Silent Film
Ancient/Medieval Period Film

I am still in the early planning stages, but I am already in touch with the Filmhouse in Edinburgh and the new Governor of Luxor about my ideas for the festival. What I need now is to hear from you – the international animation community. I need to gauge how much interest I can raise and how many submissions I can encourage now and whether it will be possible for me to launch the festival as soon as next summer.

I look forward to hearing from anyone who wants to get more information or has a film that they might like to submit!
You can email me at festival@yorwickcastle.com or leave a comment here on the blog.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Sneak Peek

Thorvald is still in the long and arduous process of rendering, so I  don't have any footage to share at the moment. However, I did promise updates soon, so here is a still showing Thorvald floating in a sea of green goo, just after being swallowed by the Stoorworm. Thorvald and the boat are stop motion, the goo, background, lighting, and atmospheric effects are all digital.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Thorvald is Still Alive and Almost Done!

I realize this a decidedly belated return to  the chronicle of Thorvald's tribulations, but I must admit that the tribulations in question have put quite a strain on my time, especially when combined with my in-progress PhD thesis. Thorvald has turned into something of a monster himself, and has grown into a much longer and more complicated film than I had originally anticipated. All of the stop motion shooting is now officially complete, as is most of the special effects work. If the universe does not spontaneously combust and my humble self is not devoured by some sort of mythic creature, the film itself should be completed soon. I definitely want to get everything done before September, as I'm hoping to submit Thorvald to the Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival. I am also currently in the conceptual stages of developing a little stop motion festival of my own here in Edinburgh, and am already planning my next film. I will be posting updates (hopefully) soon. I will also be posting stills and a trailer as soon as Thorvald is completed!