Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

French departure

6h30 this morning near the dorms, waiting for the taxi to come.

I waved to them while they were in the cab on the way to the airport then went back to my duties : give the keys back,  make sure that all the files are saved,  nicely compress our film to put it online and update the blog.
There was some huge traffic-jam on the way to Birmnigham airport and I received a text message saying that they were about to miss their flight but fortunately didn't. All finally made it safe to Paris.
tomorrow that will be my turn to set a quite early alarm clock to catch the 5.29 am train to the airport.

Good bye Wrexham and its people, see you soon,
come and see us in Angoulême and let's have a workshop there next year !


Sunday, June 24, 2012

time to say goodbye

Chris has took his plane this morning. That started the "goodbye" time.
I and the students were up for a pic-nic that we finally had at the dorm's kitchen. It was a nice moment . We talked about the "after workshop", about internships and how it works in the US versus France.
We went to play pool and then the sun showed up later in the afternoon and we had pizzas on the grass.

 We had a nice "danse moment" before saying goodbye. It was really difficult to depart. But we'll keep in touch. See you in Philadelphia or New-York in september UArts girls !


Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 10: the film

Here's "Cook with Dan":

COOKING WITH DAN from claire fouquet on Vimeo.

Day 10: tidy up

A morning of tidying up loose ends (smoke animation, missing backgrounds, missing props, animation refinements), and a 6:30pm appointment for the screening.

What did we learn this time around?  Three important concepts were reinforced here:

1) Start with a coherent, engaging script and a visually-appealing story.
2) The reason why professional studios use After Effects to hit their production deadlines: it's powerful and efficient.
3) A cleanly-recorded, well thought-out soundtrack makes a big difference in the final impression.

Thanks to Glyndwr University Comics instructor Dan Berry, Simon Berry, and Tim Barnes for their script, and to Dan for the concept!

Thanks to Claire Fouquet, animation instructor at EESI for persevering through this, our seventh co-production (and third with Glyndwr University) - this project would never have continued were it not for her energy, enthusiasm, and directorial skills.

Thanks to our talented, dedicated, and hard-working team of students:

l'École Européene Supérieure de l'Image d'Angoulême et de Poitiers (EESI):
Audrey Hess
Léa Donadille
Nicolas Savoye
Amaury Trouvé

Glyndwr University:
Chris Lacey
George Roberts
Edgar Snowball
Lyndon White

The University of the Arts (UArts):
Amanda Bautista
Shannon Connor
Aleson Ho
Giselle Rosser

You did excellent work under intense and time-sensitive conditions.

And finally what was the experience like for you? How was working with peers from different countries? Did you notice differences in work habits? approach to content? aesthetics? Add your comments and your voice to the mix...

We're all tired, and of course glad to have reached the finished line, but also aware of the end of an experience whose full significance may take time to rise to the surface - there was a lot to digest. Thanks to everyone for their energy, positive attitude, and creativity!

cheers! merci! aloha!

Christopher Magee
Animation Instructor, UArts

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 9: finish animating

Animators are putting final touches on their moves, Claire is sweating it out in front of the editing station, Dan and Léa attack the credits, and your truly is improving the blog.
Amaury & Shannon

Chris & Lyndon

Dan & Giselle

Claire & Lyndon



Aleson glum

Aleson happy

Dan & George

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 8: animation & "croquis"

The end looms ever larger on the horizon. We are working on finishing all the animation, getting closer every hour. After that, it's compositing and editing...Claire's joy.

Some "croquis"/sketches from Audrey.

Day 8: recording the chicken

Giselle's Chicken noises recorded by Simon from Dan Berry on Vimeo.

Day 8: in the lab

Simon Berry and Claire


Edgar, Audrey, Léa

Lyndon, Chris, Amanda

Chris & trainer puppet

animated Dan

Giselle & Simon, chicken session

Claire & Simon, editing central

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 7: workshop alum

Dan, Tom (2010), Ted (2010), & Claire
Tuesday, 19jun12

A hard-working day, spent inside the spaceship lab. We got a lot of animation done, and there are miles to go before we sleep, but more tomorrow than tonight.

A visit from 2010 workshop alumni Ted Brandt and Tom Harley today cheered our afternoon. We discussed ancient vs. modern methods of puppet animation (After Effects vs. Paper cutout), and caught up with their recently post-school careers. Good to see you guys, and "hello!" to the rest of the old team: Julia, Christine, and Asel (note: find everyone)!

shot 28

That's what I did today. Plenty of excellent work from the whole team.

Sleep well, team, and see you tomorrow at the Art School Building.

Claire, Esther, Chris in central Wrexham.
Darren and Esther were part of a Glyndwr (then "Wrexham") team led by Matt Dewdney in 2008, who filled in for David Jones, who was our first contact with our British counterparts.

Darren is now teaching part-time at Glyndwr.

We bumped into Esther Williams (2010) today while out for lunch. She's plotting world travels for next year. : )

- Chris

Darren & Chris in the Creative Industries Centre.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 6: back to work

the Creative Industries Centre's Media Training Lab
Amaury, After Effects baptism by fire

Chris and his personal trainer puppet
Here is the beginning of the second week, after a nice tour where we were all cultural tourists together and had a chance to see the countryside, thanks to Glyndwr instructor David Jones' generosity. Back to work and animation. Here are some made today.

Today we returned to face technology head-on, hitting the mouses and big iMac screens again for a concerted day of After Effects puppeting, moving pixels around, bit by bit, on big, luminous screens no one ever used to watch tv so closely on. The students are working very effectively, energetically, and with impressive alacrity, and we are seeing some personable acting and a harmonious mix between the audio and visual aspects of "Cook with Dan".

Differences between the way the school groups approach things? Well, while everyone comes through at the end of the day, it would be hard to ignore an apparently "inepuisable" verbosity on the part of the younger americans. Their optimism, hard work, and positive energy go some distance to mitigate their volume.

The French students, a linguistic minority in this setting, cope admirably with this apparent disadvantage, turning it into an advantage in terms of focus and concentration. And their English is much better than anyone's French!

The Welsh/British students also show a good dose of stoicism, in spite of being subject to the usual constraints of the home team: day job and home responsibilities, as well as travel speed bumps, getting to and from the lab from their homes.

Shannon's chicken, animated in Flash
digital puppets

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 5.5: out of the lab!

Yes, we hanged out a lot. Thanks to David Jones, who showed us around North Wales, where we walked across an Aqueduct the Romans would've have been impressed by, saw a music festival town preparing for a July onslaught, ate at the Bison Burger farm, crawled around Conwy Castle and its town-surrounding wall, which defended the British from the Welsh, tiptoed on Llandudno beach around the jellyfish, the wind, and the beach stones, and had something warm to drink in town. This was all topped off by a visit to American nostalgia at Frankie and Benny's diner once we rolled back into Wrexham.

Yesterday, while Claire and Dan attended an exposition of Rising Dan's work in London, the students and I went to Liverpool, me to see Beatle Beginnings, and the students on an equally spiritual journey to three of Liverpool's principal church edifices. Not the grimy industrial city of late '50's/early '60's lore anymore (or at least not the parts we saw), contemporary Liddypool is a mix of old and new, with its foot firmly planted in consumer havenism and the optimism of a future. A pleasant surprise and a worthwhile Magical Mystery Tour, I trod in cuban-heeled bootsteps in my jogging shoes.

Here at the onset of week two, it's only a matter of extended moments before Friday arrives and time has slipped by once again...nothing but the present lasts forever, and that for only a moment at a time.

Great lab, great collaborators, and, shock of shocks, it was sunny all day today.  : o

signing off from the nearly Apple-approved iMac paradise, looking forward to dinner and a good laundry session (happiness is warm clothes from the dryer),

- Chris