Here are the 4 nominees and overall winner. Although Logorama is very clever, after the initial novelty of seeing the world made out of corporate logos, the story doesn’t grab you as much as it could have and consequently the film could have been shorter.
I thought A Matter of Loaf and Death should have won and there was unfortunately no sign of Alma which is one of the best short films of the year. It must have been overlooked by the voting panel and should have at least been given a nomination.
Directors: François Alaux, Hervé de Crécy, Ludovic Houplain
Nominee: FRENCH ROAST
Studio: Pumpkin Factory/ Bibo Films
Director: Fabrice O. Joubert
Nominee: GRANNY O’GRIMM’S SLEEPING BEAUTY
Funding: Irish Film Board
Director: Nicky Phelan
Nominee: LA DAMA Y LA MUERTE (THE LADY AND THE REAPER)
Studio: Kandor Graphics/Green Moon Espana
Director: Javier Recio García
Nominee: WALLACE AND GROMIT IN A MATTER OF LOAF AND DEATH
Director: Nick Park
One of the better Done In 60 Seconds competition entries for the 2010 Empire Awards. The film cleverly replaces the alien prawns with clowns. Created in Ireland, the film has yet to be nominated, with other less deserving entries getting in to the top 20 shortlist. Vote now for the existing entries, although the District 9 entry will hopefully be entered from the Irish round of the competition. Voting closes on 12 March.
Voiced by: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai & John Ratzenberger
Directors: Pete Docter & Bob Peterson
Length: 96 minutes
Voiced by: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher & John Hodgman
Director: Henry Selick
Length: 100 minutes
Nominee: FANTASTIC MR. FOX
Studio: 3 Mills Studio
Voiced by: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray
Director: Wes Anderson
Length: 87 minutes
Pixar’s latest film Up is released on Blu-ray today in the UK. I was looking forward to seeing this as I missed it at the cinema. Written and directed by Monsters Inc. director and veteran Toy Story animator Pete Docter Also includes Pixar’s latest animated short Partly Cloudy
An interesting section in the making of documentary, describes how the story department fleshed out Carl and Ellie’s developing relationship. One idea shows them trading ‘punches’ throughout the years to gain one-upmanship over each other! The idea was unsurprisingly discarded as the ‘cross your heart’ concept was deemed more prominent. It just shows that Pixar develop their stories to the full, exploring every possible avenue, while going through many rewrites before deciding on the final draft.
Main Title Sequence For The BBC by StudioAKA
The BBC are currently running the main title sequence to accompany coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver
Overseeing the project was Marc Craste an animation director I have admired for a long time, whose previous work includes the Lloyds Bank ‘For The Journey’ adverts. Jon Klassen was brought in as co-designer to help Studio AKA create the overall style.
The short story tells the tale of an Inuit who is faced with various Olympic challenges while having to retrieve a head stone, taken by a great bear from the inukshuk totem statue called Ilanaaq or ‘friend’, the emblem of the Winter Games.
Just got round to seeing Avatar in IMAX 3-D. Instantly, from the very first scene, you know that you are about to witness something special. The film is visually stunning and James Cameron utilises the 3-D effect brilliantly, using depth to the fullest without overly pushing the effect out of the screen. Some 3-D films try to exaggerate the effect unnecessarily, which causes image separation and is therefore hard for your eyes to adjust. The camera technology in this film is so good that your eyes don’t have to over compensate and the large polarising glasses retain the vibrant colours of the 2D version.
The 3-D in Avatar is most effective and not surprisingly so, with scenes that have obvious depth, such as the sleeping pod room, the AMP suit hanger, the briefing room full of RDA soldiers or scenes high in the huge Home Tree, looking down to the distant jungle floor of Pandora below. The projected 1.78:1 image, which almost fills the huge 65ft x 48 ft IMAX screen, assists the 3-D effect so much so that it sometimes gives you the feeling of vertigo. The sheer size of the screen transports you into the lush alien world and seems to connect the audience more emotionally with the characters.
One slight disappointment however was that, as IMAX is still projected from 70mm film (as opposed to being entirely digital) the orientation of the film running through the projector still produces a certain amount of blurring and strobing when there is a lot of fast motion on the screen. To help compensate for this, the 3-D separation is purposely held back by the compositors on certain action scenes, resulting in a less exaggerated effect, which seems to be more pleasing to watch.
Is 3-D the future of cinema? Well for now it seems to be looking that way, especially on the IMAX screens, currently drawing audiences back with record breaking box office figures BoxOfficeMojo.com. If only the technology existed where IMAX 3-D was entirely digital and without the glasses. I think Avatars’ success though, is not only down to the new (ish) 3-D technology, but word of mouth about the breathtaking CG and quality of the performance capture, with some people even going back to see the film several times. The release of Avatar will hopefully push the technology along at a faster pace and we should start seeing quality non anaglyph 3-D in our homes sooner than expected.
Although the story may have been told many times before and there are obviously influences from James Cameron’s other films, as it turns out, the film proves that this is definitely not a bad thing at all.
*Winner*: MOTHER OF MANY
Funding: 4Mations, South West Screen and the UK film Council
Director: Emma Lazenby
Nominee: THE GRUFFALO
Studio: Studio Soi
Directors: Michael Rose, Martin Pope, Jakob Schuh, Max Lang
Nominee: HAPPY DUCKLING
School: University of Dundee
Director: Gili Dolev
The Gruffalo was created by Studio Soi and Magic Light Pictures for the BBC. The short 30 minute animated film combines both CGI and Stop-Motion techniques to create a stylistic look which is faithful to the original book
Here’s a great interview with Axel Scheffler as he talks through his initial Gruffalo book illustrations.
If you don’t manage to catch it on Christmas Day, the DVD is available now.
The Gruffalo DVD
Dir: Jakob Schuh & Max Lang
Voice Cast: James Corden, Rob Brydon, Robbie Coltrane