Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Back from Baton Rouge - Normal service resumes...


OK, here's a few pictures of the Swamp Tour. That's the Tour Guide standing on a grilled ledge off the boat and feeding a gator. That's your ginger sideburned blogger then following him onto the ledge to feed said same gators. Notice my crayoning hand is still miraculously in one piece!

The family and I got back from Louisiana yesterday afternoon and I'm still in recovery from the journey. Had a whale of a time, fully of many highlights and just the one lowlight. Andrew had spent the Tuesday and Wednesday paddling in a long fountain paddling pool outside the venue, a feature that had been installed for precisely that purpose- to attract children. Kids from all over Baton Rouge would turn up in their swimming cozzies and towels to play in it. Anyway, Thursday it seems was a paddle too far. Some *insert expletive here* idiot had smashed a beer bottle in the fountain and poor AJ ended up putting his foot onto a piece. Bam. Through the sole of his foot. Cue a frantic trip to the ER and the hardest time I've had as a parent, trying to comfort/support/prepare my son for the inevitable anaesthetic injection as the kindly Dr Prejean stitched his foot up. Truly awful experience but my boy was an absolute star, God love him. His reward for such bravery that evening was a double big bowl of ice cream at the preview screening of an almost complete Over The Hedge. Was the best Dreamworks animated film I've seen, personally, even thought in places it was still unrendered. That said, AJ's favourite animation he saw at the festival (and he saw plenty) was Howl's Moving Castle. Good lad!

There were some super class people at Red Stick this year, along with usual suspects from the Animex Festival such as the ever groovy paleantologists Prof Stuart Sumida and Beth Rega, bespectacled Animex Festival Director Chris Williams, Pixar groovster Mark Walsh, naughty foul mouth Lorna Partington, jug-eared poet Dougy Pincott, easy-on-the-eye Ed Hooks, and Mayor-snaffling Rachelle Lewis (she'll get me for that). New additions "to the fold" included the toptastic tippermost Robin Linn from Sony Pictures Imageworks, who my daughter Evie took a seriously big shine to (and I suspect the feeling was mutual!). Robin is director of animation production on Spiderman 3 and Superman at present, with a plethora of great production credits to his name.

Also met up with two fab chaps from Rhythm & Hues, Hans Rijpkema and Dan Smiczek. These chaps pulled in some amazing effects on The Chronicles of Narnia, and showcased some of the tricks of using Massive too. Karen DeJong gave workshops on matte painting, as she has the most awesome CV from working on Disney features. It was also good to catch up with ace screenwriter Barbara Slade and Ken Wong, whose site I must add a link to. Great artist and character designer.

Austin Haeberle and Clifford Cohen were there to talk about their work with Hurricane Katrina survivors, and I met some great festival attendees who I do hope stay in touch! Also met the lovely Linda LeBlanc from Celtic Studios and hope we can get some co-pro work underway. Would be great for all involved and especially the wonderful State of Louisiana.

So Andrew for to eat Alligator, as well as hold and feed wild ones in the Swamp), Evie charmed her way through the male populace of the festival, Emma managed to laugh uncontrollably at anything Ferret related, and my own talks seemed to go down pretty well, helped by the presence of my good mates Chris and Dougy in the audience as targets for my inane gags. BIGGEST thanks go to our wonderful hosts (as ever) who pushed the hospitality boat out to the limit and then shoved it a touch more. Stacey Simmons and her fantastic husband Ched, Steve Beck, Jesse Hoggard, Charlotte Fruge (or "Swampy" to those in the know), Karen Jones and many more. THANK Y'ALL!!!

Busy few days lined up now as we pursue leads and hopefully chase down our swampy friends.



9 comments:

The Sheriff said...

Sounds like fun was had by all - bar the accident of course.

I. N. J. Culbard said...

Is that your drawing hand you were feeding that gator with, mein Affe kinder? Smart move. Real smart.

Glad to hear you're all home safe and sound and that AJ's on the mend.

Jo Bling said...

Morning chaps!

Smart move indeedy- like I said in the post, it was my crayoning hand. It was on my mind as I did it but then I must have had a brain-fart and figured "What the hey!" Never again!

Yep, accident was a big downer but AJ still came home insisting it was the best holiday he'd ever been on, even topping Disney.

I. N. J. Culbard said...

buddy, I can't read, I just look at the pikchures

Jo Bling said...

I think just about every speaker at the festival ended up on the swamp at one point or another. Indeed, one of our number, Rachelle Lewis from Digital Domain, even managed to get bitten by one. Mind you, she was trying to kiss it at the time....

Top place and top folk.

Mrs Bling said...

We of course had to enquire after the gator's health after it bit her....the toad she kissed just didn't fight back.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Hey glad you had fun !! Glad Andrew still enjoyed himself despite the accident.

guile said...

it'd be nice to have a walking castle like howl's :)..

Jo Bling said...

Greetings Guile! The only Guile I know of is the one who used to be in Streetfighter... whu-POW!!!