Sunday, February 11, 2007

ANIMEX Festival Review

Another Animex Festival has been and gone and, as ever, has lived up to it's growing reputation of attracting the very best from the animation world. And me.

Joining the usual suspects of speakers this year were such industry luminaries as Oscar winning producer of W&G Curse of the Wererabbit, Claire Jennings, and big bad bebop Hull-fop hippety hop beatboy JAKe, creator of Geek Boy and all round top hairy bloke. A nice touch this year was the award given to the evergreen creator of Acting For Animators, Ed Hooks, who received his Animex "Lemmy" at the end of festival dinner, to everyone's delight. Congratulations Ed, can't think of a nicer fellow in Animation.

The Cat maquette you see above was wheeled out during my speech (which was shockingly full of innuendo, smut, double and single entendres I'll be the first to admit!). It was presented as an example of things one can do to help raise the profile of a project when looking to chase that greenlight. I asked Colin Batty some years ago to make me a maquette, and the talented sausage came up with this definitive sculpt.

The box was made by Chris Keogh at Mackinnon and Saunders. What you can't see on the reverse of it is the address to Castle Frankenstein, Oddsburg.

As well as an insight into the development of Frankenstein's Cat, I was also able to show the pilot of a "pre-Curtis" Bob The Builder as made by Ealing Studios many moons ago. This was by way of explaining the sometimes long and meandering path by which a project goes from page to the screen. The pilot raised many eyebrows in the audience as it's little known that it was ever made.
This fine collection of male specimens consists of (l-r) Dougie "The Mouth" Pincott, Professor Paul "The Stare" Wells, Curtis "The Tongue" Jobling and Chris "The Lobe" Williams. As you may be able to gather this was from the end of Festival Dinner after much swigging of dirty liquor!
Ahhhh, the lovely, divine, Claire Jennings, ex-Aardman (sorry Claire ;-) ) Poor Claire had to endure my company, dad jokes, inappropriate questions and general rants throughout the dinner. Watch this space as the Jobling endeavours to work with the Jennings in the near future!

Thanks to everyone at Animex for helping me, Emma and the kids to feel as welcome as ever and thanks to everyone who turned up, both at my workshop and lecture. If you came and listened, do please post comments - feedback always appreciated.

Bada Bling!


Andrew Glazebrook said...

We'll have to swap Dad Jokes one day,I have some beauty's,You'll be sure to get a groan with them !

That cat sculpt by Colin Batty is tops,I loved that from the first time I seen it,and even better his Dad is Roy Batty of Nexus 6 'Blade Runner' fame.

What's the date when Frankenstein's Cat is due to air,Spring,Summer etc... ? Really looking forward to seeing it.Put me down for a Duvet and Pillowcase when the merchandise appears ! :)

Belf said...

Oh dear, was I rough on saturday morning after the Animex bash. I went back to my mum's house in Yorkshire and promptly (and noisily, apparantly) fell asleep on her sofa!

Though I still didn't manage to get a book from you! :(

Great week though, and your talk was really useful - I'm sure I'll still have questions on the subject to plague you with in future. :)

Cheers Curtis!

All the best x

Something said...

Glad you had a great time.

That's an awesome sculpture, and the box just makes it that much better. :D

Anonymous said...

unbelieveable cat sculpture......a great work of art.

Quick questions:

1. During your time at Aardman, did you ever meet someone called Gideon Bohannon. Hes a mate of mine and has worked on Chicken Run and Were Rabbit as a modelmaker

2. Because of your knowledge and experience, have you ever thought of bringing out a book giving help, advice, behind then scenes, and insights into the industry. I would think a lot of people would buy it.

I maybe from Bristol, but 'come on Middlesborough' for tomorrow night!!!

Bristol Andy

Cassie said...

Have you looked at how many of your pictures are on google images? You are still working very hard, Emma must be a saint.

Anonymous said...

great sculpt.

mrfusion said...

Sorry I missed you at Animex again this year. Some Giant F&@#ing Robots have got me chained to my desk until may. I'll do my best to get back there next year. Thanks for the sketch!


JAKe said...

Animex is fantastic. I'd highly recommend it to anyone. Even those who are faint of liver. An amazing gathering of world wide animation and FX talent from the likes of Disney, Dreamworks , Framestore and the independent sector, and then they stick the poor buggers in a hotel with Nothern chancers like me and Jobling. Curtis's talk was great, what a pro. He could be warming up for Cannon and Ball and Jim Davison in Blackpool if he puts his mind to it. Mr. Batty's sculpt looks even more amazing in real life, I can't wait for the day when there's toys of Nine lined up in Woolworths.

Jo Bling said...

Glazey - September was what I was told, although the BBC are looking to release a few over Summer to raise word of mouth...

Belf - there'll be other occasions when I have my Dellboyesque suitcase full of books for sale no doubt

Something & Brian - cheers chaps

Andy - nope, I never met anyone by that name fella. Then again it was a long time ago and my association was brief. I'm not sure about a book about insights into the industry as I'm still a little "wet behind the ears" myself in my opinion ;-) Ask me that question again in 10 years and I may have more to say

Cassie - Google's got too many pictures of my many-chinned visage for it's own good!

Tom! Thanks for calling in matey! Giant Robots I'm going to read as Optimus Whatsit and his buddies - sorry they're working you so hard.

JAKe - and there's the review of the festival, in case any of you just thought I was speaking out of my patootie on all things Animex. JAKe is spot on, the festival, though small compared to European ones, is excellent and a wonderful way of meeting industry bods firsthand, up-close and personal. As for the reference to Northern Chancers, I like to think we're the black puddings that hold the festival breakfast together! And my talk? Apparently it's been filmed and is going to be online with Skillset. Shall let you know when it's "fully operational"... :-D

Marcelo Vignali said...

A very happy birthday to you!

Tim Bye said...

I love that cat!!!

ian said...


Jo Bling said...

Marcelo, thanks sir, it was a rather splendid day indeed.

Tim - bless you squire, look out for the velcro-detachable plushy that'll (hopefully) hit the stores when the show airs in September!

Ian - which one? Tell me this is Mr Carney!

Tony said...

Hey Curtis!

Sorry I didn't make it over for Animex this year, maybe next? Looks like a grand time was had by all! Of all the fests I've attended, Animex is still my favorite! (followed closely by Red Stick, Hi Stace!)

Now the big question? When can I buy my very own Frankenstein's Cat, complete with cool crate?

Is Collin Batty's dad REALLY Roy Batty? Wait, then that means Collin must be a... dare I say it... A REPLICANT?

You know some cool folks my friend! Robots or not.

Peace Out Playa!

Jo Bling said...

It's a celebrity packed thread this one and no mistake. Such festival luminaries as Tom Martinek, JAKe and now Tony West! Tony my lovely fellow, I shall catch up with you via the magic of email, but yeah, Animex was terrific.

As for the price tag on a Cat maquette, it's gotta be a few hundred nicker I'm afraid. Failing that I'll heartily recommend the detachable limb plushies that will hopefully come out when the show airs! :-D

gina said...

I love that maquette. That reminds me, I really should sculpt some of characters in 3d.

Woodypecker said...

Imagine my surprise to see a picture of Dougy Pincott! He was my first boyfriend and my mum used to call him Reggie Punnett (or wing nut)!

Call him Reggie next time you see him and see what his reaction is!

I don't think I've ever seen him in a suit, he looks much better in nylon school shorts.

I'm in Perth Australia and my son LOVES all of your shows.