Friday, July 27, 2012

Life drawing

Have been doing a bit of life drawing recently, at friend Brian Hladin's apartment studio in Toronto. Being downtown has been been great for doing things in the evenings. Sure feels good to get out some work like this.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


So - went out for TAAFI  last weekend. Congratulations to Ben MacEvoy and Barnabas Wornoff for pulling off a quite decent little festival.
I didn't get out for the whole thing, but overall the event seemed to go well.

The venue was perfect; the Bell Lightbox was a great place for the festival. The theatres are a good size. it is the home of the Toronto International Film Festival, so it gave TAAFI some cred.
The candies were cute.

The big event on Saturday night was a screening of the Nelvana-made feature, Rock N Rule. The screening was followed by a panel made up of several folks who were involved with the production, including me.
I had been on the production from may 1980 to approximately fall that same year, being my first job on getting out of Sheridan's Classical Animation course.
it was a exciting, yet peculiar experience.
So was the panel, kind of.

The panel was well set up: Michael Hirsch, Patrick Loubert, Clive Smith, the three main owners of Nelvana and creators of the project, Charlie Bonafacio, lead animator of Dizzy, one of the main characters, Laura Shepherd, graphic designer, Willy Ashworth, efx animation,  me, Robin Budd, "one of the two main animators on Mok Swagger"( it's a mark of how short the Q&A was that we never got back to that - the absence speaks volumes) and Susan Roman, the voice of Angel, the main female character. She spoke about the experience of dealing with Blondie aka Debra Harry, who was a very hot commodity at the time, so you didn't just call her up.

Good quotes:
Patrick: "what michael didn't say, was that, RnR bankrupted the company..."

There were a lot of folks in the audience who had also worked on it.
Not everyone was mentioned by name or got to stand up and take a bow, that's too bad.
But I saw Dave Cox, Dale Cox, Bev Lehman, Ted Ravn, Trevor Davies, John de Klein, Brian Lee, Barb Sachs.

Discussion and questions wound up a bit fast, all of a sudden Barry was saying, "We only have time for two more questions" and we were all being shunted out of the auditorium.

Overall, a bit of a goal met: being on stage at the Lightbox. I was happy to be speaking from on stage in the Lightbox.

Also Sunday afternoon event for the retrospective and Q&A with Kaj Pindal. As I said before, Kaj should be designated a National Treasure. This is confirmed to me by seeing the work included in the screening portion: style, movement, timing, humour, all distinctively Kaj. It was actually a bit light, there could have been more. But the attempt to keep the time short is understandable. But I would love to have seen some of the Old Lady Who Lived In a Shoe safety ads. Or the No Smoking ads. Or Caninibus, about the junkie dog. However, what was shown was great and shows what a complete filmmaker Kaj is.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

To The Followers

Hey, a shout out to all you who have signed on as Followers of my blog. A sincere thank you , as I have never acknowledged you all before now. I am very honoured! Thanks for hanging in there! I shall try and get some stuff up here to make it worth your while!

Friday, July 6, 2012


OK, have been seriously remiss in not posting of late, especially to promote the first annual Toronto Animation Arts Festival, TAAFI. Also, especiallly, becuase I will be part of one the panels: the post screening panel for Rock nRule, the feature done by Nelvana back in 80-82 (at least , those are the years of my association with it.) Alot of stories behind it. You'll hear a few if you go to the screening/panel/ bar afterwards.
Stolen from John K.'s blog.

Back to Taafi: they have a good lineup: the ineffable (or more likely, lots o' effin') John K., a workshop/ master class by Charlie Bonifacio, close to becoming one of our national treasures, and a true national treasure, although I think we  are in line behind Denmark,  Kaj Pindal, who gets a retrospective and tribute.
And one thing not to miss, if you are going: buried in one of the Competition screenings is Neil Boyle's new film, The Last Belle.. I saw this last fall at the Bradford Animation Fest in the UK. It is one of the best pieces of animation, design and layout done in the last few years. I might be biased, but it is a roaring return of the Dick Williams school of animation, which I sorely miss. Good old traditional hand crafted artwork, even painted on cel animation. Deserves its own screening and panel. NOT TO BE MISSED.

The Last Belle plays Saturday at 11:15 and Sunday at 3:45 as part of the programme called Straight Up Toons.
Otherwise, I will be hanging out in the bar. See you there.