Last week marked my fourth Ottawa Animation Festival and I have exactly 0 pictures to show for it. You'll just have to take me at my word that it just keeps getting better.
Last year was decidedly lackluster in the short film section but, thankfully Nina Paley's Sita Sings the Blues made up for the depressing showcase of talent. This year, the shorts stood out while the features took a back seat.
My personal favorites?
I had actually seen this already but catching it on the big screen made it even better. What's more, the filmmaker Philip Eddolls seemed to be the only interesting character at the Meet the Filmmakers the following morning. His process for coloring the film was refreshingly creative.
The Bellow's March
The best part about this film is knowing how Eric Dyer made it. Several folks were thinking stop-motion, others 3D. I geeked out when I heard the word 'cinetrope' mentioned followed by 'what's that?' and realized I knew exactly how he dunnit.
The Black Dog's Progress
Wonderfully thoughtout film using nice stark black and white imagery and a flipbook-like set-up that boggled a few audience members enough to ask the 'how-did-you' question the following morning. Great sound work too.
Dog In a Burning Building
Made by the very talented Krause brothers, this film oozes fun from the music to the torn textured paper to the 3D to the hand-puppets. And what better way to end it than with a omage to the Muppets? The great thing about this film is that it's obvious Fran and Will had a blast making it and it's nice (especially when working the 9-5 grind) to remember why we all decided to do this for a living.
Please Say Something
When the film first started up I was immediately concerned. I had seen a film once before staring a cat and mouse rendered simply in 3D and trust me, it didn't end well. After a few seconds it was obvious this was one of the strongest, emotionally driven films in competition and the crude-looking digital characters were only driving the message home more. In fact, for all the folks out there that think animators could take a tip or two from live-action films, here's one a few live-action should look to.