It’s been nice weather for spotting and ignoring Gavin Worms.
Don’t Fear Death is well under way now so I thought I’d give you an update about how it’s going. And it’s going… well.
In early March were busy prepping for the main production period by drawing, planning and script tweaking. Then, with a solid, locked-down script we went about finalising contracts and nailing down our talent to get the voice recording in the can. It can be tricky to coordinate voice records as you have to navigate agents, talent availability, and studio timings. Not to mention organising travel and other practicalities all whilst protecting your precious budget.
Thankfully, with the help of our associate producer Ed Bye, we got our star Rik Mayall and the good people at Guilt Free Post together in a booth at Wise Buddah for a few hours of voice work. The day began with a combined read-through and script workshop with Rik and Ed. Some revisions and adjustments for delivery later, we got Rik into the booth and worked through scene by scene. And I can tell you, it’s a glorious sound when Rik in full manic flow. We’d love to work with him again.
Since then Louis has put together an animatic so we can actually watch the film in its basic form for the first time. And we’re very happy with it. We’ve already got some great comments from the inner circle, so we can’t wait to apply the animated skin to the bones.
In other news we’ve secured a sound designer, and are working with a composer to produce an original score for us. We also have another animator on board to help take the strain. The next step will be working with all of these elements to flesh out the film and make it sparkle.
That’s your lot for now. Expect another DFD update soon!
Am I pleased to announce something or have I got a canoe in my pocket!?
We’re frying-pan-wieldingly, stupidest-bottom-burpingly, wired for sound to say that Rik Mayall will be the voice of our new animated comedy short Don’t Fear Death! Red Dwarf and Bottom director, Ed Bye will also be helping us as an Associate Producer!
We’re still getting used to the idea of working with some of our earliest comedy influences. The Young Ones and Bottom have been warping my mind ever since I can remember. As for Red Dwarf, I will always associate it with the weekly ritual of settling in for the Friday night comedy schedule with a sickly Chinese takeaway and a 4 litre bottle of pop.
Don’t Fear Death is a 3 minute film that has been commissioned by Channel 4 as part of their Random Acts scheme. The story is a twisted spin on the benefits of being dead, aided by a montage of fun-loving corpses. With Rik’s involvement this project will be really special and I can’t wait to animate to his delivery.
OK. Pop music. Let’s go:
The Man in a Cat screening is on March 9th, in Bloc 2 at 5pm. So get down there if you’re about. We’d have loved to attend as we’ve never been to SXSW, but it was short notice. Hopefully Yorkie can come back and tell us how it was.
We’ll have our first bit of animation on terrestrial TV this Wednesday (6th March, 10.30pm)!
We created some fake interstitial adverts to go at the start of a soap called The Lane. They’re only small but we’re pleased with how they slot in with the rest of the show. A few months ago we went to a screening of the first two episodes and as expected the show’s fantastic. The Guardian’s already tipping Anna & Katy as the next Vic & Bob.
It’s really exciting at the moment to see a new wave of comedians, performers, writers and producers that are coming to TV and doing their job properly.
To get you in the mood watch Anna & Katy’s 2011 Comedy Lab episode HERE!
Some say that the banana is evidence of God’s design. It’s not if you turn the banana the other way round.
The music is Lasciami Il Tuo Sorriso by Nico Fidenco – I’ve been enjoying ’60s Italian Pop lately. The hazy vertical bar on the right is the frame of a mirror I shot through to get extra depth. I should have used a polarizer for my big shiny glasses.
For further reading here’s Kirk Cameron explaining that bananas are ‘The Atheists’ Nightmare’ (His other demonstration on pineapples is eye-wateringly determined):
We had a great time at the London Comedy Film Festival. LOCO’s only just finished its second year but it has the slickness of an established veteran festival. As well having a packed programme there’s a friendly buzz about the entire time, making it a pleasure to mingle and chat to anybody.
We had the honour of judging and presenting the LOCO Discovery Short Award. Our agenda was based on how strong the entries were as “films” as well as how funny they were. That’s an almost impossible balance to strike so we had a huge amount of respect for everyone who made the shortlist. In the end Tooty’s Wedding was the winner.
Here’s the trailer for Tooty’s Wedding:
Earlier on in the week I also went along to a preview screening and Q&A of A Liar’s Autobiography. The film is a sweet animated tribute to Graham Chapman, voiced by the late-parrot himself, along with most of the Python crew. As far as I know it is the biggest animation collaboration of its kind for a feature film.
Having won the award with Man in a Cat last year, we were very honoured to be asked to judge this year’s London Comedy Film Festival Discovery Short award. And now our shortlist has been released ahead of the screening and awards ceremony on Sunday 27th January at BFI Southbank.
The standard was very high across the board but we had to narrow it down to three. So naturally, we chose four including an honourable mention. Here, in alphabetical order, is the shortlist:
Painkiller (dir. Mustapha Kseibati)
For mining laughs from a very dark situation, whilst maintaining a genuinely touching story at the heart of it all. The acting is superb and the comedy doesn’t detract from the central drama.
Tooty’s Wedding (dir. Frederic Casella)
For creating a fully-formed short film that is funny as it is recognisable. It’s very well scripted and uses great acting to find laughs at every opportunity, building enough pathos to create characters that are both relatable and pitiful.
Womble (dir. Robert Pirouet)
For notching up the tension in a classic comedy premise in an original way. It crams in the laughs, with visual jokes playing off rapid fire lines which are delivered to perfection by the excellent cast.
Honourable mention: PVT Craine (dir. Ben Mallaby)
For its fast paced build up and unexpected twist. It manages to go past the typical sketch format by focusing on the characters’ relationship as much as the laughs.
Louis and I will be at the BFI on the 27th to announce the winner and present the award, so if you’re going to be at LOCO that day, get in touch to say hello. For the full list of films screened at the Showcase and tickets, visit the LOCO website here.
Not sure about Jimmy Tarbuck’s new material – it’s a bit alternative for me. He was a schoolmate with John Lennon donchya know?
… and here’s the GIF like so many people like doing nowadays.
Every now and then Man In A Cat gets into another festival that I forgot submitting to. This time it’s Animacam!
Man In A Cat’s in the final selection for BEST FILM. It’s also up for the vote for BEST DIRECTOR online. So, if you can be arsed to register on the website, you can vote HERE until February 8th.
Also, here’s how they’ve summed up the film:
Name that Shakespearian Dramatic Metaphor to win a prime slice of Cadbury Creme Egg.