After finishing DuckManBoy, and other projects we can’t chat about yet, we thought it was time to finally make a showreel. It’s also been about 5 years since starting production on Man In A Cat. Since then we’ve created stuff for Channel 4, Nickelodeon, BBC Comedy and Oxfam, and worked with some amazing people in the process.
That was fun. Everything is with Italian 60’s Pop.
It’s also been 6 years since my last freelance animation reel, so it’s nice finally showing off what I’ve done for other people between our Dice work. More Italian 60’s Pop:
We’ve also got a new website design and silly Dice ident to suit us better. We’ve always had an awkward relationship with the formality of ‘Dice Productions’. It’s like an embarrassing band name that’s too late to shake off. So, instead of starting again we’re styling it out with a silly rubbery neck, yellow paint, and a slide whistle.
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 endTooty’s Wedding was the winner.
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.
We had a great year in 2012, so we thought it would be a good idea to look back on some of the things that happened for us at Dice Productions but also to look forward and provide a preview of things to come from us this year. Let’s kick things of with the best of 2012 in our world of comedy, film, writing and animation…
Man in a Cat
Our short animated comedy All Consuming Love (Man in a Cat) starring Kevin Eldon, Josie Long and Isabel Fay came into its own this year and did wonders on the festival circuit. It screened at over 40 festivals worldwide, winning prizes and accolades including:
The exciting piece of news of 2012 was that we were commissioned by Channel 4’s Random Acts to make a new short film called Don’t Fear Death for the telly. It’s an animated comedy about the benefits of death. It’s a little twisted. We’re currently preparing and are just confirming our voice talent (which is incredibly exciting), so hopefully we’ll be adding some production notes to the blog soon.
We worked on some great projects with some cool people including:
Anna & Katy – Animated segments for the Channel 4 sketch show for Rough Cut TV.
Oxfam – Directed and animated a short film for Oxfam’s International Women’s Day
First Light Films – Animation and writing on ‘How To’ filmmaking videos with Steve Spencer of Nice Monster.
We also made a couple of things to amuse ourselves including this sketch called Lady Mail Man:
Plans for 2013
2013 is looking set to be an exciting year as production mode for Don’t Fear Death, our first solo TV commission, is already winding up. The film is due to air on Channel 4 later in the year before landing online, so we’ll keep you posted.
We’re judging the London Comedy Film Festival shorts competition in January and sometime after that we’ll be watching Anna & Katy on Channel 4, not just for the small, animated segments we made for it, but because it’s hilarious. We’ve seen the first two episodes and it’s smashing.
As well as working on several new animation projects and hopefully more TV, we’ll be making more short and snappy animations and sketches for our YouTube Channel and our own amusement (something we didn’t do enough of last year).
We’ve also got quite a few scripts up our sleeves too (it’s where we keep them) which we’ll be looking to get either produced or developed this year. We’ve got a sitcom, a live-action short, an animated series or two, and lots of sketches and new ideas to bring to life, so the backlog is certainly very healthy. If you want to talk to us about any or all of them, get in touch!
Finally, we’re on the look-out for representation, so if you’re an agent, or can recommend a good one for writing and/or directing, again, get in touch.
It was a lovely surprise to have won and it really justifies the hard work of everyone involved in getting the film made, especially Louis who put more into Man in a Cat than anyone. Obvious thanks go to the festival for selecting the film, and LoCo Film Festival for selecting us as winner in our category. We couldn’t have done it without the backing of UK Film Council, Screen WM, and producer Jon Petrie who helped to secure our awesome voice cast of Kevin Eldon, Josie Long, and Isabel Fay.
It’s great that LSFF even had a comedy award in the programme. Most festivals don’t so it’s brilliant to be recognised for making a funny film when that is what we set out to do. Now we need to decide what to do next, so that’ll be fun. You can see all the shortlisted films and winners on the LSFF website.
As for festivals that I’ll be attending, I’ll be flying over to Alcine, near Madrid, which should be a treat.
In the same week Ian and I will be heading down to Bristol for Animated Encounters for a mingle and the awards ceremony. It’s a particular pleasure to be part of Encounters as it is BAFTA, EFA and Oscar accredited! That’s what I call accredited.
We were a bit apprehensive at first about our slots of 12pm and 11.30am, but they turned out to be the perfect times. Hungover festival goers had enough time to stumble over to the tent and we were early enough not to be competing against the noise of the other tents. The relatively pleasant weather meant everyone who came to the tent were really positive about being there, rather than just to shelter from the rain. We’re still pumped from Buttery Biscuit Bass.
We’re not 100% sure when our next Birmingham Popcorn will be but check out the Facebook groupfor future notice. Meanwhile, here’s some snaps:
We’ve been selected to be in competition at the Rushes Soho Shorts Festival, and it’s BAFTA accredited! It’s extra nice as they are the first festival to reply, so fingers crossed this 100% trend carries through (it won’t).
We’re up against the big kids too, with BAFTA winning Eagleman Stag, Aardman, Baby Cow, BBC, Studio AKA, and Scottish BAFTA nominated Fixing Luka all being in the mix. Two of those were on the same UKFC funding scheme as Man In A Cat, so HIGH FIVES! It’s also pretty cool that we’re the featured image for the category.