Monday, November 28, 2011

Access All Areas Film Festival

Like to draw your attention ("draw your attention" Get it? Hyuk! Hyuk!) to something that might otherwise get a little bit lost on the festival listing page. "Sumo Lake" is part of the Access All Areas Film Festival, an Australian film festival dedicated to getting films out there so everyone can enjoy them, regardless of a disability that might otherwise make the film-going experience more difficult than it should be. Venues have wheelchair accessibility and extra space, most films are captioned and/or audio described ("…and then they dance!"), there are volunteers to assist the less mobile and the Sydney and Paramatta screenings will feature an AUSLAN interpreter.

There will be screenings in a variety of schools in Queensland and New South Wales, and public screenings throughout NSW. Further details here, as well as information about hosting a screening in your community. It's a mighty program of good Aussie cinema, and I'm proud to have my scribbled sumos in the mix of this great festival.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Special Screening

Those of you who will be in Adelaide next week and keen to hear a blab about Sumo Lake, are welcome to attend the next meeting of the Japan Australia Business Council of South Australia where I'll be speaking along with Sam White of the People's Republic of Animation.

I'm really looking forward to this. Not only because I get to sit in an audience during a screening of Sumo Lake, but I'm expecting a lively question and answer session after the film. I'm dead keen to hear the Japanese perspective on my admittedly irreverent yet not intentionally disrespectful take on these cultural icons. We may even get an aggrieved ballerina who wants to kick me in the nuts.

As if that's not enough, there's also Sam on the bill presenting some of the latest work from the dynamic PRA studios and discussing the company's history and new projects. Non-members are welcome for a nominal admission, which is a bargain given that there's drinks and nibbles along with the cartoons. Mark the evening of Thursday, October 6th in your diary and use their online RSVP form to secure your place. Hope to see you there.  Expect a full report here if you can't make it!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yay! Laurels!

We wear 'em with pride.
Check the "Watch" page for more details.

You'll also find us participating in the Australian edition of International Animation Day, Oct 29th and 30th in Brisbane.

Visit Animation Alliance Australia for more info (like does it mean that all us animators are going to get presents and free drinks all day?).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

More Screenings and temporarily off-line

Very happy to say that Sumo Lake will be screening in competition at The Cordoba International Animation Festival  in the program "Animations For Children That Won't Take A Nap" (it's not clear to me if these films are meant to be punishment or sleep inducement). Further details soon on the "Watch" page.

As posted earlier, we'll be part of the program this coming weekend at the San Francisco Shorts Festival. As a courtesy to the festival, watching "Sumo Lake" online will be accessible only by password for the duration of the festival. It will be freely available again from Sept. 12, or if you e-mail me and ask for the password really, really nicely and promise you won't send it to someone in San Francisco.

This may happen again from time to time at a festival's request. We're well past being able to enter festivals that only screen films that have not been distributed online (now there's a topic for discussion another day) but it is perfectly reasonable that a festival doesn't want some smart-arse showing a film on their smartphone in the foyer while waiting for the screening.

And even if they did, Sumo Lake is all about scale. See and hear it big if you can.

UPDATE: Back online for all! Congrats and thanks to San Francisco Shorts for a successful festival.

Friday, July 1, 2011


A couple screenings of Sumo Lake are taking place next week. Hopefully you can make one of them, but I  doubt you'll make both. They're on opposite sides of the globe.

Details on the "Watch" page. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sumo Lake - The "Lost" Scene

Mistakes and oversights can happen in the best managed and resourced productions, so when the means of making a film consists of one guy in a messy shed, it would seem inevitable that things go awry.

I always say that part of an animator's brain needs to be an accountant. There's the flow and verve of creative engagement, but that can never get out of sight of the bean-counter in your head that numbers the images, does the math on the charts and timings, and keeps an eye on production output. One of my favourite quotes is from an interview with Tim Burton:

"The unholy alliance of animation is that on one hand you are called upon to be a creative artist, and on the other hand you are called upon to be a zombie factory worker." 

Had that hanging above my desk for years to remind myself to hear both callings - in that order. Can't handle zombie factory work? Then don't be an animator. (Try directing instead. It seems to have worked for Tim.)

In the course of the furious few weeks of scribbling Sumo Lake, the Panic Productions line producer must have nodded off, because it wasn't until I had done the shoot and the first edit that I found a small folder of drawings at the back of the shelf for a shot that was intended for the end sequence.

I scanned them and threw them into a movie file and showed them to editor Victoria Cocks when we were doing the final edit a couple days later. We both concluded we didn't need it. We would have missed it if we did. Maybe my Line Producer brain knew something my Director brain didn't.

Here for your viewing pleasure is a clip of the missing 16 frames  - a mere 2/3 of a second - that constitutes the lost footage of Sumo Lake. It was to be inserted after the Von Rothcart lizard sends Prince Siegfried Sumo flying of screen at the start of their final encounter. A cut-away just slowed it down.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More Artwork

Thanks to everyone who responded to the auction of original artwork.

More original artwork has been made available, only this time for direct purchase rather than auction, with 50% of the price going to assist with Japan's earthquake and tsunami relief through Artists Help Japan.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


The title says it all. "Sumo Lake" has had over 100,000 views since being posted publicly on Vimeo less than a fortnight ago.

Now I know I haven't had every one of those two hundred thousand eyeballs go the full three minute distance and love every frame of it, but that's still a lot of punters.

Just might be something in this whole interweb thingy after all …

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Good Week for Sumo Lake

Indeed it was. With the passing of the last of the festival entry restrictions holding it back, "Sumo Lake" was put online. The good folks at Cartoon Brew gave it a mention, and the hit counter has been running like a dodgy taxi meter ever since. As of this moment, over 30,000 pairs of eyeballs have gazed upon "Sumo Lake" and along with the many kind and complimentary comments, it's a little overwhelming.

Then last night I had placed in my hands this little beauty for "Best Animation" at the South Australian Screen
Awards.  It was a fabulous evening. Those that were there will know it was a memorable event that we'll all have trouble remembering.

Thanks to the Media Resource Centre for being such great hosts, and big thanks to GooRoo Animation for stepping up and sponsoring this award. Onya, guys!