Archive for November, 2009

IF 4 CP

I am very proud to announce that The Cat Piano was awarded an IF (Inside Film) Award for Best Animation at the awards ceremony held in Luna Park. It was a really cool night and several members of the Cat Piano team were able to make it along for the win. We were actually handed the trophy by Oscar Award winner and Director of Mary & Max, which was another great honor.

An edited version of the awards ceremony was shown on television last night and they even managed to cut out all of my thankyous, so to everyone who worked on the film in any way, I’ll say a big ‘Thanks!’ to you on here instead. Here’s a pic of me from LIFE with the cool sky blue and white marbly-resin trophy by Dinosaur Designs.

The People’s Republic of Animation currently hiring

The studio behind our film The Cat Piano is currently hiring for two full time positions Lead Artist and 3D Generalist. A Great chance to be part of something really exciting. Have a look at the positions requirements if you are interested:

I ♥ Pictograms

What is a pictogram? Well, I had no idea what it was before today. Pictograms are pictures that tell a story without a single words. In everyday use, pictograms are used on many sreet signs where language is irrelevant. They seem to borrow alot from hieroglyphics. Here is an example of a couple of really striking ones. I am guessing they are by a designer of a Spanish speaking country because the site I found them on is entirely in Spanish Portugese. According to the blog, the Pictograms are by an Israeli artist, Noma Bar.

pictogramas

pictogramas-que-contam-historias

These images really impressed me not only from a design point of view but from a stoytelling point of view too. Aside from their Saul Bass-esque sleak design they are really fascinating for a person involved in visual storytelling. When stoyboarding animation you are always trying to convey the most powerful thing you can in any given frame. I think there is alot animators can learn from pictograms such as these. OK, so not all parts of a film need such simple and efficient graphics but there are points in many animated film, in particular stylised films such as The Cat Piano where doing exercises like this could be thoroughly helpful. What if you can convey what would normally take you 3 minutes in 20 seconds? This kind of efficiency could be a really useful tool for many people making an animated film, specifically one with a small budget.

Maybe pick a classic fairy tale (Like Little Red Riding Hood) featured above and see if you can communicate it to the viewer in one single image that combines the two most important aspect of the film. Could be great for a film poster too.

A Taste of Kerouac

I found this great old TV footage of Beat poet Jack Kerouac on The Steve Allen Show. When I wrote the poem for The Cat Piano, I was heavily inspired by Kerouac’s style of writing. I love his wordplay and even the way he phrases the sentences as he says them. If you haven’t heard or read of any of Kerouac’s stuff, then go and get yourself a copy of his novel ‘On The Road’ or one of his others. You will not be dissapointed.

Nick Cave talks about The Cat Piano & Bunny Munro

This morning I came across a great interview with Nick Cave from the writer’s festival in Ottawa. It’s a really great, candid interview and I was stoked to hear/see him talk briefly about his involvement with our film. There are some really interesting questions and even more interesting responses as always from Mr. Cave. Questions about The Cat Piano come in at around 2:47 and again around 8:07.

Nick Cave also has his latest book out now called ‘The Death of Bunny Munro’, a seedy story of a sex addicted traveling salesman. I’m going to buy the audio book and listen to it on my way to Canada next month. I really love the front cover of the book too.

bunny-munro

And here is a more racier version featuring a provocative shot of a pair of polka dot panties… on a girl.

the-death-of-bunny-munro1

Look-a-Like

A French blogger who’s blog is called Technofeliz did a post on The Cat Piano and pointed out a look-a-like for The Poet in the film. It is the character Blacksad from the Spanish comic series by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido.

CatPiano-Blacksad

When we were doing the character designs for our film, Ari mentioned this character and how cool it looked. I hadn’t heard of it but then found a really nice postcard picture from one of the comics while in Annecy. Our character deffinitley owes a bit to the beautiful design of Blacksad. This got me thinking about which designers and characters that we drew inspiration from when designing the film. The first one that comes to mind is the e cat characters of Japanese comic artist, Hiroshi Masamura.

masumuraBoth Ari and I immediately loved the cat designs of Masamura and we discovered one of his comics was turned into an anime feature called Night on The Galactic Railroad in 1985.We watched the film which had cats in space in a train… what a combination hey?

Night_on_the_Galactic_Railroad

Here is a trailer for the film itself

One of his comics has recently been adapted into an animated feature called ATAGOUL. Here is a taser for the film. Love the design of the cat

IL CAT PIANO

A friendly neighborhood Nick Cave and Cat Piano fan in Italy has kindly translated the film’s narration into Italian. So for all of our Italian bloggers out there, have a look at it in your native tongue. Grazie ! and if there is anyone else out there fluent in both English and another language, and you want to do the same with any other language, just let us know. We’d love it to be accessable to every dialect possible