originally posted at https://canmom.tumblr.com/post/719210...

Good evening friends! Today is a crazy busy day so the introduction will be very minimal (I’m writing this on my phone on a train lol), but I still wanna run Animation Night, so here’s the plan.

First up though! In a week’s time I’m going to the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, which takes place in the town of Annecy, next to Annecy Lake, in the southeast of France near the Swiss border. Two years ago, during the height of the pandemic, Annecy ran a partly-online version of the film festival and I had a great time watching all their short films; now I’ve finally been able to save up enough to go for real! It’s crazy exciting and a little scary, I haven’t been to anything even resembling a film festival since the nine worlds convention nearly a decade ago now ^^’

So, I don’t know whether it will be practical to run Animation Night from my hotel, it would be good if I could but it may have to be the first week we miss in more than three years T_T. But, if you’re by any chance also coming to Annecy and would like to hang out, I would love to have some people to meet there ^^ And you can bet I’ll be writing all about it on here.

Anyway… As you know unless you’re a space alien (in which case, hi!), every year animation students go to animation schools to learn this ridiculous art form. One of the most effective ways to learn to make animated films is to… make animated films, going through the whole process from planning to finishing. The schools thus dedicate a large portion of each year to having their students make a short film, typically a few minutes long.

Different schools handle this process in different ways. At Gobelins in France, the students form small teams and work on a film together, and given how consistent and polished their films tend to be, I assume they’re quite closely supervised. This is not true elsewhere…

CalArts, near LA, is another one of the most prestigious schools, and a lot of renowned animators both in the states and even internationally (e.g. sakuga stars like Weilin Zhang and Curie Lu) went there - which leads to design trends in American animation (notably the ‘bean head’) sometimes getting spuriously attributed to a CalArts house style, rather than studio execs being very conservative in what they’ll approve.

Compared to Gobelins, it seems that CalArts students tend to make their films largely solo, or at least in much smaller groups, and they’re also made every year rather than just for graduation. The results tend to be wildly varied in both style and content, depending on what the students bring. They might be a lot more raw, but that also gives the possibility of really unique and unexpected stuff, and equally I find it interesting to see people at an earlier stage on the road…

So. A year ago on AN109 we watched through the playlist, and saw some real delights like Operago. Tonight I think it would be fun to check out this year’s offerings. Unlike Gobelins, which releases everything on its official channel, CalArts students tend to put their films up on personal channels which means finding them can be a bit fiddly. But for a preview, check out this list someone made; at 35 films it’s probably very incomplete so I’ll be searching for more that are missing. Besides the Gobelins, I have a few other short films to show so we should have plenty to watch.

I’ll be starting late, probably around midnight UK time, which is about 4pm in California; apologies that it just isn’t possible to start earlier ^^’ The place will be twitch.tv/canmom as ever, hope to see you there!

(And if you’d like something else to watch in the meantime, my vtuber friend Yuri Heart is gonna be on tonight too starting around 10:30, and I know she’d also appreciate some company!)


Add a comment