Monday, 12 July 2010


Phew. I've just come back from the Society for Animation Studies conference and am quite pooped. It was an intense and deeply stimulating three days, talking eating and breathing animation theory, practice and process.

I gave my talk, which I think went OK (and luckily it was first up so it was over soon!), and then settled back to watch everyone else's. It soon became clear that there was no way I could see all of the papers as there were at least two and more probably three sessions (each of 2-4 papers) going on at once, four times a day. Luckily coffee flowed freely and there were afternoon cakes and shortbread which I thought was very civilised.

The talks varied from the completely opaque (to me anyway) to the brain shatteringly inspirational and I came away from the experience energised and enthused. Some of the stand-out sessions were the key note talks by Claire Kitson (talking about Channel 4's invaluable development and support of the animated short during the 90s) and Paul Wells (talking about the links between animation and sport extremely convincingly even to a sport-o-phobic like me), Birgitta Hosea's fantasic paper about drawing, and the whole session about animated documentary, chaired by Bella Honess Roe. I also loved Kirsten Thompson's paper about colour which had some amazing slides and clips that I could happily have printed out and papered my house with.

The only downside was having hardly any time for exploring Edinburgh - which was sunny for most of the weekend! - but I'll have to go back and properly explore. On the Friday evening we went to a screening of Scottish animation at the Filmhouse and saw a great programme, I particularly loved Iain Gardner's The Tannery which is incredibly sensitive and moving, and Lizzie Hobbs' The Witches which is hilarious. Both animators were there to discuss the legacy of Norman McLaren too which was a treat.

The whole thing made me want to watch more films and read more books and make more work, which is the point really isn't it? I'm going to try and digest the information which is over crowding my head at the moment and turn it into some relevant and intelligent-sounding

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