For me this year, was more than just about animation, It was about friendship, I reconnected with old friends, met new ones, strengthened relationships with 0ther ones and even cut the fat where needed.
– So firstly we arrived through the city of Geneva on Sunday, this year I took a festival shuttle, it was more expensive that the badge I got for the festival (the most basic professional one, in early bird was 65€ and my shuttle 2 ways was €70), but the service was fast it took just about 40 mins to get into Annecy and really it was a thing I didn’t really want to deal with this year and was totally worth it… also the badge I got would allow me to enter the recruitment floor which I only attended once for like 30 mins because it was crowded and crazy hot… plus by the day i went to the recruitment floor I had already closed a deal for my next gig.
While at the airport looking around for the stand (which ended up being just in front of the exit with a tiny tiny sign) I saw a familiar face from twitter, Nathan Tomas whom I’ve been praising about because of the trailer for a fully animated series pitch that he developed on the side of his job as a full time senior animator at ILM in Vancouver, even with a wife and a kid… so It’s possible to get stuff done anyways, you just need to want it enough!.
Such a nice, talented, cool and also tall guy he deserves that his project becomes a reality and I totally believe it will… this was all over Annecy:
I finally got to the hotel I shared a room with 3 other friends, Simon who I met back in Chile, he is the head of Wild Bunch Studio, Gilles Cortella one of the closest if not the closest friend I have in Europe who I met while at Framestore, he was the animation sup for last year’s opening film “Dilili a Paris” and one of the 7 directors of the student film “FOL’AMOR” during his time at Gobelins… if you haven’t seen it, you dumbass where have you been?!, check it out right here because it’s still admirable.
…and Koen de Koninck an amazingly talented Storyboard artist / 2D & 3D animator I met while working on Dragon Rider in Belgium.
Did I mention that these are all really, really, really nice humble, fun, caring people?, well they are.
We hanged out at the Captain Pub Friday had some Raclette Cheese Sandwich from the boulangerie across from it a so very typical thing to do when you come to Haute-Savoie.
Also the Chilean Commission started arriving to the captain and we all spent a nice evening of beers, rain, laughs, catching up and talking about our industry.
Monday – “Inaguration”
As with Sunday, Monday was a Incredibly rainy day, so we went to get our very, very basic badges, and then sat down at the pub pretty early, around lunch time, because the festival is so over bloated with people we couldn’t book anything we wanted to watch that day so we hanged out there, we met new people like Rob the background artist from the UK, I was also able to see my good friend Paolo Garcia, his wife Helen and their friends who came around and sat down with us.
Monday was all about chilling.
While the opening ceremony was happening, more Chileans arrived into town, and as usual most of us met at the Munich for dinner, to catch up with the old colleagues and get to meet the new ones.
I didn’t have the chance to attend to the opening ceremony featuring the PlayMobil movie but after asking around a bunch of friends were impressed by the new looney tunes cartoons that looked and had very close style and feeling to the old classics, check this teaser out for yourself
Tuesday – “Mifa opening day”
Tuesday is when business gets businessy, this year I didn’t attend any business meetings as I was closing deals on the side already for my next gig which I’m really excited about.
Yet again Tuesday I wasn’t able to book any screenings that I wanted to attend and so we ended up hanging out at the captain until 6 when the Framestore party started at Cafe des Arts, which was great, every animator was invited, and everyone was having fun, kudos to Ian Landman (the best recruiter in London) for making it happen. There are a few improvements here and there to do for next year but it’s a good start.
Had a quick chat with Dale Newton, anim sup for Detective Pikachu and met up with old Framestore collegues, was fun, cafe des arts is always fun.
Just so you can laugh at me a bit harder here is the “carrying reel”, basically all shots where the stuffed animals are being carried around.
Wednesday – “WHAT THE FUCK” screening.
Finally my favourite screening day, first of all, wednesday was the first day of sun, so people started coming out really happy, we say amazingly talented and humble Frank Abney III, he even showed us some sneek peek to his film Canvas
after we met Frank, we went to the Animation workshop Picnic that. Sadly this year none of the musical people attended so it felt a like it lacked that Morten Thorning touch of every year that makes it so special.
After that got a chance to meet for a bit with Francesco Siddi from the Blender Animation Studio/institute/hq/society/cult, had a nice talk about a new venture that will be revealed in time.
This was the first day of sun, so really I spent a lot of time in the park, but closing down to the end of the day at 23:00 we went to the spectacular WTF screening, which is now a tradition amongst friends, thanks Rianne who got selected last year with her film MOONDAY we discovered this funky yet weird, sometimes funny, sometimes inspiring screening.
This year the two films that i really liked my eye where “Wild Love” and “Baby Baby”, I guess wild love is on festival rounds still so we just have a trailer, but you can enjoy baby baby in all it’s glory right here:
Thursday – “Dutch Party” (?)
As per usual the dutch community does a party on Thursday but for the first time since I’ve been to the festival I decided not to attend and enjoy the park a little bit more, the weather was so nice, that I ended up mingling at a bunch of other picnics and networking just as much by hanging around there… nothing particularly interesting did happen this thursday besides the guys from Tumblehead had time to pitch their rob n’ ron series, and whether the jury of Annecy likes it or not, I find the project really cool, I’m a big fan of those guys and you should be too, I’m really looking forward to see their new film “Tales from the Multiverse”
At some point during this day I was able to meet with my good friend Chrystia and her fiancé James, a lovely couple, check out Chrystia’s work here, not only she is crazy talented, she’s smart as hell and she’s always been at the top right from the beginning she’s been 10 steps ahead… did I mention also nice, sweet and humble?
Friday – “Mezcal Night”
We started by going to the VR thing, honestly it was mostly a joke, but the more important one or more interesting experience “the crow” was too busy that i decided to get it at home and watch it comfortably on the rift… which is still pending.
Nearby was the dreamwork’s dragon’s exhibit, damn that was a feast for the eyes, from early concepts to lighting tests, to color scripts like the one below.
and as you can <<barely>> see to the left of the picture there was a toothless model, pretty big, not real size but big enough to want to hug him.
After a few other picnics like the DreamWorks which was that day, coincidence?, and some other picnics that kept us busy for a few more hours that day, we had done a deal of going to have mezcal with our great friend, Jeroen, a dutch filmmaker that runs the 5AM Stop Motion Studio in Amsterdam, amazing dude, we started planning ideas on how to take over the world over lunch… but to consolidate our friendship Jeroen, Gilles, Nathan, Martin, Nadin (who we just met there at the bar) and I went for a Mezcal at “La Queue du Coq” they say it’s one of the top rated mezcal bars in the world… honestly before this time I don’t remember if I had ever tried mezcal or not… but that could mean one of two things.
Also sometime during friday we heard that “I lost my body” where my friend Beorn was lucky to participate had acquired the audience award, so as you might guess we celebrated… just a bit.
But being friday isnt all good in annecy, the goodbyes start, that was the last night we got to hang out with Nathan and Jeroen until hopefully next year.
Saturday – “The final Showdown”
After an even more disappointing morning of trying to get to the 9am screening of “i lost my body” and not achieving out of falling asleep through the alarm, without even expecting it a few friends had a really nice and surprising end of the week.
At around 12 we arrived to Nik and Nancy’s picnic with paddleboat race and rounders game, I cant miss that event is always wonderful, it was beautiful and sunny during enough hours to have our lovely picnic meet great friends and go to swim for a bit which I hadn’t managed to do all week…
…then the storm came in and everyone split (to the bar)!… later on when the sun came out a bit again we went up to the castle on the hill…
…and back to the lake.
At night, As I mentioned “I lost my body” had already the “Audience Award” and at the end of the day it also had the “Cristal Award” for feature film (top prize).
Robertino Zambrano a guy who I like to call a new friend, <<we’ll hang out more in Sydney soon, that’s for sure>>, who we got to meet around the bars on a late Wednesday night and sadly his bike got stolen the next day had an unexpected turn of events when he and his team got a Cristal for best comissioned film,
"we were looking at all the other participants betting on who would win, is it the very well dressed dudes over there? or the really nervous ones?... and suddenly i heard my name, couldn't believe it."
Check out their film:
Finally Pedro Casavecchia who is an Argentinian comper I had met during my time at Framestore London, who by luck we had a coffee in the morning out of recognizing each other from the distance, won “Jury distinction for It’s powerful storytelling” with his film “Pulsión”.
What a great end of a Saturday. For once I didn’t attend the closing party but maybe I should have had. –
Sunday – “it’s over, time to start booking for next year.”
The last of us woke up, pick up our things go for an early coffee close to wherever there is something open still have a few laughs, hugs and tears, and hope to se each other soon. The driver from the transfer says “time to kiss and fly!” and as I travel to the airport I cant help to think of all good amazing and inspiring work and people I met this week, and cant help but think about starting to book my trip to Annecy 2020.
Just to get a rough idea of the festival check out the beautiful pictures album and this clip made by the festival organization.
If you found this article somewhat nice pass it on to your friends, if it was entirely boring pass it on to your enemies… and if you do not know how to feel about it, it’s because you have no heart!
anyways, leave us a comment, how did you live your annecy this year?