Yay it’s time to head to Annecy again, time to watch some amazing animation, listen to interesting conferences, learn more about the state of the art, meet cool people and overall enjoy yourself. The Annecy International Animation Festival is one of the biggest events dedicated to this medium with over 7000 participants. The 2012 edition started on Monday the 4th of June but Tuesday was my first day. Unfortunately I didn’t buy my accrediation in advance, so I couldn’t reserve any seats. One tip: get your accreditation early and be online the minute the reservations open. That’s the only way to get tickets to the most sought after sessions (anything Pixar or Disney, advanced screenings and making ofs).
I started off with a conference about hybridisation issues. Solidanim talked about their experience using motion capture in production and the development of their new product: Solidtrack. This system enables the previsualization of VFX by combining real time camera tracking and augmented reality. Platige Image presented “Another day of Life”, the first feature film by director Damian Nenow. It mixes the same stylised 3D animation he used in “Paths of Hate” and documentary footage. Finally Autour de minuit showed diferent examples of shorts and series that they produced, all of which mix different styles and mediums. I particularly liked the series Babioles that will soon air on Canal Plus.
The line to get a ticket for the Making of Brave was incredibly long: impossible to get a seat. So I started queuing extra early for the next session: the Disney presentation about Wreck it Ralph, their next feature animation and Paperman a new short directed by John Kahrs. The over 2 hour wait paid off. Wreck it Ralph looks really fun. We got to see the first 10 minutes and the trailer (one day before it’s official release). Lorelay Bove, the Visual Development Supervisor showed us quite a few really nice designs. As for Paperman… well it’s just AMAZING! When I saw Tangled, I was really happy: it felt like Disney was finally back. With this short, they totally blew my mind. The story is pretty basic but the way it is told is superb: the pacing is right, the music is right, and the graphics… *sigh*… sooo beautiful… You don’t really know what you are looking at: 3D? 2D? both?… and you don’t care. It just looks stunning!
My last screening for the day was the 2nd selection of short movies in competition. As usual a very diverse selection, some I liked , some I didn’t, some I found interesting, some I didn’t understand at all.. My faves: Chinti by Natalia Mirzoyan for Russia and Hi-no-youjin by Katsuhiro Otomo for Japan (and if you are wondering, yes it is THE Katsuhiro Otomo…)
Overall a very good start to what will certainly be a great week!