FESTS AND EVENTS In This Corner Wins Annecy’s Jury Honor
Sunao Katabuchi’s In This Corner of the World won the Jury Award for feature films at the 2017 Annecy International Animation Festival. The Audience Award for features was presented to Loving Vincent and the Cristal for a feature to Lu Over the Wall. Other winners: Audience Award:
2Artists, actors and cosplayers will descend on SoCal for Long Beach Comic Con. [longbeachcomiccon.com] Ideatoon initiative. offers 3 days of shorts, masterclasses and mixers. [stopmotionmontreal.com]
Few franchises have enjoyed the kind of giddy popularity that’s come for the Despicable Me franchise. The films — along with the spinoff film, Minions — have permeated the pop-culture space with stories about an alienated hero named Gru, who struggles with his desire to be evil, and the leagues of canary-yellow creatures who want nothing more than to become his devoted followers and do his bidding.
With this summer’s Despicable Me 3, the filmmakers found themselves at the helm of an eagerly anticipated release that somehow had to feel new and stay true to the characters audiences already loved from the previous movies. The film shows us another side of Gru by introducing us to his twin brother, Dru, an upbeat and not nearly as evil “twin” who is desperate to learn his brother’s diabolical ways. Their family story becomes the next chapter.
“Dru’s personality really came to be through a back and forth between the writing, the drawing, Steve Carell, and the animation,” writes Eric Guillon, character designer on the film, through a translator in an email to Animation Magazine. “Ok, so they are twins, but the key for me is the hair. As twins, they have a strong resemblance, but one is bald and one is not. … I think, the story between the two brothers starts right there. My first instinct is to work with contrasts. So starting with black and white brings further possibilities: fat, skinny,
system in Arnold — a powerful Monte Carlo ray tracing renderer originally developed with Sony Pictures Imageworks — to give the characters depth and meet the intense deadlines on the project.
Carlos Zaragoza, production designer for the project, worked to develop environments that were visually interesting and fresh while also familiar to the audience. Along with the rest of the team, he had to stay close to the original vision of the film in order to keep the movie on track
Roughly 600 artists, ranging from specialists who came onto the film or specific tasks to those who were part of the entire production, contributed to the film. The bulk of the anima- tors were in Vancouver while most of the core design team was in Los Angeles.
The filmmakers also worked out how to visualize the abstract worlds of Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, Dropbox and other apps for the project. Each becomes a place with more “content” than we might expect from what we see on our phones.
NBA legend Kobe Bryant taps animation icon Glen Keane to animate him for the short Dear Basketball, turned out to be an eye-opening experience for both superstars. By Charles Solomon.