Cartoon Movie 2018 Projects
Directors: Raoul de la Fuente, Damian Nenow Synopsis: A Polish reporter’s life is changed forever after he is sent to Angola to cover the country’s civil war in 1975. Produced by: Platige Image (Poland), Kanaki Films (Spain), Walking The Dog (Belgium), Wuste Film (Germany) Director: Nora Twomey Synopsis: Based on the award-winning book by Deborah Ellis, the Oscar-nominated, beautifully crafted 2D films tells the inspiring story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001, who has to save her family after her father is taken away by the Taliban forces. Produced by: Cartoon Saloon (Ireland), Aircraft Pictures (Canada), Mélusine Productions (Luxembourg) Director: Kaspar Jancis Synopsis: A young boy is magically shrunk and finds himself aboard his toy boat with tiny insects as his crew in this charming stop-motion movie. Produced by: Nukufilm (Estonia), Telegael Teoranta (Ireland), GRID VFX (Belgium), Calon (U.K.) Director: Anja Kofmel Synopsis: A Swiss journalist investigates the death of her cousin in Croatia during the 1990s in this thought-provoking 2D film. Produced by: MA.JA.DE Filmproduktion (Germany), Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduction (Switzerland), Nukleus Film (Croatia) Director: Karsten Kiilerich Synopsis: The director of Ugly Duckling and Me and Little Vampire is back with his new CG-animated take on the 1,001 Nights tale featuring a village boy and his goat, a streetwise city girl, a flying carpet, two hungry alligators and an unscrupulous Directors: Wolfgang Lauenstein, Christoph Lauenstein & Sean McCormack Synopsis: A young boy’s life is turned upside down when three aliens crash-land in front of him in this 3D CG-animated comedy adventure. Produced by: Ulysses Filmproduktion (Germany), Fabrique d’Images (Luxembourg), A. Film Production (Denmark) Director: Alexandre Espigares ( Mr. Hublot) Synopsis: Jack London’s beloved classic comes to life in 3D CG animation. Set in Yukon, Canada, during the late 19th century Gold Rush, the novel tracks a beautiful half-breed wolf’s journey from life in the wild to domestication. Produced by: Superprod (France), Bidibul Productions (Luxembourg), Big Beach (U.S.)
Director: Salvador Simó Synopsis: Based on the true story of the shooting of the movie Las Hurdes: Land without Bread, this unique project follow the real-life and surreal adventures of the beloved Spanish director and his friend, the sculptor Ramón Acín. Produced by: The Glow Animation Studio (Spain), Submarine (Netherlands) Director: Angel Alonso Synopsis: This CG-animated family adventure takes us back to the three-year-long circular trip that began with famous explorer Magellan in command and was concluded by Elcano to reach the Mollucas Islands, a paradise full of spices and aromatic plants. Produced by: Director: Edmunds Jansons Synopsis: A young boy spends a magical summer in a city suburb, where he has amazing adventures with his cousin Mimmi, his seafaring uncle, and Boss, the leader of a pack of talking dogs. Produced by: Atom Art (Latvia), Letko (Poland) Director: Youn Cheol Jeong Synopsis: A young princess, whose mother was tragically killed by a psychic nomad, has led a sheltered life inside the walls of her castle, but her life is changed when she meets a sensitive street artist. Produced by: Anitoart (South Korea) Director: Lorenzo Mattotti Synopsis: The director of the acclaimed 2007 feature Fear(s) of the Dark is back with this completely different animated feature, based on Dino Buzzati’s novel about Tonio, the son of the King of bears, who is kidnapped by hunters in the Sicilian mountains. King Leonce decides to invade the land of humans to find his son. Produced by: Prima Linea Productions (France), Indigo Film (Italy), France 3 Cinéma (France) Director: Anca Damian Synopsis: After an accident, a small female dog remembers her life and all the different masters that she has loved unconditionally through the years. Produced by: Aparte Film (Romania), Sacrebleu Productions (France), Minds Meet (Belgium) Louis-Jean Gore. La Luna Productions (France) Blue Elf Kingdom 4 ½ Film (Norway) Chandasma David Restrepo. Ikki Films (France), Timbo Estudio (Colombia) Eugene Anais Caura. My Fantasy, 2P2L (France) Fleak Anima Vitae (Finland), Anima Vitae Point (Malaysia) Gabo: Memoirs of a Magic Life Salvador Simó. The Glow Animation Studio (Spain), Rey Naranjo (Colombia) Hope Francesco Filippini. Mad Entertainment (Italy) Human Nature Sébastien Dupouey. Brotherfilms (France) The Impossible Journey Abraham López Guerrero. El Viaje Imposible (Spain), 3 Doubles Producciones (Spain), Virtual IT Projects (U.K.) In the Dark and Mysterious Forest Vincent Paronnaud & Alexis Ducord. Je Suis Bien Content (France) Jason and the Nucleonauts Spintop Entertainment, studioNICE (Germany) The Last Whale Singer Reza Memari, Telescope Animation (Germany) Miss Moksy Vincent Bal. BosBros (Netherlands) My Friend Finnick Denis Chernov, FunGameMedia (Germany), Riki Group (Russia)
Hong Kong is expecting another banner year for the annual FILMART confab, which takes place March 18-22 at the Convention and Exhibition Center in the Wan Chai district. The 22nd edition of this well-attended event, which is organized by the HK Trade Development Council, will include many delegations and production companies from all over the world, offering numerous opportunities for co-production partnerships and investment.
Last year, the Chinese box office showed a 13.45 percent increase in ticket sales, reaching a record 8.6 billion dollars from domestic and international releases such as Wu Jing’s Wolf Warrior 2 ($874 million), The Fate of the Furious ($393 million) and Transformers: The Last Knight ($228 million). FILMART, which is the third-largest film market in the world after Cannes and the American Film Market, expects to draw more global talent, distributors, producers and animation players to the event as the feature business continues to grow in the region.
At the 2017 edition of the market, over 120 digital entertainment and animation companies attended the event. A VR game developer received over 50 serious inquiries and closed a deal with a major mobile phone manufacturer, according to organizers. Several animation companies received offers from Chinese entities to invest in the production of their project. Recent Chinese animated features that have fared well in the region include Ding Liang’s Boonie Bears: Entangled Worlds (You Yang Dong Man, Pearl River, Yuyue Pictures Wuxi, Donghai Xuri Pictures) and Li Qingfang’s Backkom Bear: Agent 008 (Alpha Pictures, Harbin Pinge Media). U.S. Audiences will also be able to enjoy the 2016 epic fantasy Big Fish & Begonia (directed by Liang Xuan and Zhang Chun) later this season, thanks to a pick-up by Shout! Studios.
Among the 22 panels and discussions planned for this year’s edition is a special focus on VR/AR technologies and how they impact the animation industry, scheduled for March 21 at Hall 1’s Moonlight Theater. Co-organized by the Annecy International Animation Festival and Market, the panel will be moderated by Yann Marchet, delegate general at Paris Images Digital Summit and director of marketing and communications at Ile de France Film Commission. Producer Corentin Lambot (Agat Films & Cie), Chuck Peil (VP of business development and strategic partnerships at Reel FX) and Jan Pinkava (creative director at Google Spotlight Stories) will share their latest insights with attendees. For more info about this important global market, visit http://m.hktdc.com/fair/ hkfilmart-en.
t’s hat su- Keeping Up with Technology
Quality and craft are definitely on a resurgence and we’re all familiar with the way television drama is challenging features at their own game. To get noticed, this same high quality is required in all types of visual communication, regardless of platform. There’s no point in great technological advances in VR and AR if the experiences are ultimately unfulfilling. The tech industry has so much invested in these technologies now that they’re too big to fail. My prediction is that they will keep pushing to get through the barrier of the tech being too expensive for the masses to want to buy it, by investing in more compelling content. At the end of the day, we want people to say, “Wow, wasn’t that amazing,” rather than, “Wow, wasn’t that clever.” That “amazing” reaction speaks to an emotional engagement whereas “clever” today is going to be superseded by another “clever” tomorrow.
To prepare for these changes, we will just keep doing what we’re doing: inventing and placing incredible characters in surprising and wonderful stories first, then making sure that there’s an intrinsic link between what the story is and what the tech does so that the final experience becomes something seamless. We need to be able to answer why this story works better in VR than in any other format. There’ll always be multiple entry points to a story — and here I mean that in the broadest sense of encompassing entertainment or brand franchises — so that whether someone experiences it first through a book or a game, in VR or on TV, it should all feel like it’s part of a whole piece overall. We need big ideas that can embrace all the current and new tech to come. Big Impressions Heather Wright is executive producer and head of partner content at Aardman Animations in Bristol, U.K.
BCinesite’s Aymeric Perceval reveals some of the intense visual magic created in the lauded adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s By Trevor Hogg
ryan Fuller and Michael Green’s lavish adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed novel American Gods was one of the most unusual new TV offerings of 2017. The show, which will kick off its second season on Starz later this year, also offered some memorable visual effects — a total of 3,000 shots were created for the eight episodes of the series’ first season. The Emmy-nominated effects were overseen by Kevin Tod Haug, who worked with the team at Cinesite Montreal, led by supervisor Aymeric Perceval, to create just under 200 shots of the overall work.
To produce the digital imagery, 12 weeks of post-production was planned per episode with each one separated by a week, and finishing in the same order. However, with all of the rewriting involved, Cinesite had a third of the allotted time to do the work.
“This show required a more generalist approach,” explains Perceval. “Our texture artists were also doing modelling. A lot of the team members were happy to jump into doing other things. This flexibility helped us to deliver the shots within the compressed timeframe.”
Since there was no time to develop new proprietary tools for this special project, the key software programs included Maya and ZBrush for modelling, Mari and Photoshop for texturing, Houdini for effects, plus Nuke and Arnold for compositing. An in-house technology called Meshcache/particleProxy object allowed artists to work with the information created by millions of polygons for a scene in which the goddess Easter (Kristin Chenoweth) steals spring — and still work with all that information in the viewport.
“In the final episode of Season One, Easter steals spring and returns all of the lush vegetation back to a winter state,” notes Perceval. “It was all about refining the pipeline. We used a visual trick in the shot: The further away the trees were from the camera path, the more we decreased the number of leaves and scaled up the leaf instances.”
Scripts and plates were the points of reference rather than extensive concept art. “As soon as the client was ready for turnover we would sit down via cineSync, discuss the briefing, and it was up to us to come up with solutions, suggestions and the look,” remarks Perceval. “Some of the sequences were straightforward, so we turned directly to the work. When we go back into the Land of the Dead, when [the character] Laura Moon has passed away, it was completely different from the first sequence. We see a darker and murk-
the forest and going back to her,” says Perceval. The sequence also involved a massive shot captured with a RED camera on a drone. “It was recreating the camera, re-projecting, and because of the parallax we couldn’t just paint out the leaves on the trees and put a matte painting. We had to go full CG for the trees. We recreated all of the flowers in a matte painting and layering with a few thousands of trees in Houdini. It was challenging to get our timing matching with Mr. X, who were also working on the shot. We had to make sure that the trees looked as photo-real as possible.”
Another challenging task for fixing a scene involving a dandelion. “When they shot the dandelion, it was not in the natural state they wanted it to be,” remarks Perceval. “We replaced that because storywise, Wednesday blows on it and you get the effect with the little seeds flying up into the sky. The close-up was more complicated. We had five layers of texture that were balanced in compositing. We also introduced some raindrops for more visual interest. The scale of the dandelion had to be changed because it was too tiny.” Plates, scans and renders were shared amongst the different visual effects vendors which allowed for a simple 2D solution. “We didn’t have to share cameras or assets, which would have been much more complicated,” says the supervisor. “I’m looking forward to more people discovering the show as we had a lot of fun working on it.” American Gods will begin its second season on Starz in mid-2018.