Encounters blog – December

It’s been a very long time since I did a more personal blog. This is largely due to my desire to only talk about things when I believe it’s worth it. That said, from now I’m going to be doing at least one of these a month. Partly out of a desire to motivate myself a bit more when it comes to creating work but also because, deep down, I love massaging my ego. I’m also going to be posting a few animations/games that I think are worth checking out, so it should give a taste of the weird crap I find entertaining.

One great piece of news is that ‘Return’ has been screened at two film festivals ( Encounters Film Festival and MIA animation festival), as well as a few online ones (Indiedemand and Once a week film festival). It also won the ‘Depict:British Special Mention Award’ at the Encounters Film festival. Truth be told, I was really not expecting much when the film was completed, so to have this over the past couple of months has been extremely encouraging and I’m glad that some people have liked it so much. Naturally, it was also a great excuse to travel to Bristol and Miami, both of which were great.

Part of the prize above was meeting with a Bafta member (in my case from it was the director from Studio AKA: Philip Hunt) to get guidance on how to push my work further. The studio was amazing, the meeting itself went brilliantly and I got great advice on the areas I could improve on. Part of the advice was to update parts of the website, as you’ve probably noticed already. Personally I think it’s a big improvement by comparison to what it was, but it would be great to know what you think.

In terms of animation work, I’ve been working on some new exercises to strengthen my showreel, one of them being a new facial animation piece (which can be viewed here: https://jamesyounganimation.com/2013/12/08/look-at-me-facial-animation/) and a lifting animation (which I’m hoping to complete in the next couple of weeks after Christmas). I’m still eager to make more films though and I have 2 ideas on films that I would like to work on next. Both are still in the early stages, but I will update on this now and then when I feel like it’s made significant enough headway.

Stuff what I like:

Late Night Work Club presents GHOST STORIES

A great collection of animations focused around the theme of ghosts. The Jump, The Phantom Limb, Ombilda, Post Personal and Last Lives are some of my favourites.

Deadly Premonition by Access Games

Probably one of my favourite games of this generation. To describe it in a sentence it’s surreal horror video game, with dark humour and a murder mystery sim and open world elements (heavily inspired by David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’). It’s certainly a divisive game and good deal of criticism has been levelled at it’s graphics and it’s combat, both of which are understandable. It was originally planned as a PS2 game but it’s development was delayed and reworked quite a lot, leaving less budget to come around when it came to porting it to Xbox360 (later released on PS3 and PC). While the combat is certainly flawed (the developers themselves have admitted it was tacked on), I don’t feel it detracts from the experience that much (especially when the shooting feels like a slightly less polished version of what Resident Evil 4 did). It’s clear why it’s divisive however, but I would recommend at least giving it a try to see what you make of it ( Supergreatfriend has done an excellent and informative 100% run of the game if you want to get a better idea of how it plays http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFpYKx9m3NU&list=PL845B60D60A411471 )

Skhizein by Jeremy Clapin

A brilliantly executed bleak animation by Jeremy Clapin ( also did Palmipedarium which is also worth checking out). I personally really enjoy the visual style and the idea of a character being separated from his actual mass is really interesting.

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