It’s a cold day here in Rotterdam, and I am recovering from the second Animation Sans Frontières module in Budapest, which lasted a full 13 days. The first session was in the latter half of October in Ludwigsburg, Germany, and the next two will be in Viborg, Denmark in January and in Paris in March. Click here to read a blog post about the Germany module.
At the end of the program we participated in a workshop where I and three other participants created an interactive animation installation called Hacktile. A few weeks ago I edited together a short documentation video so you can see the device at work. Watch it here!
For this most recent module we were hosted by the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, the university that consistently churns out original and intriguing student animated short films. Our two weeks at MOME involved lots of guest lectures on the history of animation in Eastern Europe, an interesting presentation from the head of programming at AMC (Eastern Europe and Benelux regions) and a producer with experience with big animated feature projects.
We also visited the CUB Animation studio, founded by two past ASF participants, which is working on shorts and TV series, and heard from Tomek Ducki, another former ASF participant who is now running a small studio in Warsaw making really creative music videos.
This module is also where we made more concrete attempts at furthering our own projects. We had a workshop with Natalia Fabics, Deputy Head of the Animation Department at MOME, in which we defined our project in one sentence, and practiced pitching it. I’m also happy to say that I received help from Arpad Herman, one of the screenwriters in our program (and also an assistant lecturer at MOME), to map out my project and begin structuring the writing. I have my work cut out for me for the Viborg module!
The best part of the Budapest module, in my opinion, was a two day visit to the Saint Audio Studio. The first day we split up into groups and recorded the dialogue for an episode of a British kid’s show called Horrid Henry. Some of us did the voices while the others directed us. I got to do the voice of the little boy as well as the cat. It was so much fun that I want to do more! I have a clip available if anyone is interested in hearing it (just send me an email at tess[at]tessmartinart.com).
The second day of our visit at Saint Audio we received a lecture about scoring music for film which was super interesting, and then we had the pleasure to work with two very talented musicians who improvised music for two different animated shorts based on our direction. In this way we experimented with different tones/tempos/types of music, and the effect they had on the film. I’ve worked with composers before of course, but it’s always been a long distance collaboration, this was very immediate and impressive.
And of course, we spent a lot of time exploring the city of Budapest, or, more accurately, visiting bars and looking for cheap restaurants that had space for all of us. Budapest seems like a city full of life and creativity, in no small part due to its vibrant animation scene. Can’t wait to go back!