Sunday, December 23, 2012


Well 2012 is coming to a close , the studio is closed for the Christmas holidays and everyone is taking a well earned break.
What a year it's been, we finally closed the finance and started preproduction after almost five years of development. We recorded the voices and finished the animatic. We designed most of the films locations and have just about all the character modelsheets done.

Lately we screened the 84 minute cut of the animatic to groups of 8-10 year old schoolkids.
The feedback was reassuring and fun to hear.
All of them enjoyed and understood the story even in its rough black and white form.
It was a long year of rewrites, redrawing and re recording but I think it's left us with a strong blueprint to build our film on next year.
It was especially fun to hear that the kids sang along to the songs and laughed at the right places. Some tears were also reported at the sad parts!
They were given questionnaires to fill out afterwards and those make for some valuable reference as we plough ahead into production.

We have been joined by a great artist lately in the bg dept- Ciaran Duffy , who has been helping our team create the key bgs, also Jeremy Purcell has been designing the water and waves and doing lovely animation tests.

We have a big influx of new artists in the new year , from our partner studios and new hires to bolster our Inhouse team.
We have some old friends and amazing a new talents joining us so I'm really looking forward to it.

Posing,layout, animation and efx all kick off in January and February , it's going to be a whirlwind so I'm having a few lazy days now over Christmas in preparation for the weeks and months of early starts and late nights ahead.

To enliven my wordy post here is an old 2011 concept of a contemplative Conor - characters by myself and colours by Adrien Merigeau ...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ernest and Celestine

 Finally this beautiful film was released yesterday.
produced by our old friends at Les Armateurs in coproduction with our coproducers on Song of the Sea Studio 352 and Digital Graphics.

I was lucky enough to see it in Annecy.
Its already one of my favourite animated features - its just perfect.

The talented young director Benjamin Renner has a hilarious blog too -

Go and see it !

Friday, December 7, 2012

Prelayout/Workbooks/Final Storyboards

Whats this stage we just entered ? We are calling it "prelayout" .

Denis Lambert and Ettienne William are here from Studio 352 in Luxembourg joining our team , going over the boards and getting us ready for layout.

We are going over each sequence, making final compositions, designing the shots carefully, trying to plan where the wind is blowing from scene to scene, where the light is what efx we need and which dept. will need to make what (handdrawn animation, cg animation or compositing?)

The animatic is down to 84 minutes and I think its working well...and we are all systems go for full production next year...which is only a few short weeks away.... 

Soul of the Song

Hey - here is Cartoons Saloon and Sonta Teos coproduction of animated traditional Irish songs available to buy on DVD!

Anam an Amhrain - the Soul of the Song, with animated segments animated ,designed and directed by our finest Salooners, including myself :-)

Great stocking fillers!