Monday, December 29, 2008

7th January

Every year for as long as I can remember my birthday (7th Jan) co-incided with some dreary back to work/school/college type date. It was always the first day back or the last day before "real life started again after the holidays.

Still , this year its a bit better.

The first ever public screening of the Secret of Kells will take place in Forum des Images in Paris.
Its at 3.00 pm , with an audience mainly of youngsters, I am told.
Tickets are 5 Euros I think and I will be doing a short "making of" presentation at 6.00 pm
I will be joined in the making of part by the screenwriter , Fabrice Ziolkowski and perhaps others.
Not exactly sure yet of the running order etcetera but more news as I know it!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Disney Posters Arrived today

Hooray. We stuck one up on the office wall.
I will take a photo of it once its up in Kilkenny Cineplex.
At long last.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

sunny solstice

Thursday, December 18, 2008

film classification

yesterday we had a very interesting screening at the office of the irish board of film classification.
its a grand old building but we may be one of the last films screened there as it is being moved to a new office next year.

we were pleased with the "pg" rating , despite the slightly scary or intense scenes, we feel its a film everyone can enjoy.

Its very nice how Trish Long (the head of Disney in Ireland) describes it sometimes -

" an original work of art that also happens to be suitable for families and a young audience"

She plans to run trailers ahead of "Bolt" here in Ireland, which is great exposure to the best general audience we can hope for.

Is this the most nervewracking part? waiting to see if anyone will come and see it....

Anyway today I am in Galway working on Song of the Sea, just gotta focus on the next one now....!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Merry Christmas

Happy Christmas everyone.
I made this sketch for the Aisling comic I am working on for the New Year.
I am going to try something a little bit "Mucha" for this one.
I got a big book of his stuff in Prague.
Amazingly inspiring stuff.

Friday, December 12, 2008

PAF animation festival

Am in Cyech republic typing on very strange key board in very nice university building where we gave a presentation.
Very christmassy buzz here with all the snow and son on. beautiful country.
Ok off to see the Danish film Princess now.
have been up since 4.30 this morning traveling to be here.
vegetarian options are ,,,,,,as usual..... interesting!
have learnt to swear fluently in czech.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nora Twomey enters the blogosphere

hooray .

But the photo on the header does'nt really look like her that much.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Disney "family" screening

We had a screening for all the marketing people who will work on the film with Disney Ireland on Wednesday in the IFI.
Some of the band memebers of Kila were there too as well as James Flynn the exec producer and some people from Trinity college and the Dublin Film festival.
The "keeper of the book" Bernard Meehan was there too, I was sitting beside him and was nervous thru'out, afraid he would not like the liberties we took with the history to make this fantasy film, but thankfully he enjoyed it and was very enthusiastic. He (naturally) spotted all our references to mediaeval art and appreciated the research and homework we poured into it despite the fiction/fantasy nature of the story.
It was a positive day overall, thanks to Trish fro making it happen.

Today, Michael McGrath , voice of adult Brendan is doing the Voice Over for the Irish trailer.


Monday, December 01, 2008

French trailer

Here is the French theatrical trailer edited by Gebeka.
I hope everyone in France will go to see this movie at least twice! hehe!

I will post the trailer from Disney/Buena Vista Ireland in a few days time as well
as a link to a mini site as soon as its up and running.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Comments on comments

The movie will be distributed by Disney in Ireland branded as Buena Vista International (Ireland). No distribution is confirmed in US or UK .
Release in Ireland is March 2009.
Our sales agent Celluloid Dreams is in charge of the territories outside the co-production countries of Ireland, Belgium and France.
Benelux distribution is handled by Kinepolis.
French distribution by Gebeka.
Release in France and Benelux in February.

The comic book is published by Glenat in French in two hardback Albums. Also planned to be published in Dutch by Glenat.
No English language publisher confirmed yet .

Stay tuned for developments but thats how it stands at present.

Friday, November 21, 2008

he saved me from the vikings when I was a baby

he took me in when my parents....were'nt there anymore.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008


Full time blasting into getting the comics done now. Cant colour them all myself so Marie Thorauge is helping out there, I'm "inking" them partly with pens on paper and partly in Flash.
The deadline is looming so its heads down time.
People may remember I posted a different version of one of these pages a while back - the story changed slightly since then, so the Aisling wolf cub had to be replaced with a younger Cellach.

Also working on the poster for Disney. They are taking a very different marketing approach to the French distributor , Gebeka, so are cutting a different trailer and doinga different poster.
We are nearly there, I am learning a lot about marketing!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Adrien Merigeau is the bestest

Adrien merigeau who was a bg supervisor on Kells and now Art director on Song of the Sea is making a beautiful short film with us called "Old Fangs" ...he started a blog on it...
Check it out!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Hopefully the publishers will like the roughs I have been doing.
This is my second pass at the "prequel" pages, trying to make it clear and easy to follow.
Its 24 hour comics day today, I had hoped to spend it in Dublin doing one, but instead I am here in the studio working on these roughs.
Well, at least I am making comics .
I really want to do a 24 hour comic sometime though....just to see what comes out!
Good luck to Cliodhna and the rest of ye tonight! Keep the faith! Make comics!

Work in Progress Poster

Not approved yet - could change some more...lets see what the distributors think ...we like it though!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


For France and Belgium I get to design the poster - Hooray.

This poster was based on a pretty detailed brief from the distributors and Les Armateurs who wanted to emphasize the "heroic fantasy" element the most.
I also attach some earlier ideas I had in really rough form of using a three panel design like in medieval art or a more mysterious one with Brendan just a light in the dark as he works on the book.

Stay Tuned for the finished piece! Ross Stewart is doing the colour and inking , he is also designing the typography and doing the final Celtic designs. He's class.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Buy this Book!!!!!

Dear Everyone,

This is an anthology comic published by Cliodhna Lyons who worked with us on Kells here in CS last year. Its all in aid of Goal . My sister Catherine and I contributed a short strip . Catherine is involved in human rights voluntary work overseas at the moment.
I attach the first page of our three page strip.

Heres some info about Goal from their website -


From its first year of operation in 1977, when it spent a mere €12,000 on a street children’s project in Calcutta, GOAL has grown and grown – spending over €500 million implementing relief and development programmes in 50 countries in the past 30 years.

GOAL ensures that the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable in our world and those affected by humanitarian crises have access to the fundamental needs and rights of life: food, water, shelter, medical attention and literacy.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

It ain't over til its over

Something clicked last night after finishing work.
We had a drink with the sound design guys Seb and Fabien and then met up with Bruno the composer.
And I finally had the feeling that we are finished all the directing that can ever be done.

We have to check the print, maybe do some colour grading in the lab in a few weeks.
But thats it really.
On Monday I will be working on the French poster with Ross .
Theres the comic to finish off.

But really, the film is done.
After so many years its all over.
I keep sleeping. On the plane, in Pauls car on the way back down
and all day in the house.
Tonight we are going to Ross' new house warming and Jonas' going away party.
(Jonas made the compositing of the credits BTW- another superstar intern!)

I could easily just sleep but its worth going out to celebrate!

Thanks to everyone who followed this journey...I'll keep you all posted of release news and so on
and the comic stuff etcetera as the films journey is in a way just beginning now that the production has wrapped.
Well, I'm saving myself from saying its "in the can" until its actually on film and in a can!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2008


its a wrap

sound and music all done !


Piste Rouge Paris

So back in gay Paree :)
Almost the last day of the production , just finalising the mix.

Paul and Nora came over this time as I am so wrecked I think I really needed their input here and not just from Kilkenny as usual.
Nora had a very strong idea about changing the order of some of Brunos music. At first Paul and I were really not so sure, especially me, I knew what we had worked pretty well after all the compliments we got in LA , and was afraid Bruno would be disappointed by us tinkering with his score.
But he was completely in agreement with it, Ms.Twomey was right on the money as per usual.
So happy days. I thunk this latest edit of the music is very powerful and more emotional.

Sound design by Seb and the mix by Fabien are really excellent and its cool to hear it all in 5.1.

I am suitably wrecked now, just gonna give the whole thing one more listen thru and then its a wrap!

I hope Stewy can come over with me for the print checking and colour tests in a few weeks.
With that done it will be all in the can as they say.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Producer of the Year

Oh and Pauly was named producer of the year at Cartoon Forum too.

back in Dublin Airport

So , the screening went well and I a had a whole day with wee Brian to decompress on Saturday.
Bizarre feeling now as I am in Dublin on Monday morning having got on the plane from LA on Sunday morning.

Off down to Kilkenny now and then to Paris on Wednesday for the mix .

Sigh. No rest for the wicked!

Friday, September 19, 2008


Trish Long, the head of Disney in Ireland , just sent me this picture from Wednesday.

Thanks again to Victoria, Pete, and all the artists who took some time out of their busy schedules to meet me !
It was a class.

screening today

Wish us luck ! Screening today in DGA at 3.00pm. Gulp.

Had a great trip to SF and to Lucas , Pixar , Disney, Dreamworks.
Eyes burning from the amazing artwork I saw.

Was great to meet so many really nice people too.
Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming.

Was great to be hanging out with wee Brian too , its been ages.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So L.A.

Woke up today in Hollywood.
Sun shining.
Swam in pool.
Now going to meet two producers of one of my all time favourite cartoons, Batman TAS.

Its a hard old life.

Monday, September 15, 2008


mad old first day. Was all good met some managers and Jonathon Loughran of the Irish filmboard over here.

DGA building is amazing. So massive and imposing. Great space for the screening and afters party and a great cinema.
Checked the tape, seems grand.
the picture loses a bit on NTSC Beta but its good enough as a work in progress screening type thing.

hollywood looks like it does on telly , maybe a bit grotty around the edges thats all.

Off to meet the wee Brian McGrath and Barry OD and the Barley films crew tonight with Mike Nyugen of July Films.

Then need to sleep a lot cos tommorow its Warners , then an agent the Fox then Titmouse then fly to SF for the night.



Sunday, September 14, 2008


ahhhh airports and delays .

how i love them. soggy expensive starbucks sambos the same the world over.
bizarre how chicago could have been dublin just another airport in the rain.

declan recks from sdgi is travelling with me to l.a.
his film "eden"is coming out in america soon.

some tech problem at immigration caused declan and i to miss our connection.

so we are in st.louis hanging out to connect to l.a.

closing in on 24 hours traveling now.

smartlad barry odonoghue flew direct from dublintown.

everyone else here is riveted to an american football match.

on the way over st.louis once the clouds cleared i was looking down
trying to connect with the surrealness that that was actually america down there.

honestly its somehow mundanely familar and utterly bizarre to travel so
much so often. like passing thru vaguely different dimensions.
seems everywhere is the same with one or two subtle differences.


Friday, September 12, 2008

photos from the sdgi award

thanks to everyone who came along , especially little Christen the voice of Aisling!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Beta tapes

Whew , just got em.

Cant check them as I have no Beta Sp player here, lets hope it will all be alright on the night.


paris (france) hehe

Yeh still in PAris , had to stay a bit longer than expected.

My head is just buzzing this week .
Preparing the LA trip next week , getting all geeked up about going to Lucasfilm and Pixar.

On Monday went thru the notes on sound design with Sebestian in Piste Rouge he is doing a great job , and on Tuesday checked the HD version of the film in Spirit with PAscal Didier and Ivan , with the old crappy temp sound and the directly after went to Piste Rouge again to hear the rough mix for LA.

A lot of the final music is in there which is great.
Sounds very powerful, Kila and Bruno did a great job.
Brunos score with the choirs was recorded last week and I heard it on Tuesday night
quite late. Even if it was the third time I watched the film in one day it was very interesting a
as it added another layer again on top.

So just waiting for the beta NTSC tape now and working in the poster / Comic cover here in Les Armateurs.

With the LA trip, sound design, Song pre pro going on in KK and the comic I can hardly switch off any more. Need to slooow right down again after the final mix .
Its two weeks of madness first off to LA and then back to Paris for final mix but then its time to really focus down . Thankfully Fabian is helping a lot both with cleaning up and finalising the pages of the comic and the pre pro plans on Song.
I get to focus on the over all design stuff that way.
Getting to draw is such a luxury by now.
I was roughing out the revised prequel pages in the hotel room last night.


Saturday, September 06, 2008



it was great craic on Thursday night, i hope everyone whos howed up ahd a s much fun as I did.
It was fantastic to see so many heads there, especially the people who have been following the project for so long.

I met some great people on the night too. At dinner i got to chat to Terry Loane who directed a class film I loved a couple of years ago - MickyBo and Me.
I was getting loads of advise on the whole LA trip.
sure it'll be gas. Barry and some of the lads from barley films are heading over too so thats great.

I think my favorite quote of the night was from my old animation teacher , Eddie, who is now the head of the course in Ballyfermot " sure if you kick the sh*t out of something for 10 years, somethings bound to happen!"

Paul and I had a good meeting today with Cat Little and Laura Campbel about a new tv series we are developing called Puffins rock. It was lovely to chat about a new project with such a "blue sky" attitude.

Right , gotta get some sleep now before I try to brave the way to dublin Airport tommorow.
Considering my track record with that place like. And also its teh All ireland hurling final tommorow.

Gwan the Cats!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Kila and Bruno + update

Paul and I scooted up for a day and a half to Sligo .
Kila and Bruno recorded the music in the studio of Brian from Dervish.
Its beside the Lake Isle of Inisfree. A Rainbow appeared over the lake near the end of the second day. No messing.
Anyway the lads from Kila were great and they really did some fantastic interpretations of Brunos score.
Also they made up some cool new stuff on the spot.
I arrived in late on Tuesday night after a long drive up from KK and Dee was there , playing fiddle to the Chi Rho page sequence. Magic moment.

Colm did some cool flute and Rossa and Lance added really cool percussion, even a 3000 year old bronze age instrument found its way into it. Rossa was mad on teh spoons and even played a hoover at one stage.
Lance and Dee did some Bodhran stuff and Bruno seems very happy with their work.
He brought two of his usual team with him Max and "Slim" and also Manu the music producer was there. It was very nice and VERY intense hard work for a couple of days.

Now I'm up to my eyes in sorting out the comic - apart from the prequel its mainly just reusing artwork from the film so I've got great help from Fabs and Gealle and Sven on that.
Just trying to keep up with them is the problem they are so fast at the finalising, I have keep roughing out a few pages ahead of them.
I'm also very busy mainly on Song now, working on teh trailer but sure thats a whole other blog!.

Tommorow night is the awards thingy in Dublin, then on Sunday I'm over for a short visit to Paris to Seb in Piste Rouge who sent me some really class sound design today.
Just a few bits to work on and then hopefully I'll have a rough mix with me in LA next Sunday.
Getting to meet a few heads in Pixar and Dreamworks and Disney , looking forward to that even though I'm a bit wrecked.

photos from the record session to follow as soon a s Pauly recharges his camera!


Saturday, August 09, 2008

the real pangur ban

These two starlets are on the rise , Venise and Tequila.
In Piste Rouge I heard about 20 minutes of sound design on Tuesday last including the work of our feline friends pictured here.
Also on Monday I had the pleasure to hear some more of the score Bruno has been working on in his studio in Paris.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


So, working on the adaptation of the film into graphic novel form, roughi9ng out the pages .
Actually its quite challenging, to faithfully adapt each scene to comics form would take much more than the two albums and I want to give a lot of room to the "new" stories at the start, the prequels about Brendan in the first album and Aisling in the second.
Truth be told those are the really interesting bits for me as its new artwork.
Most of the comics adaptation is mainly reused or reworked existing artwork so thats a different kind of challenge.
Mainly whats weird is how "cuts" don't work as easily. In film because we have time , when we cut from one scene to another, theres an automatic link, but in teh comic its kind of confusing, and I tend group panels more.
Also the publisher wants a very "classical" grid type layout which is not my usual style in comics so I'm trying to keep the more loose and experimental layouts for the prequels and go for the classical grid for the adaptation.
It kind of makes sense as the prequel is a different time and location from the rest and also the adaptation part uses a lot of artwork thats already in "boxes" , as in, screen shots designed for a rectangular screen!
Anyway, its a pile of work in a tight period and with the Song of the Sea schedule staying fixed I am up to my eyes.
But sure its all good.
Does'nt help that i fell off my bike the other night and nearly cut my ear off!
I'm working away with a very dramatic looking bandage all around my head.
Great for extra sympathy ;)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


At the View Two Gallery, Liverpool, Opening August 13th 2008 to September 14th. Fruitopia: Thirty photographs by Luli Barzman

Just yesterday I was sent this example of some beautiful art photography from wife of Kells Screenwriter Fabrice Ziolkowski, Luli Barzman.
Do go along!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Galway Film Fleadh

That was a great old weekend there in Galway, some class cartoons on show.
Congrats to the winners too!

I got some nice news too...

Moore Wins Directors Finders Series 2008

14 Jul 2008 |

The Secret of Kells
Director Tomm Moore is set to showcase his animated feature ‘The Secret of Kells’ at the Director’s Guild of America Theatre, LA on 19th September 2008 after being named winner of the Screen Director’s Guild Directors Finders Series 2008.

The award, organised by the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland (SDGI) in association with the Director’s Guild of America, sees an Irish director present their feature in front of an audience of American distributors and industry personnel with a view to securing a U.S distribution deal.

Selected by an international panel of experts, the Irish / French / Belgian co-production ‘The Secret of Kells’ tells the story of Brendan, the boy behind the famed Book of Kells. Twelve hundred years ago, the young orphan meets Brother Aidan, the keeper of an extraordinary, but unfinished book of illuminations. Aidan sets Brendan the task of completing the Book of Kells and he overcomes obstacles and faces his deepest fears to complete his duty.

The animation is produced by Cartoon Saloon, France’s Les Armateurs and Belgium’s Vivi Film with funding from the BCI, Irish Film Board, Celluloid Dreams, Canal Plus, Gebeka, FTD Video, Eurimages and RTE.

Last year’s winner of the Directors Finders Series was Tom Collin’s ‘Kings’, which went on to secure a U.S distribution deal and was Ireland’s official nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in the Academy Awards. ‘Kings’ also won five Irish Film & Television Awards at this year’s IFTAs.

The Directors Finders Series award is supported by The Irish Film Board, The DGA, The Arts Council, Culture Ireland and Screen Training Ireland.

But y'know, its gonna be a scrambel to get it all tidied up sound and music wise, but we can do it...


Ho Boy.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

and now the traditional dublin airport misadventure

am back in kilkenny.

all flights cancelled tonight.

some kind of radar problem.


traditional Dublin airport post

Going over to meet Bruno Coulais about the music...should be a nice meeting.

Also the sound designer from piste rouge ..Sebestian...

here I go...

Friday, July 04, 2008


Just a note in response to the comments on the last post.

The only place Disney are confirmed to distribute our film is in Ireland.

In France we have the distributor from Kirikou and Les Triplettes - Gebeka. A very good distributor of independant cartoons for France. They also distributed the last two Folimage movies for example.

In Belgium we arew ith Kinepolis another very good distributor.

For the rest of the world nothing is confirmed.
We have a very good sales agent in Celluloid dreams representing us.
They produced Persepolis so thats good pedigree!.

So hopefully we will find a partner for those territories soon.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


man, one of the best things about having Disney distributing the film here in Ireland is getting to the premieres!
Couple of weeks back we went to the Prince Caspian premiere in Dublintown and Ruth gave us a shout out in the intro speech!
Now I just got an invite to the Irish premiere of Wall.E


The Song of the Sea

Just a note to point anyone interested towards a new blog about my new project -
The Song of the Sea.

Over the next few months I will be dividing my time between developing this , working on the music and sound of Kells and of course the comic book version of Brendan.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

last scene approved on Hobsoft

I think (touch wood) I justa pproved the last scene ever on Hobsoft.


Bruno started sending some sample tracks of music yesterday.
Its gas how long everything has spread out it all is time wise.. once animation wrapped last year Nora had time to go have a baby, wean him on to solids and now shes back helping me with music notes!

Tidying up the old room we found some newspaper cuttings from 2000 about the imminent release of the film!

...ahh sure nearly there...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

flemish voices

So had a quick Skype contact with the voice director in Belgium and Vivianne the Belgian producer as they are recording the Flemish voices at the moment. Seems to be going well from the little bit I heard. I'm happy about that. It would be nice to be in Sunny Belgium instead of rainy Kilkenny but I am too busy here unfortunately to get there. Anyway I dont speak Flemish. I think its in good hands anyway!

Monday, June 30, 2008

original animation drawings

APB to anyone who worked on Brendan , I have all he folders from the scenes animated in Kilkenny and Brussels , here in the studio, with the original layout posing and clean up drawings.

I am gonna recycle the whole lot very soon as we are moving to a different space and just wanted to give anyone who wants their original drawings back the chance to let us know.
I can't afford to post them out so anyone who wants it will have to pay for whatever it costs to get them to you .
Let me know as soon as you can.
Its a pity to recycle all those drawings but sure thats life .

I already have boxes and boxes of stuff going back years and years so I really need to clear out!

Just to be clear I have nothing that was cleaned up or animated in Kecskemet ...just scenes sent back from Lightstar in Brazil after clean up and inbetween was finished..

I really think we'll go to digital 2d for the next production....;)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

OMG! So Excited!

The mastah.

(thanks for the heads up Darko!)

Monday, June 23, 2008

jean baptiste ven damme

i just love that name.
at the annecy presentation i took a moment to enjoy it and said it a few times.
some guys are just born lucky eh?
sounds good with a microphone.

cool name, killer drawing skills, sideburns that rock so bad the Kilkenny girls all melted in the presence of their awesomeness.

oh yeh.

jean baptiste van damme,
so hot right now,
jean baptiste van damme.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008


mad - just found this article.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

oslo chat

those nice fellows in Oslo interviewed me back then. here it is.

UPDATE - emmm just a note to warn you that I swear like the proverbial sailor in this and also have an annoyingly goofy laugh

editing finished + annecy

it was so hectic again this week , my head is spinning.
In Paris we finally locked the editing. Kinda scary , thats it.
Some retakes still to come for a few scenes and some changes on the last sequence
based on the screening but other than that the visuals are done.
Its kinda weird. I'll have to find a way to show all the cut stuff some day too.

on Wednesday when the editing was finished I traveled to Annecy , its such a beautiful part of the world and the festival is so exciting. I really hope to go for the whole thing next year hopefully less tired and able to see more and enjoy it at a leisurely pace.
Met plenty of old friends and it was good old craic. It was great to meet the old Skunkers and Joost and Eric of KACHING cartoons for a few scoops.
The presentation went well maybe a bit too much stuff crammed into the time we had but I think it was interesting for people in general.

Even have my mug in the latest Animation Magazine so thats kinda cool.

The Richard Williams exhibition in Annecy was very impressive and I'm looking forward to getting the DVD of his masterclasses he is bringing out. At the Belgian party after the presentation I met to lucky sould who have been working with him on it in Bristol.

Unfortunatly our presentation clashed with his so I did'nt even get to see that.

Rene Broca and Christelle Rony were very nice and helpful and it was really great to be asked to go to Annecy, Big thanks to them!

Monday, June 09, 2008

dublin airport my old friend

just for the craic heres a post from my old friend the surfbox coin operated terminal in dublin airport.

heading over for some final editing and also the annecy presentation.

basically hope this is the last week long trip for a looong while.

need to catch up on a lot of stuff in kilkenny.
like my marriage, sleep and plenty of neglected cartoon saloon stuff....

still its all good - annecy in the sunshine ...happy days...sure even annecy in the rain is fairly deadly!

Sunday, June 08, 2008


last week I -

drove at 2am to airport with sleepy wife and son , went to Brussels checked Viking attack with Frits, had meeting with Vivianne, met Benoit by accident - hi Benoit , went to Liege saw Chi Rho page , had champagne , had lots of Beers hi Damien, Celine, Eric , Serge , Iwan and co, sleep a bit , went to Paris made some editing updates , went to sleep, woke up, had shower, flooded my hotel room, went to Les Armateurs , met Paul and Ladies from Irish Film Board and Buena Vista , got drunk , staggered home, slept a bit , went to screening, got some nice feedback , ate nice dinner, walked around all happy about everyone liking it , thought about all changes suggested, found a veggie restaurant, ate more, slept a bit, went to sound studio, spotted effects , missed plane, ate a bit , hung around a bit, best wifey in world drove to Dublin , drove home from airport at 2 am.

Tommorow I start all over again.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Sunday, June 01, 2008

dublin airport again


drove up at 2.30 am to be here in plenty of time.
checked in.
bags have kilkenny colours tied to them this time.

here I go!

This is a big week. Finalise the compositing in Belgium.
Finalise the editing. Show a cut to distributors and investors.
If needed edit again based on their comments.
Meet with Piste Rouge sound designer about the sound effects and mix.
Paul will be over to help with that. He and I went thru' the Avid project spotting the important stuff on Saturday.
Noras temp sounds from 2006 are a good starting point anyway.
Meeting Bruno again to see about getting the music recorded soon....

here I go....

Saturday, May 31, 2008

if at first you dont succeed

try try again.

hokay off to Brussels and Liege on Monday. Really gonna try not to lose my bag this time:)

Then Paris for some final editing, some sound design stuff.
Have to show the latest cut to the distributors and the Irish Film Board.

Then back home . get sorted for Annecy.


Come to Annecy folks! Myself , Ross Stewart , Serge Ume and Toon Roebbens are doinga presentation of our work in progress (but almost finshed , honest!)


Friday, May 30, 2008


Fabienne the editor sent me the close to final edit today via Hobsoft.
I was supposed to be there with her working today but if you've been following my adventures you'll know I'm grounded until Monday!
Anyway it was quiet cool because although we ares till busy with the Chi Rho page and the attack sequence compositing its almost completely there as a movie - well pictures anyway, its still the temp sound effects and music since 2006 so thats kinda weird.
But since I was here Nora and Ross Stewart and even Baby Oliver gathered around the Avid and had a watch.

Feels like a big ,big part is almost over after a loooooong journey.
I know sound is 50% of the viewing experience and it would be foolhardy to imagine there are no big adventures ahead during the sound design and scoring process, but y'know I'm mainly a pictures kinda guy and the pictures being almost wrapped is very satisfying.
Everyone says its looking really great and Didier and Ivan at Les Armateurs are reportedly very happy with it.

The buzz in Cannes was very positive by all accounts.
The Celluloid Dreams brochure has some great images in it.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Praise be!


Thanks be to all thats holy!

The Fedex guy just got here and my passport and computer are in tact.
So glad the computer is in working order.

so, via internet I am working with Serge and his team in Belgium today.
No beer , but we are at least still productive this way.

Not the same as being there, but not bad!

Better try and get my presentation for annecy sorted now.
There won't be another chance I think.....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

nightmare update

back home ,

Lovely Liselott just made it up as I was preparing my application for a new passport.
Then Kairen in the studio called to say someone in Nice had called to say they had my bag.
So fingers, and indeed all extremities crossed , the bag will find its way back to me this week.
I am supposed to go to Brussels again on hopefully.

Thanks for the kind words fellow bloggers.

Its a tough old week, supposed to be finishing everything for the Chi Rho page this week as well as tidying up the editing on Friday. Tight . tight . tight.

I think I can keep up via internet and Hobsoft and all...but its not the same as being there...

oh boyoyoboy

dublin airport nightmare

Am stuck in dublin airport.

Picked up the wrong bag getting off the coach this morning at 4.30am.

Now have lost my bag , my passport, my credit cards, my computer even.
I do however have a bag of womans clothing. hoo boy.
Better leave that at lost and found.

What a nightmare.

Where ever you are out there fellow traveller! - Please send my stuff home when you realise you've got 'em!



gotta try and get an emergency passport today some how... wish me luck blogosphere!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

folimage show how its done again!

most gorgeous thing I've seen in a long long time.

practically perfect in everyway, am absolutly dying to see this.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Michel Ocelot

Crazy day yesterday. Very busy morning , then Adrien Merigeau the art director for Song of the Sea visited. He was a bit sick but we had a good chat and a nice lunch to get going on the BGs for that project. We got the train to Dublin where he got the news from Ross that the Irish Film Board has approved the funding for his short film we are trying get made -" Old Fangs".
Happy, happy days!
The guy on the train beside us was wondering why we were yelping and giving high fives and stuff . We had to explain.

Anyway Michel Ocelot visited Dublin last night and showed his absolutely gorgeously designed feature Asur and Azma.
Its really visually stunning.
The Irish Directors Guild had him over for a talk about his work and I have not seen him since 2003 or 2004 or so when we still financing Brendan. At that time he showed me some stills for Asur and Azma , the film looked just like the concepts as I remember them.
I remember he did'nt like the designs we had for Brendan at the time - too American and "Disney" he said, I thought he was right actually and as Didier Brunner had said the same thing I started to redesign them that weekend - it was an Easter Long weekend, I remember gettinga ll buzzed up to go in a new direction at that stage, ahhh far off days of youth and yore.
He's an awful nice guy, very funny and straightforward with a great attitude to animation and filmmaking in general.
He said he made notes for Asur and Asma for a year while working on other films and then wrote it in 2 weeks.


He says the dialogue always changes from the script to the storyboard as he finds the characters often say too much or it does'nt feel right once they are actually drawn up and facing each other on screen. Its a good approach I think.

Anyway it was a good night , because we had some drinks afterwards with Barry O'Donoghue and the Barley films bunch. They also got a Frameworks this year so happy days all 'round.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Some interesting stuff is evolving at the editing, more than I expected as we felt we had all the editing done up front when we locked the animatic.
Sequences moved, split up , rearranged. Small changes can make a big difference.
Some scenes I just love and that we fought so hard to get right suddenly seem unneccsary or get trimmed.
Its interesting anyway. All feels "right" even if sometimes a bit painful. Especially to cut something well animated and so on.

ahh sure story,story,story and all that.

I find myself saying " oh we cant possibly cut that" and then seeing ...hey actually that works better.

I'm learning loads.


Sunday, May 04, 2008


Right then, that must have been the most mental week of carbon emissions I've ever been responsible for.

The very lovely and nice Yaprak Moreli pictured above with her sweetheart Arre invited me to talk at the Frame by Frame animation conference in Oslo last Saturday. So of course , off I went.
It was very interesting and my speech was a lot of fun as I was publicly humilating myself by trying to operate a mac at the same time as giving a potted history of the production and the Saloon. But the Scandanavians turned out to be a much friendlier bunch than they appear in the film. In fact everyone was very friendly and interesting. I met the guys from Qvisten studio at the wrap party for their very cool feature "Kurt turns Evil" a nicely designed and animated CG film turned in on schedule and for a measly 3 million. Thats the way to do it I say. Fair play to them all.

I was delighted to meet me old ballyer comrade Olve Askim after 10 years . A grand old night was had by all as the picture above proves. As you can see neither of us has aged a day since we parted company in 1999!
Anyway it was an early start on Sunday, back to Dublin, then Kilkenny, one day at the studio catching up on piles of production problems and checking scenes, meeting our accountant for the usual scary low down , and then off to Dublin town for the class Paul, Fabian and I had agreed to give as part of the Cinemagic festival. We gave some Dublin 10 year olds a brief sneak peak of a work in progress sequence of Crom Cruach. "Looks fake" said one, "Thats because hes in a parallel world" said another (quite perceptive without any story context I thought), one little girl said she could "see tha' in the cinema alrigh' .
Anyway that evening we had the animation directors guild commitee meeting and a screening of Paul Bolgers film "Happily N'ever After". I interviewed him afterwards and its always comforting to here production horror stories from other peoples experience, makes me feel less unusual!
Paul showed me some development work hes doing on a new project and I have to say I'm all giddy about seeing that one come to fruitition. Its nice that theres another Kilkenny based director too, us bogmen have to show them whats possible beyond the pale.

Next morning it was a 4.30 am start to Brussels and I met a very nice Iranian taxi man . In my bleary eyed state I was still in animation nerd mode and ended up leaving him the name of Marjane Satrapis "Persepolis" , as he seemed very interested in it...

Well Brussels was a little fraught at first but we found solutions and I was mighty impressed with the work Gilles in WTD had done on Crom since my last trip , Frits , Toon and Mikeal all doing some nice work on the Viking attack too .
I have to say Digital Graphics in Liege are doing some excellent work.
My hat goes off to Serge and his team, who no sooner had they finished the mammoth task of ALL the ink and paint for the movie went straight on to help with the compositing. After my trip they have agreed to even more work on some really tricky sequences. Celine , Damien , Eric and Ewan and all the the team are doing really class work on the mist cat and snowy sequences.
They will also work now , with Toon, on the Chi Rho sequence at the end of the film.
Celine had a lovely idea of having all the characters and animals in the Chi Rho page seem to be alive and busy until the camera rests on them , at which time they "settle" into their formal poses as part of the page. I hope we can pull it off as its a charming concept for the final sequence

So on Friday night I finally made it back to my own bed and glad I was of it.

While I was away Spirit finished all the compositing of their scenes and I have 115 scenes to check tommorow. I've been keeping up with them on Hobsoft and with just a few small retakes I think we can finish up all the compositing in Spirit these next few days.

Katia is starting a new production in Paris tommorow , and I am having to give more and more time to new projects in the studio.
Its really a crazy place we are in now, but I feel the end is near and its a huge relief.
With a bit of luck, this will be the last month working on the images and the summer will be given over to the sound design, music and final editing.
In the mean time I have plenty to keep me busy with the comics and Song of the Sea , so no rest for the wicked as they say.

Nice sunny day today, start of May, a vegan barbeque and nice woodland stroll with the dog, the missus and the young fella. Roll on summer.


Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Just a quick reply to Tsuka,

I am delighted there is interest on catsuka forum about the film of course;
Its very encouraging.
The source of the cartoon ,movie teaser was the Belgian coproducer who submitted with the permission of teh other producers to that site in Wallonia.
Just noone told me.

Oh well. Just hope the longer and hopefully nicer one they are planning for Cannes will get its debut here!

Anyway am in Walking the Dog in Brussels now and we are starting to see some very nice stuff here .


Monday, April 28, 2008


Well folks,

someone let the cat out of the bag. The trailer on Catsuka is not an official trailer for the public, just something that was cut for the last Cartoon Movie by our partners, les Armateurs.
Its a pity as we still have quite a bit of compositing to do and its not really representative of what we would like to have in the trailer - there WILL be a longer one for public consumption later.
We wanted to only put up the "official" trailera nd I only discovered this one when is aw the comments on this blog!!!!

The films release looks likely to be pushed to next year now, because of the incessant delays that plague this production.

The music on that trailer is "Aislings Song" but only a rough test track that bruno made last year. The voice of Aisling , Christin Mooney recorded it and I think I posted about the session when it happened.
I gave a presentation of some work in progress in Oslo this weekend, everyone is impressed with her voice acting.

It was good to see Olve again and lovely to meet Yaprak and the others there.

Today, I got some positive response that pending some satisfactory sample pages Glenat will publish the BDs of Brendan. One with the prequel about Brendan and one with the prequel of Aisling.
I just have to squeeze some time in these next few hectic weeks to do the samples well enough to be sure it goes ahead!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

its just sick is all it is....

Our friend in the forest, Charlotte Aberg from Sweden sent us this message today...

In the 2007, the 'artist' Guillermo Vargas Habacuc, took a dog from the street, he tied him to a rope in an art gallery, starving him to death.

For several days, the 'artist' and the visitors of the exhibition watched emotionless the 'masterpiece' , conceptually based upon based on the dog's agony, until eventually he died from starvation and dehydration.

But this is not all... The prestigious Visual Arts Biennial of the Central American decided that the 'installation' was actually art, so that Guillermo Vargas Habacuc has been invited to repeat his cruel action for the biennial of 2008. Let's STOP HIM!!!!!

Click on the following link or just copy it in your browser to sign a petion to stop him to do it again.

Please Please do it. It's free of charge and it will only take 1 minute to save the life of an innocent creature. Please also send this e-mail to as many contact as you can... Let's stop him!!!

Unfortunately this is all true…Try 'googling' the name of the artist if you want to be sure….Charlotte

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

brendan comic

Heres a page from the Brendan comic I'm working on. Its the back story of how Brendan was saved from the Vikings as a baby. Hopefully it will go ahead and get published early next year..but I think I'll keep going with it anyway..its nice to draw stuff and bring it a finish all on my own..nothing like the complications of a international co-production! I drew this in Flash and coloured it in photoshop. I robbed Lily Bernards (I fixed your surname Lily ! sorry again!) prop designs from a background she did for the film though, so those little pots and things in the hut are hers! Sorry, Lily.


the vikings are at the door and the roof is on fire....the smoke is very cool ...but we have to get out!
animation by Caroline Piochon in Walking the Dog , Brussels. Cleaned up in Kecskemet, Hungary - composited in Spirit studio Angouleme. Bg by Lily Barnard. fire effects by Jeremy Purcel in Galway. Smoke made in Angouleme. Layout by Telman Morina in Kilkenny (but hes Albanian). emmm storyboard by me in Kilkenny.

ahh a picture from all over the world it is. so it is.


well, I'm still buzzing around between Paris and Brussels, now the guys in digital Graphics are helping out with the compositing. Hopefully, if everyone keeps the output up in all the studios we will finish the pictures very soon, like in the next few weeks or so. But its a slow old trudge and its hard to keep the momentum up thats for sure.
The first trailer that was cut was not approved by the producers so a new one is being cut at the moment for Cannes. Hopefully I'll get the Ok to stick that up soon.

The editing is an interesting, slightly painful but very exciting process.

I'll be going to Norway this week end for the Frame by frame animation festival, it will be interesting to see a part of the world I have'nt been to, and meet up with my old college buddy Olve Askim up there.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

lovely liselott

hey check out my wifes blog! She is blogging about her current artists residency in Kilkenny.
Shes a fine artist. Even if I do say so myself, hurhur

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Congrats to Camille and Okan

Man, its the future right now.
I just watch Camille and her turkish beau get married on live webcam, they are in Istanbul, I am in Kilkenny.
Class, now wheres me hover car?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ray Forkan
Bg dude on Brendan...all round cool cat...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

angouleme again

woke up this morning and wasnt sure where i was for a minute.
plenty of travelling around.

frits and gilles came to see about compositing the mist and stuff like that with damien and didierand the crew here today.

schedule looks mighty tight..hope we can pull it off...

i need to finish this thing soon so or my carbon footprint will be insane.

Monday, March 17, 2008

happy st.patricks day

i spent this (hopefully) last st.patricks day of this production, in brussels, liege and finally paris.
with not even a drop o' uisce beatha to sweeten the working day....sigh...

awww the emigrants melancholy is upon me and me only a week away from touching our dear old sod.


Sunday, March 16, 2008


Here in rainly Brussels, just getting the guys from the Walking the Dog compositing team ,
Gilles and Michael up to speed on what we need.
What I have seen so far looks good, but lots left to do in a shorter and shorter time frame.
We will endeavour to keep the quality up however. Frits is looking after the compositing here and he and Gilles will come down to Angouleme with me on Wednesday to meet the guys down there.
The biggest challenge of course with teh work split all over is having everyone on the same page and seeing what the others are doing, how they are doing it and why.
Internet is great and all but its not really a subsititute for face to face so I hope the meeting between the Belgian and French teams will help bioth parties in this last run of production.

Ill be back in France on Tuesday to work on the editing of Reel 2 some more with Febienne and to discuss some publishing tie in ideas that I am really excited about.

Tommorow after noon its Liege to see about the remaining EFx and be sure the Ink and Paint is on track to finish up asap.

Liselott came over to visit this weekend which was nice.

Good veggy food found in Soul restaurant - veggies check it out if you are in Belgium

We met Marie Laure last night for drinks after a day browsing the endless Bd shops here.
Man , Chocolate, Beer and Bds the Belgians have their priorities straight.

life is short and animation takes soo long.. these weekend pitstops are really a neccesaity to keep the energy up

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


heading to brussels today...plenty of work to be done there on compositing and effects.
met up with fabrice when i first arrived here in paris. itsccrazy that its 5 year since we worked on the script....

had a meeting with bruno coulais the composer yesterday, he is starting to make the demos now to work along side the editing.
he was telling me how he worked on coraline, the beautiful henry selick/neil gaiman project in portland. they actually animated to his demos. im really excited to see that movie.
i guess music is the big thing animatiin has over comics for me as a medium....its such a huge extra dimension...
i saw "there will be blood" last night. the soundtrack in that one...holy moley.

met tom caulfield on the planeover, he and caroline pionchon are working on slyvain chomets new project here in paris.
nice to hear about twoexciting traditiinally created projects these past few days...coraline and the illusionist...i kind of like how 2d is becoming specialised like stop motion, means that people are choosing it for artistic rrasons andonly the hardcore specialists will be left. its not the norm to seelots of bad 2d its mainly bad cg3d wesee!

ahhh sure...i'll get back to the grind now....

Friday, March 07, 2008


So, here we are in Potsdam, at Cartoon Movie. A nice event where all the european co-producers meet once a year for drinkipoos and deals to be made.
We saw some gorgeous animated features , The Three Robbers, Luuuuucky Luke , Nocturna and others.
We met some old friends and some new ones.
Benoit Feroumont presented his very interesting and beautifully designed project Macrales.
The presentation of Brendan was nice. It was Didier Brunners birthday and we all sang him a birthday song at the end of the presentation.

Going into Berlin now to meet Adrien for some discussions on Song of the Sea, and of course more drinkipoos.
Then its back to the grind for the "last straight line" to the end as Vivianne calls it!
The music, the editing, more compositing...all ahead of me.
Next week I am in Paris, Liege, Brussels. whew.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

nothing to do with the Secret of Kells...

So, this is probably mildly inappropriate but I don't care!
Please watch this video...all of it. Its gruesome in places and I've been disturbed a bit since viewing it all last night , but its a subject that I feel very strongly about.
This blog is probably the widest public forum I have and I thought its probably worth giving this documentary a plug here just in case it might make someone think twice about their attitude to meat and animal rights.

EARTHLINGS is a feature length documentary about humanity's absolute dependence on animals .

Saturday, February 16, 2008

back home for a bit

So came back home to Kilkenny last Thursday night/Friday morning.
We had some fantastic news on Thursday , a new arrival and our first (as far as I know anyway) production baby arrived.
Nora had a lovely little baby boy called Oliver. I was glad to be able to get back in time to meet him.
Fine young fella he is too.
Mammy and Baby doing great and proud as punch Dad Michael (voice of adult Brendan) enjoyed a celebratory cigar with me last night .
Happy Days.

In less exciting news- The screening in Paris was pretty good. The film stock kinda punched up the colours a bit and made it all illuminated and stuff.
The image is 1.66 and so a little bit gets cut off on the 1.85 screens...but I think the compositiosn just look better 1.66.
Didier Brunner the French executive producer was there and he was pretty happy with the final look of the scenes we tested , so I was glad about that. He has good taste , I think , and all the rest of us are kinda sick looking at it so we had no real perspective.

The main frustration for everyone now though is the constant pressure of being so overschedule.
Its hard to get a bead on just when we can finish with all the different factors...getting the last of the clean up scanned, sent to DG , painted, sent to Spirit, getting it composited, fixing whatever needs to be fixed .
In fact , some of the most difficult scenes to be composited have not even started yet.

These ones, the Crom Cruach sequence with a lot of Cg and the Attack on Kells by the Vikings are kinda monsters. They have so many elements , 3d, Flash, effects and of course traditional 2d characters. We were scheduled to work on them this week but it was decided to wait until all the elements for every scene are completed before going for it. I guess this is wise, but its also a pity as we wont have any of these very spectacular scenes in the trailer thats being cut for Cartoon Movie.

Some debate has arrisen about the title too...maybe its not just quite settled yet.
I dunno. The French title might still be "Brendan - The Secret of Kells".
Theres just SO many "secret" titles out there, sigh.

I went to see an awesome movie in Angouleme - "Peur du Noir" - such an excellent film, I just couldnt believe it got made. Thank God for the French I say. Good taste in cartoons .
I dont think such exciting, ambitious and experimental animation ever really gets a chance in the English speaking world. Just being in Angouleme or Brussels where comics and animation are considered so highly is inspiring.
I wonder how it would feel to grow up as a comic book fan in a town with a statue to Herge in the centre and murals by cartoonists everywhere.
The Comic book museum is really impressive and its just a testament to how valued the medium is there.

more pictures and hopefully the trailer very soon...I promise!


Thursday, February 14, 2008


Well, I have been back in the very cool town of Angouleme for the past two weeks working on the compositing. Just before that was in Liege at Digital Graphics working with Serge Ume on the EFX. Some very cool stuff on the mist...we got it looking like celtic knotwork, arranged in bands like Book of Kells borders. It looks nice but its a lot of compositional work at compositing.
Damien here in Spirit has become "Mr.Mist" and is doing some lovely work with the efx Serge and Eric made.

Anyway just sloooooooowly plodding along to a finish hopefully we will start to go faster soon...better run taxi waiting to go to Paris to see a film test on the big screen...GULP!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

kecskemet finishing up

so, here I am again in Hungary.
Last trip of this production at least, to Kecskemet films.
Between checking the last Clean up and Inbetween scenes I wandered around the studio.
The sheer volume of drawings is kind of crazy. Huge folders stuffed with drawings all organised in various stages of finalising. Some retakes, some being scanned, most just piled high ready to be shipped back to Kilkenny. I leaved through a few I,d posed out. The whole paper 2d thing is crazy really. From a few poses, maybe 5 or 10, to the animation, then final clean up on multiple levels.
Really crazy.

Theres one scene , 900 drawings, animated by the meastro Andrejz Radka from Poland, then cleaned up by "Batka" Purevjav Batmjagmar from Mongolia. Lovely line weight on each drawing, like an illustration. But there are HUNDREDS of them. Kinda overwhelming.

When I wander around the studio here and see bits and pieces from over the nearly 40 years its been going and think of all the films shot on cel and so on, my head spins.

Then I discover this blog this morning -

just read it for about two hours.

this animation craic is pure madness I think.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

digital graphics

Check out Brendan on the Belgian news on Digital Graphics cool blog !
Serge Ume and his brother Marc and their team are doing some great work at the moment on the efx and colouring of the characters...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Secret of Kells

So, we never found a better title. Now its gotten too late.
Man we thought of so many but nothing really felt right.
Now , Buena Vista are planning on starting the official marketing and we
reckon "The Secret of Kells" is the final title.
So many films have "The Secret of" I would have loved a better title.
But this seems to be the one we will use.
I suppose it'll do the job.

Ah sure.