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.



  1. Thank's Tomm!

    We are tired, but, happy to continue the "Brendan adventure"! The book of Kells won't have any secret for us...

    DG team

  2. Thank's Tomm!

    We are tired, but happy to continue the "Brendan Adventure". The book of Kells won't have any secret for us...

    DG Team

  3. Thanks for the comment on A Pug's Life! Wow. It means a lot from someone who's involved in The Book of Kells. I've been admiring production art from it for a while. And it's just wicked wicked stuff.

  4. Was great to see you again mate. We should do this more often. :)