Monday, 8 March 2010

BAA - British Animation Awards

I got the chance to watch the 7th edition of the British Animation Awards screening at BFI Southbank two weeks ago. I was always a fan of the logo and the acronym of the festival, BAA for British Animation Awards integrated in a sheep icon-based logo, imitating the sheep's bleats.

This post is not about the logo though, it should be about the animated shorts, or a quick reflection on animation in general.
Abstract shapes animated, character illustration, digital drawing using a digital pen or even a mouse, hand drawings rendered using photoshop, ink based drawings, objects photographed and animated following the stop motion techniques, photographs captured then animated using the many layers techniques; every participant seemed to be fascinated with his/her chosen technique. The problem though was sometimes the discrepancy between visuals and the theme or the visuals and the narrative, a brightly written poem that contained a lot of interesting imagery (metaphorically) was portrayed visually in a too literal way, wiping out the margin for the viewer to imagine really. Other times an interesting animation fails to deliver a message, or even a feeling beyond 'interesting visuals', which could be a true disappointment, especially that there is talent, so why not use the help of an author or a creative writer to adjust the whole mission altogether?
And my second concern was the 'cute' phenomenon; the after taste of some of the screenings was mainly lightness, specifically that of 'if the animated short doesn't make the audience laugh or smile it won't harm them.'
Some grand interventions like 'Speechless' by Daniel Greaves and 'Yellow Belly End' by Philip Bacon' (from the 2 out of 3 days program I have attended), and I really like the fact that this festival has been running for 7 years now, it is something to look forward to.
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