And it’s been an exciting week! Last Monday (Sept. 12.) I was in Tromsø to meet the regional and local press together with Dunderly-author Endre Lund Eriksen. It was two days before the official Dunderly-release (Sept. 14.). We’re both originally from this northern region, and got good coverage.
Tuesday we had the last runthrough of the opening show at the Latter theatre in Oslo. We also did interviews with some of the largest Norwegian newspapers. Dagsavisen interviewed us together with Mats Nygaard (the President of the Aschehoug publishing house) in his office. One of the monsters, Bulder, couldn’t resist trying out his chair!
Wednesday was the day of the actual release. I woke up to the news that the big newspaper, VG, had given 5 out of 6 stars and a great review on our main Dunderly-book, Monstrene i Dunderly. It was a great start on a great day. At Latter we and the monsters met 700-800 happy people (mostly kids) on two packed release-shows. I drew new monsters on stage, designed from the audiences requests. Fun! That evening the Dunderly team dined and partied at the beautiful Aschehoug residence, known for it’s annual gardenparties.
The next morning Endre Lund Eriksen and I got up early to guest the TV-show God Morgen Norge on TV2. We got to talk about our creation. The monsters were also there, and did a song/dance-routine.
On Friday we had two more shows on the Latter theatre, and I wandered around to see if I could find our monsters on the town. I could!
On Saturday 17. Dunderly was invited to the Oslo Book-Festival. I got to fullfill a dream I’ve never had: To stand on the big stage of the stunning new opera-house in Oslo! Endre Lund Eriksen and I presented Dunderly to an audience of 1400 people.
An hour later there was a new show on the roof-terrace of the Opera, where, with the help of the audience, I drew a new monster on stage. Afterwards, the monsters sang and danced.
Luckily, Sunday was a day off, and I expect this week will be a lot more quiet and calm. I feel very happy about how our creation has been received so far. I hope the monsters will have a long and happy life, and that they’ll get lots of friends who’ll have as much fun with them as we’ve had making them. I want to thank everyone at GAN Aschehoug who’ve been involved in making this a truly great week for the project. A special thank you to the monster-actors who’ve given everything, and will continue doing shows at Latter through this week too!
See some of the coverage here: NRK (web), NRK (TV, start ca 12:35), Nordlys, Avisa Nordland, Kingsize, Dagbladet (14.09), Dagbladet (19.07), Barnehage.no, Utrop.no, and this great post on Myrertoppen barnehages blog, thanks :-)
For the last two years I’ve been developing a concept called Dunderly together with author/scriptwriter Endre Lund Eriksen and the publisher GAN-Aschehoug. Dunderly is a whole new world featuring many strange and funny creatures living in the Norwegian mountains. It’s been a fun and long development. Today we’re finally starting to reveal the concept in this 30sec teaser. Apart from the music/sound which was produced by Aanestad Productions and composed by Anne Brændeland Hovde, the teaser is all my work. Enjoy it!
WE NEED YOU! If you like it, please pass it on and leave your comments and ratings on YouTube and Facebook. You can also follow the monsters on Dunderly.no and download the music from iTunes. I’ll be showing more artwork here at SkandferFilm.com later. The official Dunderly release date is September 14.
The Kruger & Krogh project has had great progress lately. The graphic novel concept that I’m developing with Bjarte Agdestein and Ronald Kabicek was officially presented for the first time at the OCX (Oslo Comic Expo) in May. After that two of the biggest Norwegian newspapers made two page articles on the project (Dagbladet June 01), and we got attention from a number of publishers. We’re now in the process of deciding which one to choose.
We’re very happy for all the good feedback we got. It makes us confident the project will have an audience if we manage to finish it the way we’ve planned.
Kruger & Krogh has it’s own blog now, and here’s a teaser that was part of the OCX-presentation:
It’s been eight years since the last time I was there. The Annecy Animation Festival is still an amazing experience. First of all, the location is unbelievably beautiful. Then of course you can see just about everything worth seeing in animation. But I think for me the best part of the festival is having the illusion for a few says that animation is the only important thing in the world. Animation is such a marginal profession most places, so I think most of us enjoy Annecy packed with animation professionals, students and fans. This is where an otherwise anonymous short film director can feel famous, and you can hear drunk people shout their opinions on Cartoon Network programming in a back alley. You need to stand in line even to see student films and commercials, and you can enjoy free canapés and wine on the many sponsored parties on the beaches of Lake Annecy. Returning to the real world after five days in Toonwood was a little sad. Hope to be back next year.
Mike Giaimo doing a talk on Art Direction. One of many Disney events at Annecy/MIFA.
I just came back from a brief visit to Ireland. My friend Barry O’Donoghue who is the founding director of Barley Films had invited legendary Disney animator Eric Goldberg and his wife, art director Sue Goldberg, to spend some time in Ireland and do talks on their work. I was happy and honoured to be able to spend time with them together with Barry. On friday we went to Kilkenny to visit Cartoon Saloon (and due to a detour spent hours exploring the narrow winding roads of south-eastern Ireland), and on Saturday Eric had a seven hour (!) talk at Barley Films where he shared his wit and wisdom. All perfectly set up and arranged by Barry. For me it was all very inspiring. At the same time I’m filled with respect and awe as to how much there is to learn in the field of animation.
Sue, Barry and Eric at the Avoca weavery.
Tom Moore, myself, Sue and Eric at Cartoon Saloon.
I’m currently working with production company Zentropa and acclaimed director Anita Killi on an animated feature. The film is set in Scandinavia, and stars a young farmgirl who sets out to be a ballerina in the big city.
I can’t put out any artwork yet, but towards the end of this interview with director Anita Killi you can see my first concept paintings. The interview is in Norwegian, but I think you’ll get the point. Anita has done her own cut-out films for years at her studio Trollfilm which is located on a farm in the Dovre mountains. She’s well known internationally for films like “The Hedge of Thorns”/”Tornehekken” og “Angry Man”/”Sinna mann”. She’s currently developing two features.
Last weekend there was a preview of Breakthru Films’ “The Flying Machine – The World of Chopin’s Études” at the Royal Festival Hall in London. I did some designs and concepts for it last year, and I’m looking forward to see what’s become of it. I know some of the animation is absolutely stunning. Although I was invited to the screening, I decided to go to Dublin this week instead for a masterclass with Disney animator Eric Goldberg. I’ll get back to that later.
When I had my paternity leave I decided to quit my position at StormStudios and develop my little company SkandferFilm further. It’s both a little scary and very exciting. I still have a very good relation to StormStudios, and we plan to work together on future projects. The reason why I quit is mainly that I have so many personal projects that I want to realize. I’m currently working on graphic novels, documentaries, books, features an shorts. There was just no way I could finish these projects in my spare time. No I can actually dedicate myself to them, and that feels great! It’s going to be tough, but I’m looking forward to being my own boss.
I’m still available on my Storm-mail as well as my SkandferFilm-mail.
The two 2-D shorts “Alex” and “Sara” were commissioned by the national children’s protection service (Barne-, ungdoms-, og familiedirektoratet). The animation, designs and storyboards for “Sara” were done by Olve Askim and myself. Due to bad planning I had to do the whole “Alex”-film by myself in two weeks – madness! It was the first time any of us animated directly on Cintiqs. We used the TVPaint-software, which was really cool. This was the first time Olve and I animated on the same project in 10 years. I hope we’ll do it again some time soon! I wrote and directed both films. See them on Storm Studios’ website!
The new animated feature “Elias og kampen om havets gull” came out just before Christmas. It’s been around 18 months since I worked on it, so I was very excited to see how it’d turned out. I must say I’m impressed with Filmkameratene and director Lise Osvoll. They manage to make solid family films inhouse on very tight budgets (As far as I know, this was about 3.4mill USD including overhead!). The company is behind half of all Norvegian animated features in history. I designed the new characters for this sequel, including a super villain and a love interest for our hero. I also designed a huge and very complicated factory. The style of the film follows the original film and series. All characters are boats, ships and buildings. The scenography is rather realistic with an empasis on water and mountains. The biggest challenge was to create believeable characters with depth from mechanical vessels. Here are some of my concept-paints…
One of my tech-modelsheets for the mini-sub Duppe.
Final render of the same character.