Monday, July 27, 2009

New Triggerfish Production Facilities

For the past 2 years, Triggerfish studios have been located on the picturesque location of Dreyersdal Farm just 20 minutes from the heart of Cape Town city centre.
The new location - The Barn is on the left (The Long House is in the background) 
With the massive expansion of the team taking place on the production of Zambezia, a new space was required. We were sad at the thought of leaving the farm, but thankfully have managed to secure the ideal space on the same premises!The 100-year old Barn House is currently being renovated and kitted out to suit all our production needs.
The mezzanine floor being installed.

Dreyersdal Farm is a quiet spot, against the traffic, close to shops and what's more - the nearby lake which is teeming with bird-life provides the perfect inspiration for Zambezia :)
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Careers Indaba in Khayelitsha

Unemployment in SA is high, but the animation sector is a growing industry in this country and one which could provide employment for wide range of people with varying skills.

Anthony recently gave a talk on the various opportunities for work in animation at a careers indaba organised by iKamvaYouth . iKamvaYouth is a non-profit organization focused on the empowerment of youth through education, e-literacy training and career guidance. They have a number of extremely successful programmes with branches in CT, Durban and JHB and Triggerfish hopes to continue working with them to grow an awareness of animation within the Khayalitsha community in which they are based.

"Due to the social and cultural history of our country, the SA animation scene is predominantly a white male industry, " says Anthony. "Addressing this need for transformation within the local animation industry is high on our agenda."

Triggerfish has a long history in industry development. Stuart started the Animation SA website (the representative industry body), Anthony continues to maintain the site and is a vice-chair on the board. The monthly animationXchange networking events were first held in the Triggerfish offices and Anthony continues to run them. There is also a permanent, rotational internship programme that runs in the studio which allows recent graduates the chance to further their training in a supportive environment. Triggerfish is also one of the partners of the Animation Industry Development Initiative (AIDI) organised by the Cape Film Commission and Animation SA which has the ambitious aim to provide 10000 jobs in the animation sector by 2020.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Lights, camera, animation

Blockbuster animated films with an African theme like The Lion King and Madagascar have reaped rich rewards for Hollywood studios.

Now it is South Africa’s chance to shine.

Although not the first to be produced here, Zambezia will be the biggest animated film created in SA.

Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios, which has three full feature animated films in the pipeline, is already in pre-production on Zambezia, the first film of the three.

Last week, the Industrial Development Corporation, when announcing its financial results, confirmed that it has approved a R17- million investment in the film.

Triggerfish director Anthony Silverston said the pilot was produced in 2006 and it has been a long slog since then to perfect the script and to secure funding.

Both issues are at an advanced stage and Triggerfish is recruiting production staff for the film.

While Zambezia cannot compete with Hollywood budgets, Silverston said, in local terms, the creators were working with a comfortable budget financed largely by the IDC but also by US investor Wonderful Works, US finance group 120db Film Finances, Triggerfish itself and the National Film and Video Foundation.

Silverston said while it was not the first full-length animated film from SA (Lion of Judah has been completed, but not released), it would be the biggest, and pre-sales have already been extremely positive.

Zambezia, which will be directed by local writer and director Wayne Thornley, is a coming-of-age adventure about a falcon from the plains of Zimbabwe who travels to the big city, where he is tested to the limits when he has to protect Zambezia against a horde of aggressors.

While the scriptwriters are from SA, including Thornley, Silverston, Raffaella Delle Donne and Andrew Cook, they have been consulting with Kiel Murray from Pixar and an experienced UK Film Council script editor.

There is a lot of local talent on which to draw. Silverston said there has been a huge response to the call for applications. “We were excited by the level of talent,” he said.

The film is in pre-production where design, storyboards, characters and environment are being finalised and it will take 18 months to finish, with a 2011 release planned.

Since 1996, Triggerfish has been doing animation for commercials including the Royco Potato Bake potato head ad, and the Plascon Woodcare ad, and has done a lot of work for Takalani Sesame.

Silverston said the creators wanted the film to be authentic and wanted to use local voice talent, but American audiences struggle to understand the accent, so it may have to be dubbed for some international audiences.

Music also plays an important part, and will be a mixture between traditional and contemporary African music.

  •  The Lion of Judah, the first CG local full-length animated film, was produced by Sunrise Productions and animated by Character Matters, both local, but was largely funded and is owned by an international investor.

  • by Marcia Klein
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    Friday, July 10, 2009

    Top creative team for Zambezia Pre-Production

    Two of SA's finest artists in the animation field, Lindsay van Blerk and Allan Cameron were recently appointed to oversee pre-production of Zambezia. 

    Triggerfish producer Mike Buckland with Allan Cameron and Lindsay van Blerk

    Lindsay van Blerk, one of SA's most experienced animation directors was appointed as storyboard supervisor and in just one month, has already completed a first pass of the film together with his storyboard team.

    Lindsay is well-known to Triggerfish, having founded Xyzoo in 1991, working with original Triggerfish founder, Jacquie Trowell. Starting in 1983 at Klaybow Films, Lindsay has produced, directed animated and designed over 60 commercials as well as five award-winning films including “The Velveteen Rabbit”, winner of the Booklist USA Editors Choice 2004, amongst others. Most recently, Lindsay has been developing new projects and supervising storyboard on TV series at Clockwork Zoo. 

    Allan Cameron, another top veteran in the SA animation industry has joined the team as Production Designer, relocating from Johannesburg for the project. Allan has a wealth of illustration experience and is no stranger to 3D either, having worked as a designer/director in CG since 1994. He has worked on at least 60 commercials, various pilots for a range of projects, working internationally at studios such as The Works, and locally at Luma and VideoLab. For the last few years, Allan has been at Anamazing Workshop, working as series director, and designing story, characters, sets, storyboarding for their APTI project as well as  handling art direction and direction on a feature film project of “Liewe Heksie”.

    The creative department is working extremely well together,” says director Wayne Thornley. “I welcome the best idea in the room and here we have a constant flow of ideas between the artists. It is an exciting and fun environment to be in – and a pleasure to witness such creative minds as Allan and Lindsay collaborating to create something special and unexpected”.

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    Tuesday, July 7, 2009

    Zambezia recruitment

    We’ve had an overwhelming response to our call for applications for the various positions for Zambezia. Our new HR consultant, Cathy Bradley is helping us structure recruiting and training and we will be contacting all applicants as soon as we can. We have been encouraged by the level of experience and talent of the applicants, and are busy drawing up a short list. Thanks for your patience! And to all of you still wanting to join us on this exciting project, fill out your details here:

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