Monday, December 20, 2010

Xmas Triggerfish styleeeee!

Big thanks to Cathy, Andiswa and Shune for organising a 'secret santa' Xmas party at the studio. As you can tell from the snaps, there were mixed reactions when it came to the opening of presents.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Wild Card

This week, the D.O.P. on Khumba, Joe de Kadt arrived from L.A. via the U.K. (yes, that's a lot of acronyms) and has been fearlessly immersing himself in the wilds of Africa.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mo(oooo)ve over

Having our studio on Dreyersdal Farm really makes us feel that we're in the country and out of the rat-race. But it does mean that sometimes we have to compete for parking space....with cows.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

The BIG move into the Long House

Triggerfish has moved....well a few meters anyway. We're still on Dreyersdal Farm but the studio has expanded to include The Long House as well as The Barn. Although the big move happened about two weeks ago, we've learnt that it takes time for things to find their place. Pin It

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Zambezia takes stereoscopic 3D

Thanks to Chris Cunnington, our lead stereographer, we've been able to upload the stereoscopic 3D version of the Zambezia promo which is a good excuse for us to watch it again...and again. So put on your 3D glasses and watch it here.
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Movember....The Horror! The Horror!

It's almost the end of Movember and here are some of the mo's we have in the mix.

This is Wayne's 4 o' clock shadow.

Tom misunderstood the brief and thought he had to shave off all his body hair EXCEPT his moustache.

Jovan thought the exact opposite.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Animation ain't no picnic....except if you work at Triggerfish

One of the perks of having our studio on a farm is that you get to have lunch al fresco so in celebration of spring we decided to dust off our picnic blankets and soak up some rays.

Clearly, some have a better grasp of what the function of picnic blanket is......

....while some are still figuring it out.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Zambezia takes flight!

Big UP to the Zambezia team for putting together a fantastic promo for the American Film Market. According to our sales agent, Edward Noeltner of CMG, distributors have been very excited by the quality and standard they've seen in the promo, and sales negotiations are underway!

Watch this space for the 3D stereoscopic version Pin It

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Work hard, play hard

After a stressful week AND meeting the deadline for the American Film Market promo, the Zambezia crew headed for the hills. Can you blame them...?

A big thank you to Cathy for organising the much-needed break, and to Andiswa and Shune for helping with logistics.

This is what happens when you work on a movie with an all-bird cast.

What goes up, must come down.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Exposé on Dan

It's official. Daniel Clarke, our Production Designer on Khumba is one of the "finest digital artists in the known universe". Three of his illustrations were selected for the latest edition of Expose. You can see the other two illustrations here and here. Pin It

Monday, November 15, 2010

New horizons - Article in The Callsheet

Image from Zambezia (Copyright of Triggerfish)

Triggerfish Animation Studio has received funding from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), as well as the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) to produce their second animated feature, Khumba. The film stars a half-striped zebra who is blamed for the drought affecting his herd. Teaming up with a sassy wildebeest and a flamboyant ostrich, this unlikely hero sets off on a daring quest through the Great Karoo to find his missing stripes. Last year, Triggerfish produced a 3-minute teaser for the feature-length film. The teaser was used by LA-based sales agent CMG to help generate pre-sales which were then used as security for some of the funding. “It’s great that our hard work on the teaser paid off and that we now have the opportunity to further develop the characters and production design as we go into full pre-production”, says Director, Anthony Silverston.

Khumba will be the studio’s second stereoscopic 3D feature film with Zambezia scheduled for completion in early 2011. Set in a bustling bird city on the edge of the majestic Victoria Falls, Zambezia is the story of Kai - a naïve, but high-spirited young falcon who travels to the bird city of Zambezia where he discovers the truth about his origins and, in defending the city, learns how to be part of a community. Amongst the 70-strong crew working on Zambezia, Triggerfish has employed two rounds of interns with financial support from the Services Seta. The first group of five proved to be so valuable in production that they have all ended up being employed for the rest of the project in various capacities. The second group is already helping out in a number of areas although their internship only starts in November. Depending on their strengths, each individual focuses on a different area of production - be it modelling, texturing or lighting.

“Having a second feature in production is a significant breakthrough for our studio,” says Triggerfish producer Stuart Forrest. “There was a massive learning curve on Zambezia, and Khumba gives us a chance to go back and build on what we’ve learnt – largely keeping the same team that we’ve been working together with for the last few years.”

The team was excited to hear that Triggerfish has also just received funding from NFVF to develop the script for their third feature. Says Forrest, “The whole concept is still confidential at this stage, but all we’re saying is that we’ll show you the Mother City like you’ve never seen her before!” Pin It

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The 7-year scratch

Over the last 2 weeks we've been recording the scratch track for Khumba. Thanks to talented actors like Scott Sparrow, Rob van Vuuren, Zolani Mahola, Francesco Nassimbeni (and even some of the Triggerfish crew) we can finally start putting sound to storyboards.

It's hard to believe that it was almost 7 years ago that Director, Anthony Silverston first conceived of a story involving a half-striped zebra in search of his missing stripes.
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Article in The Callsheet

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Bringing African animation to America

CMG press release on Animation World Network Pin It

'Animators make the circle bigger'

Anthony was recently interviewed by The Callsheet about his trip to Anima Mundi animation festival in Brazil. You can read the article here. Pin It

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A new world

A few members of the Khumba team spent some time in the Karoo last week photographing and getting to know the landscape, immersing themselves in the world they are going to spend the next two years creating in 3D....

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

International Animation Day

In celebration of International Animation Day on 28th October Touchvision, together with Animation SA is hosting an Animated Art Auction at this month's Film and Event Publishing monthly wrap. All the artworks, including a piece donated by Triggerfish, are on display at 15 On Orange Hotel where the auction will be held. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to Animation SA for future events and projects. Pin It

Monday, October 18, 2010

3 Deeeee!

On Saturday morning, Chris organised a stereoscopic test-viewing of Zambezia for us at Nu-Metro cinema in Canal Walk. It was inspiring to get a taste of what the movie is going to look like on the big screen, in 3D! Pin It

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meet....the U.S. voice producer (Ned Lott)

Photo: Ned Lott (right) hard at work in the recording studio with director, Wayne Thornley (left)

While you were in SA you did a voice-acting workshop and directed local actors for Zambezia. Do you think that SA actors have what it takes to make it within the international arena?
It was a tremendous privilege to work with the SA actors that day and see how directable they were along with observing their strong acting skills. They indeed have the potential to make it internationally with some coaching, opportunity and experience. The key is how to be considered which is where Internet posting comes in handy, such as, and  Also there is the opportunity with more and more projects being cast with non-American accents.

You're a member of ASIFA, what is your role and do you see any links being forged between SA and the American animation community?
I work with ASIFA in producing the talent portion of the ANNIE AWARDS every year.  I’ve actually discussed forging the communities with the President of ASIFA and we look forward to seeing what can be put together. 

Do you think audiences are ready for animated films that feature voice-actors who do not have American accents?
We’re slowly getting there.  With the recent releases of How To Train Your Dragon, and currently The Legend of the Guardians, we’re seeing the box office responding positively to these types of animated films with less or no American accents.

You have been working in the industry since the 1980s, what has been your favourite film to work on and why?
The first Studio Ghibli film I worked on was called Porco Rosso.  It was a combination production with Ghibli, Disney and individuals from Pixar.  Knowing that it was one of Hayao Miyazaki’s most popular films was quite an honor, and our goal was to make the English language version as accessible as possible for a domestic audience. We worked with Michael Keaton as the lead who is a pilot cursed and becomes a pig.  During the sessions, he kept saying, “I just love being a pig.”  What a great experience!

Children are becoming more sophisticated with regards to story and scripts for animated feature films certainly have more depth and emotional complexity than they did 10 years ago. Do you think this has an effect on how you direct voice-actors?
The sophistication definitely has an effect on not only the voice direction, but on the casting in finding actors that can deliver. The voice direction needs to bring out variety and emotional depth from the actors whether it’s a dramatic or a comedic moment.  And the goal is to appeal to both children and adults with the more complex stories.   The fact that an animated film was nominated for best picture in the 2010 Academy Awards is a good sign that more complex animated features are receiving a broader audience appeal.

As animated films are so expensive to produce, most studios tend to produce sequels and now some studios are re-releasing films in 3D (for example, Ratatouille). Do you think we are in danger of the market becoming saturated with sequels/re-releases?
It all depends.  People are looking forward to seeing Star Wars in 3D.  The issue comes when the market gets saturated with poor quality sequels and poor 3D.  If they can keep the stories strong with good quality then we should be fine as there’s an audience longing for great entertainment of this sort.  But once the quality and stories drop, we’ll see a glut of poor films with eventual poor box office returns, which could affect the box office of a strong and quality story because our audience has lost trust in the medium.   With 3D ticket prices being more expensive, hopefully the care and craft of these films will stay the highest possible quality possible.

What stands out for you as an "I love my job" moment?
Coming to Cape Town and directing local actors for Zambezia and hearing them be just as solid next to the American actors, then in the evening directing local actors at Cape Town University and then going out with the team to celebrate the end of recording.  That was an “I love my job” day! Pin It

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meet....the Lead Animator (Quentin Vogel)

"I think when I saw Jurassic Park for the first time, I knew that is what I wanted to do...make awesome monsters and stuff!!!" 

Apart from monsters and stuff Quentin has always been intrigued by movement and characters, and has been drawing since the "age of zero". As a child his main inspirations were cartoons like He-man and Thundercats, as well as Disney films and early morning Loony Toons. Luckily for Triggerfish, Quentin graduated from drawing on everything he could get his hands on to becoming a talented animator who has worked on Jock of the Bushveld, and as an animator/3d generalist at Masters and Savant. He has directed (as well as animated) a series of short films for Animazing. The fictional character he most identifies with is 'Invader Zim': "I think its because we share the same dream - taking over humanity." Pin It

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Zambezia featured in Animation Magazine

This article about Zambezia appeared in Animation Magazine. Woop! Woop! Pin It

Meet the...animator extraordinaire

"My inspirations are my family and friends. Subtle, dry humor. Being a music snob, snobbish music and Back to the Future."

Being an animator extraordinaire, Matt has had a life-long love affair with the medium. Before joining the Zambezia crew, Matt worked at Character Matters on The Lion of Judah. But in a previous incarnation, Matt has been an English teacher in South Korea, a security guard at a bakery and a student of Fine Art and Graphic Design. Before that he was a high school student. Before that he was a primary school student. Before that he was happy. Before that he was just swimming around. The character he most identifies with is Linguine from Ratatouille: "I have a big nose and I can't cook.... although I'm learning. You hear that world!? I'm learning!" Pin It

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Majestic Zambezi in 3d

Screen Africa article - September issue 2010
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Khumba gets the green light

A huge thank-you to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) for providing much needed funding for our second feature in the slate, Khumba. This means that as from 1st October we are officially in production and it's all systems go! The support from financial partners such as the IDC and National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) plays a pivotal role not only in our projects but in building and sustaining the South African animation industry as a whole. Pin It

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Re-animated animators

A little while ago we asked the crew working on Zambezia to illustrate or design a self-portrait. We've posted a few on the blog already...and here's two more!

Jako, who is one of our lead animators and Anthony who probably looks so wind-swept because of all the different hats he wears on the project!

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Blast off #3

Our next project has just been given the green light! A huge thanks to the National Film and Video Foundation who has agreed to fund the development of our next script and THIRD animated feature film in the slate at Triggerfish Animation Studios. Big up to the writing team! Pin It