Monday, November 21, 2011

Meet Tumi....fighting the fight for computer geeks, nerds and Clarke Kent look-alikes around the world

Tumelo is one of the talented animators working on our second feature in production, Khumba. Check out his interview with Animation SA here. Pin It

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fishy shorts!

The jury is out on our in-house short film competition and the winner is.... Kelly Dillon with her charming story, Bellyflop. The brief was to write a treatment for a short film between 4-6 minutes in length with no, or minimum, dialogue that is suitable for family viewing. The submissions  were judged anonymously by the Triggerfish partners as well as two external judges, writer Lauren Beukes and Jeremy Collins owner of Juju animation.

Concept art for Bellyflop by Daniel Clark

Well done to everyone who submitted! It was a tough choice for the judges. Jac Hamman's Hot Spring and Kane Croudace's A Bag of Cats were the 1st and 2nd runners up respectively. As the winner of the competition, Kelly went on a script/story weekend workshop hosted by The Writing Studio and took some time out of her schedule as Assets Co-ordinator on our upcoming feature, Khumba, for a quick Q & A.

What is your story about?  
An unashamed young girl learning to dive becomes frustrated when a talented contender with a flair for showing off steals the spotlight, but eventually triumphs as the hero of the day thanks to her persistent nature.

What inspired you to write it?
The character of Penny was inspired by a girl I au-paired for when I was at university.  I remember when she started taking swimming lessons and admired her persistence in learning to dive properly, even though she wasn’t built as a swimmer.  In Bellyflop I wanted to show that nothing is worth giving up on and unexpected rewards can come from persistence.  Even though Penny will never be a champion diver, she only wanted her moment to be recognised, and although it came from elsewhere, it was her persistent nature that resulted in this recognition.

Do you think your experience in production contributed to your understanding of the basics of story/story-telling?  
My production experience helped when I was setting up the parameters of my story in terms of what the studio would most likely be able to make;  I knew I wanted to write about humans - this would be a first for the studio and possibly provide an R&D opportunity ahead of a feature.  I also wanted to set the story in a contained environment to minimise the required production resources, and adding a braai into the setting instantly made it local.  Within these parameters I then put my writing cap on and worked out a plot that maximised good story-telling techniques.

What did you gain most out of the script-writing course?  
The script-writing course provided inspiration and techniques to create interesting and absolute characters. Placing your characters in extreme situations outside of your story, and nailing their responses or reactions, helps define them and make them more real.  I also learnt how important it is to dramatize events in your plot which will in turn reveal the depth of your characters. Pin It

Monday, November 7, 2011

Zambezia premiers in Los Angeles!

Copyright: Triggerfish Animation Studios

Word on the streets of Los Angeles is that responses to the Zambezia screenings at AFM this weekend have been great! Check out the latest teaser/promo on our updated website here. Pin It

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Zambezia comes up tops!

Zambezia appeared as one of the “25 Must See Films” at the American Film Market (AFM) in French trade journal, Le Film Francais and..... we're on the cover. 

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Friday, October 28, 2011

World Animation Day

In celebration of Animation Day around the world, we came to work dressed up as our favourite animated character. Thanks to Cathy, Henrietta and Shune for all the effort they put in to make it a grrrreat day!                       

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Monday, October 24, 2011

5 minutes with....Pearl

She's our treasure. Read the interview on Animation SA to find out why.
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Meet.....our sales agent

Sales agent, Edward Noeltner, head of Cinema Management Group (CMG) who is representing our upcoming feature, Zambezia, was recently interviewed by indieWire.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Zambezia scored!

Bruce Retief (composer) is in L.A. recording the score for our upcoming feature, Zambezia.  Check out these behind-the-scenes clips of him with the The Hollywood Studio Symphony orchestra.

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5 minutes with....Mdu!

In celebration of World Animation Day this month, Animation SA has been doing interviews with people working in the industry. Check out Mdu's interview here. Pin It

Monday, October 10, 2011

Shooting the breeze with Entertainment Africa

Pic: Copyright Triggerfish Animation Studios

Anthony and Raffaella, who co-wrote Zambezia as well as Khumba were interviewed by Siya Ngcobo for Entertainment Africa. You can check out the online article here. Pin It

Friday, October 7, 2011

Triggerfish @ shnit

Stuart and Anthony have been invited to speak on behalf of Triggerfish as part of the shnit film festival.  Pin It

Thursday, September 29, 2011

5 minutes with our very own Preeya

In celebration of the month running up to International Animation Day on 28 October, Animation SA is  posting daily interviews with people in the animation community and Preeya Kalidas, our Asset Supervisor, was interviewed. Read all about it here. Nice 1. Pin It

Screen Africa, September 2011

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Thursday, September 22, 2011


We're almost there! Zambezia has been fully comped and stereo-approved! And no, this is not what the team looked like in the final throes of production, we threw a Zombezia celebration party. Pin It

Monday, September 12, 2011

Triggerfish reels in the stars

Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction, Captain America, The Other Guys), Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, Independence Day), Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine, Rango) and Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek) have joined the voice cast of our upcoming animated feature, Zambezia which will premier at the American Film Market in November. Read about in Screen Daily. Pin It

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The jury is out on Khumba

Last weekend we had our first, exclusive screening of Khumba for a bunch of critics who, we knew, would give us a no-holds-barred assessment of the film.

We were amazed at how much of the film they were able to follow (and enjoy!) considering it is still in storyboard format. There were even some aspiring actors who were keen to have a word with Director, Anthony Silverston about casting them in his next movie.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Zambezia in the media

Our upcoming animated feature, Zambezia, which is due to be released at the American Film Market in November was recently featured in The Call Sheet, Iridas.....

and Screen Africa magazine.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Khumba on the streets of Los Angeles

Khumba loved the novelty of being in a diner but struggled to find something on the menu that suited his taste.

No matter how many times we told him otherwise, Khumba was convinced the beach was a desert and that the sea was just "an enormous waterhole".

Khumba had heard that everything in America was super-size but this was just ridiculous!

If Khumba could drive this would be his choice of car.

Khumba thought he had hit the jackpot until he discovered that he was actually in the LA zoo!

As you can see, Khumba is dying to be famous.

"Mama?" Pin It

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Press Release: Khumba gets an international spin with Lion King writer

Photo: (left to right) Anthony Silverston (Writer/Director), Ned Lott (U.S. Casting and Voice Director), Raffaella Delle Donne (Writer), Jonathan Roberts (Writer), Vanessa Sinden (Line Producer)

Triggerfish Animation Studios second feature, Khumba, received the royal treatment from one of The Lion King screenplay writers, Jonathan Roberts. The charming story of a half-striped zebra who embarks on a quest for his missing stripes was originally penned by South African writers, Raffaella Delle Donne and Anthony Silverston who are excited to be collaborating with an experienced, U.S. writer. The writing duo were recently in L.A. to record some of the cast and to discuss the script in person with Roberts.

To date, The Lion King is still one of Hollywood's biggest box-office successes and is the 4th-highest grossing animated release ever. The Disney classic is due to be re-released in stereoscopic 3D later this year. Roberts has subsequently worked on a number of other animated features including Hunchback of Notre Dame, James and the Giant Peach, Monsters Inc. and the childhood classic, Homeward Bound.

The Triggerfish team were aware that a coming-of-age, animated film set in Africa would inevitably be compared with the iconic film so it made perfect sense to work with the writer of The Lion King to make sure that Khumba remained an original, South African story while still being accessible to an international audience.

As Jonathan Roberts explains: “For better or worse, The Lion King has cast a pretty long shadow and with Khumba I learned how tricky it can be try to present a fresh animated fable – set on the African plains, populated by African animals. But by focusing on all the distinct and original elements in the story we could let Khumba shine in its own, well-earned light.”

Since the early stages of development, Delle Donne and Silverston have been determined to write a unique story that is appealing to international audiences by collaborating with writers outside their borders. "Khumba has always been a bit of a cosmopolitan zebra", says Delle Donne. After winning a major scriptwriting competition funded by the South African National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) and the former UK Film Council, the writers were guided by UK script editor Camilla Bubna-Kasteliz. "She helped us immensely with the foundations of the story, which after many re-writes, still remain largely in tact", says Silverston who is also the Director on the film. Last year, the team was joined by Richelle Wilder, who while head of development at Aardman was involved from concept to completion of Chicken Run, Flushed Away and Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the WereRabbit.

The screenplay for Zambezia, Triggerfish's first film due to be released later this year, was also given a final polish by U.S. writers Cory and Todd Edwards the creators behind Hoodwinked.

Triggerfish has always been passionate about drawing on its homegrown perspective to create character-driven, universal stories. The Cape Town-based studio is excited at the opportunity to make a film inspired by South African characters, themes and, of course, the magical landscape of the Great Karoo desert.

Both Zambezia and Khumba are being represented for international sales by LA-based Cinema Management Group. Pin It

Monday, June 13, 2011

Want to take this guy out for lunch?

Congratulation to Zambezia Director, Wayne Thornley for making it on the Mail & Guardian's list of 200 Young South Africans (you must take out to lunch). Seeing as the film features an all-bird cast whatever you do, don't order chicken or duck, Wayne - that would just be weird. Pin It

Thursday, June 9, 2011

SA animation in the media

Triggerfish was recently featured in this interesting article by Mark Kaigwa for African Digital Art about the history of African animation and in an article on Channel 24. Pin It

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Triggerfish gets a make-over

A huge thank you to the team at Design Guru for going the extra mile in designing our new website and business cards in time for Cannes. Check it out here.

And to photographer Julia Merrett for taking these great shots of the studio.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

SA filmmakers making their mark in Cannes

Photo: Top Billing visited the Triggerfish stand at Cannes

News from the Cannes Film Festival is that since the first screening of the promo on Thursday, Zambezia has been filling the screening rooms. The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) who have provided some of the funding for Zambezia, have taken a number of other SA film projects to Cannes this year, and it's an honour for us to be presented alongside these great homegrown film-makers. Read all about it here and in here. Pin It

Monday, May 9, 2011

Yes We Cannes!

Triggerfish producers, Stuart and Kirstin are off to the Cannes Film Festival to promote Zambezia. Well done to the Zambezia crew for working so hard to make sure that we have a great 20-minute promo in 3D to screen during the festival, as well as a 2D work-in-progress of the film which will be screened exclusively to distributors.

Stay tuned for on-the-spot breaking news from Cannes! Pin It

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

There's no place like home

Farewell to Jacquie Trowell who has left our shores for her original home - the land of Oz. Our wish for her is that the yellow brick road is paved with all the success she deserves. Jacquie has been working in animation since 1990 and was one of the original co-founders of Triggerfish.

As her illustration of Nora shows, Jacquie's experience and energy as Animation Director on Khumba has been invaluable to the development of the characters and, in a few months, created a solid foundation for their unique styles and movements.

Congratulations to Quentin Vogel who is filling Jacquie's (beeeg) shoes as Animation Director on Khumba. Pin It

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Animation Writers' Checklist

As we are in the final throes of polishing the Khumba script, we couldn't resist adding to John Deering's checklist that appeared on Cartoon Brew.

5. Fart joke Pin It

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Destination: Zambezia

Our sales agent, Edward Noeltner, head of Cinema Management Group (CMG) has come up with a pretty innovative way of making sure that Zambezia is the talk of Cannes. Read the full article that appeared in Animation Magazine here. Pin It

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Shadows in the studio

Last week was job-shadow day at the studio, and no we didn't feed the aspiring animators to the lion. But they did spend time with the texturing and modeling teams who are busy with R&D so.... close enough. The high school students were also treated to a behind-the-scenes look at Khumba, our second film in the production slate with Director, Anthony Silverston and a brief history of animation in South Africa by Supervising Producer, Stuart Forrest.

Judging by their feedback, the students enjoyed their day at the studio or maybe it's just better than going to school!

“The atmosphere is great, everyone is friendly and it’s really interesting.” “Very relaxed and fun environment and informative.”

“Awesome working environment and everyone is very helpful.”

“You really get to see what you have to do in animation and you are able to see if it’s suitable for you.”

A big thank-you to Cathy, our H.R. Manager, for organising the day!

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