(Nov 11, 2013) Recent project shot with an ipad 2 and 3 and edited in Sony Vegas for the Hope Zoo 5K run dubbed Race for hope.
This project was short notice. My regular camera died and I had already committed. Luckily, I am constantly put under pressure in both my day job and on film shoots, so I always find a way to get the job done. This was a literal run and gun shoot as I had to head everyone off at the past to catch up and get the shot.
A few scene were over exposed because of the sun, but now I understand the iPad as a camera, so I will be much better prepared for another iPad challenge like this.
(Oct 22, 2013) Animation is all about collaboration. Most of the time we want to do things by ourselves for different reasons. We are still learning so instead of making someone else do it, we want to do it our self for our knowledge advancement. The other reason, is that you came up with an idea and you just want to completely own it. Sometimes, you have to let all that go and just link up with someone with a shared interest and let your creativity combine, especially if you are busy.
About 2 years ago I did some one and two panel comics just for kicks. I had promised myself I would animate them once I learned how, but somehow they never saw the key frame of day. I ended up showing a fellow Jamaican animator who lives in San Francisco these comics and he really liked them. So much so he offered to animate one. I said sure why not. I wasn't doing anything with them anyway. Well the collaboration turned out great. The comics were already written. I did the voices, and Ned Mcl did the animation. It's short, but sometimes short is perfect. Here is how it turned out.
(August 11, 2013) Recently I started rigging a fencing character because I have been itching to do an action animation with Anime Studio Pro. Some people were questioning my ambitions with this software. Some believing that puppet style animation cannot capture the fluidity of the movements in fencing. They said puppet style animation will look unnatural. I strongly disagreed, and my stance still stands that it's not the tool that determines how good the animation is. It's the animator that determines it. In fact, the only tool an animator needs is the 12 priniciples of animation.
(July 2013) Of late I have been messing around more with Anime Studio pro than I have been filming. Though I am working on a few short film scripts and a feature length script, this has been facinating me of late. Here I attempted a fencer because of my recent interest in fencing, being the secretary of the Jamaica Fencing Federation. It's not a sport I have ever done, but would love to take it up and I get the feeling I will be getting my feet wet soon enough.
I attended the Lignum Vitae Film festival yesterday with fellow Filmmaker Craig "Amaziyah the great" Kirkland who I met at the 2012 Jamaica International Reggae Film Festival through Barbara Blake Hannah. One of the gentlest giants you could ever meet.
I picked him up at the Toll Road round about in Spanish town and we drove down to Mandeville not having a clue how to get to NCU. Luckily with Android GPS we were able to locate it. We arrive 3:53 PM giving us enough time to ask around for directions to get to the front door by 4 PM. It was held in a large auditorium that I estimate holds about 200 – 250 persons and it was packed with as many people if not more. I kid you not these were the most enthusiastic movie watchers I have had the pleasure of encountering. Not even Carib during a kickers compares.
The event started with the national anthem being sung by all in attendance, followed by opening remarks a prayer and the showing of the films. The screening opened with my film “Protect and Serve” the black and white silent film about a cop who turns to alcohol abuse after shooting a 9 year old girl while on duty. This makes the second time this film has opened a screening, the first being Kingston on the Edge 2012.
I was extremely nervous. Sweating profusely and even though the AC was not working I guarantee you this was not just the heat. I kept wondering, what if no one enjoys it, what if people don’t get it? Man I hope this girl next to me doesn’t recognize me in the film. To my amazement, when the film ended, everyone applauded. Like Amaziyah said, complete strangers. I was shocked. They actually liked it. The next film in the category of Silent film was a film called “Roses”. Now let me tell you, I have a special place in my heart for my film “Protect and Serve” but without a doubt the emotions I felt while watching “Roses” I knew right away it was the winner. The film was amazingly clever, the story telling was excellent, the imagery, cinematography was great. The crowd was ecstatic. They were driven wild by every moment of it. Man these kids are amazing I thought.
There were only two silent films in the category so the next segment was the animation category. I was the only one that entered an animation, so I figured I had won, but since there was no competition, I was listening for the crowd’s approval to determine whether this film was a winner. Again this film was dear to me because it’s my first proper animation over a minute. The crowd was not only excited by the driving action but they were bowled over by the comedic moments. I was very grateful for that. To hear the laughter I thought man, I need to do more of this.
Then came the short film section which had over 12 films each potentially running 10 minutes each. I can’t get into each film at this point as there were so many good ones. One was a documentary, so unfortunately it was stuck in a category it couldn’t possibly compete in and the rest were story based. The crowd had a mix of emotions all the way through. When “Stay Firm” played, the crowd was definitely emotionally invested. Amaziyah’s film was certainly a hit. Palace amusement would love this crowd. It really proves that people like to see themselves or their own people on screen.
After the screening it was time to mingle and eat. Amaziyah was snapping pictures, making everyone a star. Several people came up to us and complimented our films, took pictures with us, we had discussions on varying aspects of films and then we went back inside to hear the judges announcements. I was first to receive an award for best animation. It was a very proud moment. It was the only award I expected based on the competition (LOL) so I pretty much wasn’t paying much attention from that point until a former colleague hit me on the shoulder and said go collect your other award. I was like what? Huh? Only to look at the podium and see people staring at me. I collected the prize and came back to my standing spot and asked my former Colleague, “what did I win this for?” she laughed and said best Foley for “Enter the Blackeberri”. Wow, I was shocked. I was never expecting that film to win an award. I did work very hard on the sound but never thought it would be recognized.
After I collected the second basket I thought man wouldn’t it be great if Amaziyah won something, but with all this great competition I wondered what the chances were. When best script, best story and best actor past I thought well, it looks as if it was just wishful thinking. Amaziyah was busy snapping away with the camera playing director when all of a sudden I heard “Best director goes to Criag Kirkland for stand firm”. I don’t know whether he didn’t hear, or he heard and thought his hearing was going but he wasn’t budging. I extended my arm to grab his camera and he stared at me as if to say “Did they just call my name.” I had to say out loud to him, bro give me the camera and go collect your prize big director. It was then he proceeded to do so.
What a big night. Never would have expected all that. We did our photo ops and interviews and it was time to head back in at 9:35. All the way back Amaziyah and I were talking about how we weren’t going to enter or show up because the timing was inconvenient but we persevered and it paid off. I drove a little bit faster to shave some time off the 2 hours journey so I could get home and get back to doing some work at 11:30 PM till 2:00 AM, all the while occasionally looking over at my trophy. Thinking, that’ll do Kev...that’ll do.
Curfew is a 39 second concept trailer/test trailer. This means it may or may not be a series to come. It was really just intended for me to continue practing 2D animation as well as use up some old drawings I have. I don't like to waste drawings so this was the perfect use for them. Let me show you how things progressed.
Here are the rough sketches I did in an ordinary exercise book. There back stories and the animations story were written on other pages. This was maybe 4 or 5 years ago...I think.
This animation was done in January of 2013. I am visibly getting better at Anime Studio Pro. Patience and taking my time definitely helps in quality. Note to self, don't short cut the animation. LOL. Laziness has no place in animation I am learning. Hope you enjoy. It's only 12 seconds.
This is my animated series called "Runners". It's about a street racer who is down on his luck and is forced to take a job as driver for a mysterious company chaperoning a delivery truck. I entered this in the 2012 Animae Caribe Animation Festival in Trinidad and the Jamaica Innovation awards for creativity, but I didn't win anything. None the less I will get to show it at a local screening at Red Bones Cafe and feel some live audience feedback. Unless something goes wrong. Scared much?
Someone asked recently if I have ever done treatments for music videos. I couldn't believe I completely forgot about the music videos I have written scripts for so I have decided to share. Hope you enjoy.
The second music video I ever wrote, was for a talented young up and coming artiste named Kimberly name. Visitors take a tour of the great house once owned by a famous troubled couple.
I was recently featured in the resurrection of a magazine called "Spotlight". The original ran from 1941 to 1966. The author was a journalist named Evon Blake. His life achievements are detailed in the magazine. An under stated man we should take the time to read about. This magazine has come back to life through his daughter, Barbara Makeba Hannah Blake. A strong black woman who has played her part in history as well being one of England's first black new casters. A filmmaker and Reggae enthusiast who has kept the Reggae Film Festival alive for over 5 years and running she is now the Author of this wonderful magazine that is meant to highlight Jamaica creativity and achievements. In it I talk about animation in Jamaica being a lucrative business. Some stills from my upcoming animation are featured in it. Check it out.
I am a Filmmaker, Animator and Writer. I love telling stories and making them come true. You will see me on the big screen soon enough.