Nov 22 / Phil

UTS end-of-year shows

2015 has been quite the year for the animation students at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). To give some context of what UTS has achieved: every Sydney winner in the past year of the bi-monthly Loop De Loop challenge has come from UTS, and now is the time to see the work they (and their fellow students) have produced this year.

Previous Loop De Loop winners Richard Chhoa, Paul Rhodes and Ryley Miller are all presenting original animation at this year’s event which is being split into two shows: one for the undergraduate class, and another one for the fourth year honours cohort.

Both are being held at The Old Rum Store in Chippendale. Opening night for the first, second and third years students is Monday Nov 23 at 6pm, while the final films from the honours students will premiere on Thursday Nov 26 at 6pm.

Come along a see what the future holds for animation in Sydney.

Nov 6 / Alex

Buck opens shop in Sydney

Its official guys, Buck has just launched a new studio in Sydney Australia. The world beating New York and LA animation studio have made their official launch with opening titles for Canadian creative conference Blend Fest.

Blend – Opening Titles from Buck on Vimeo.

New Zealand born designer/creative director Gareth O’brien made his way to Sydney from the New York office to lay the ground works for the Australian studio at the beginning of 2015. O’brien spent the last 12 months hiring talent and scouting studio space as well as working remotely on projects back in the US. We had a quick chat with him about the move.

OZ-London and Vancouver seem like hubs at the moment, what was it about Australia and Sydney in particular that made you want to set up here?  

GO- The move to Australia was based on a few things.  Buck had been flirting with the idea of opening an office outside of the US for a while but nothing ever stuck. Coming down under made sense to us partly because of the culture here. Antipodeans know how to work and party hard; this work/life balance suits Buck’s culture. It was also serendipitous – a few things fell into place making it feel like the right decision.
Personally, I had an amazing time in New York and will always look back on that time with fondness. My wife and I recently had 2 kids, which played a big part of our decision to move closer to home.
OZ- Setting up a studio is hard, even with the support of an established company. What sort of challenges are you facing? Do you think they are unique to Australia at all? 
GO- We have massive support from Buck and a lot of experience to lean on. So far things are going smoothly, largely due to this support system. I’ve found it a challenge to have a much smaller team than I’m used to, but at the same time I’m enjoying that. It’s satisfying and a really fun time to be involved in an office in its beginning stages. We’ve also got some great talent which is exciting. The whole team is killing it which makes life easy.
OZ- Are you missing New York? It must a pretty big change in pace for you.
GO-I miss my friends in New York the most. I do miss the city, but nothing that I can’t go back and experience again one day. Ultimately I’m loving the change of scene and pace. We spent Saturday looking for crabs in rock pools and then spent Sunday in the park. I love the life my girls are going to have here. My wife Victoria misses the Big Apple more than me, mainly it’s her friends and their kids that she misses. We’re pretty pumped with the move though and excited for the future.
OZ- What can we expect from the studio in the coming months? Any fun projects in the works?
GB- We’ll be moving into our studio space sometime over the next fortnight which is exciting for us. Work wise, we’re currently working on a fun character-driven spot which we’re excited to share with the world.
Oct 16 / Paul Paul

Mighty Nice for a Mighty Cause

Great mograph work by Mighty Nice with this Explainer for ProQR Therapeutics, who develops products to potentially transform the lives of patients suffering from severe genetic disorders.

Reminiscent of their wonderful piece for the Girl effect from 5 years ago, Wow ! How time flies !

Sep 4 / Paul Paul

Libra – I Am Fearless

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne came up with a brand campaign for their client Libra that encourages women to wrangle their fears and feel empowered. ‘I Am Fearless’ is a television spot with illustration by Andrew Archer of UNA and animation by Flutter.

Revolving around the new Libra ambassador, singer/songwriter Megan Washington, the clip uses Andrew’s abstract and painterly style to take us through her experiences with anxiety. Artfully sweeping across the screen, the animated brushstrokes exemplify Megan’s intense emotions, travelling gracefully through moments of shame and distress before a crescendo into pride and triumph.

Flutter created a beautiful combination of 2D and 3D sequences — from the meticulous hand drawing of lines frame by frame, to creating a vinyl record in 3D form. Working from live references of their staff walking, standing and shaking hands. Also worth checking out is the behind the scenes of the Ad.

Aug 18 / Alex

Balls by Mimi Leung

Balls from Mimi Leung on Vimeo.

Melbourne based Illustrator and Animator Mimi Leung has just released her wonderfully fun film- Balls. She explains on vimeo-

Inspired by the athleticism and sports-loving nature of Australians, I started thinking about the huge variety of ball-related games out there. I made a list of types of balls and set that list to music. I took this idea and developed an animated video for the song which focused on speed, fluidity and… balls!

Aug 3 / Paul Paul

Embroidered Zoetrope Animations by Elliot Schultz

Melbourne based Animator, Elliot Schultz created these hypnotising Zoetrope contraptions by mixing a turntable with delicate embroidery and strobe lights. The result is just amazing and has been gaining a lot of interest on the interweb. For a behind-the-scenes take a look here and read our questions below for Elliot.


OZ – How did the idea for the project come about?
ES- I came up with the idea after I was introduced to the work of animators Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker. They invented their own device called the Pinscreen which they used to animate their short films. What I love about their work was that they intentionally confined their process to the limitations of the Pinscreen, and their films are unique due to the techniques they had to devise along the way. There’s an excellent video released by the National Film Board of Canada ( which shows them demonstrating the machine to other animators.
The process invented by Alexeieff and Parker really appealed to me, so I decided to also confine myself to unconventional media to see what the resulting work would look like and whether it would inform my process. I decided to use machine embroidery as I already had experience with it and was aware of its many limitations including definition and colour. The tactility of embroidery led me to explore pre-cinema formats and devices such as the Zoetrope and Phenakistokope, and ultimately encouraged me to present the animation as an installation to allow viewers to watch and interact with the animation physically.

read more…

Jun 30 / Paul Paul

ILOURA assists TED with his sequel

Australian animation and visual effects studio Iloura has animated Universal Pictures and MRC’s infamous talking teddy bear for TED 2. Completing more than 1,000 shots for the comedy, Iloura drew on the experience of working on 2012’s TED with Seth MacFarlane to help push Ted’s personality even further. Seth MacFarlane returns as writer, director and voice star of TED 2, the follow-up to the blockbuster that launched the career of the world’s most outrageous bear.  Joined once again by Mark Wahlberg as John Bennett, the thunder buddies for life are entering into uncharted territory. It’s time to legalize Ted.


Iloura/Universal Pictures/Media Rights Capital

read more…

Jun 15 / Alex

MIAF 2015 just around the corner.

It feels like we are at the height of festival season at the moment with Annecy just about to kick off and Sydney Film festival and Zagreb winding down. Adding to this season of plenty, Australia’s largest animation festival Melbourne International animation Festival approaches quickly (Opening June 21, 2015). There looks to be a lot of juiciness in the 40+ programs on offer.

This year’s line up includes a special selection from the legendary NFB, including Bus Stories (Tali, 2014), Me and My Moulton (Torill Kove, 2014), No Fish Where to Go (Nicola Lemay, Janice Nadeau, 2014). Also featured in the international program are some of my favourites from the festival circuit from the last year- World of Tomorrow (Don Hertzfeldt, 2015), My Dad, (Marcus Armitage, 2014), Hipopotamy (Piotr Dumala, 2014) as well as many that I’m looking forward to seeing for the first time.

The festival will be opening on Sunday the 21st of June with its Australian Showcase screening. There are some swell looking new films in there- these are a selection that we’re especially looking forward to catching.

The Story of Percival Pilts, by Janette Goodey and John Lewis has been touring around the festival circuit since premièring at TIFF Kids in April.

The Story of Percival Pilts TEASER from Finickity Pictures on Vimeo.

Husk by Paul Howell-

Husk film trailer from Paul Howell on Vimeo.

Howell uses life size puppets to bring his ideas to life. He explains- ‘“Husk” is a statement against the drive for total control that CG techniques impose. Husk embraces environmental unpredict-ability with changes in lighting, weather and events giving the film a genuine living feeling. It is not pretend, made up from polygons, the film is part of the real world and existed during filming.’

Also, the long awaited new film from Mikey Hill will be playing after its premier at the Sydney Film Festival this week.

Announcing The Orchestra from mikey hill on Vimeo.


Check out the full line up of screenings and talks on the MIAF website here.