The Teacup – blog updates

In case you haven’t heard me harping on about it every other week on Twitter, I run the blog for The Teacup (our 2-D graduate short about a man who is afraid to go outside). We update the blog every second week with posts about the making of the film and news of the film’s festival run.

This week, we added a new laurels page to the blog. It’s been such an amazing 6 months for us as the film takes flight to international festivals. Especially considering that we’ve been selected for Dingle International Film Festival’s Irish World Tour Programme (if you’ve been reading this blog for some time you’ll know I’m a big fan of Animation Dingle). I couldn’t be more proud!

Laurels Screencap

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Favourites of 2015

Because this year was such a significant year in my life, my New Year’s post had to be split in two! This 2nd half is about my favourite things of 2015. If you want to read about the milestones I hit in 2015, read my first post here.

Live Action Film

Due to the stressful and hectic nature of 2015, I didn’t see an awful lot of live-action films. I only ventured out to the cinema for animated films this year, for the most part. So my to-watch list is through the roof at the moment! Some films I was really bummed I missed were Spy, He Named Me Malala, and Brooklyn. Here’s hoping I get a lot of movie-watching time in January!

But there were two live action films out this year that I simply COULDN’T miss. Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Naturally, the latter is more predominant in my mind, because of how recently I saw it, and because it was an amazing film. I’ve kept hush about this film to avoid spoiling it for anyone (though I saw it just as I began my Christmas holidays so I’ve not been away from home long enough to do much nerding-out about it!). But of course, I couldn’t resist doing some drawings of the kick-ass Rey!

There’s one live action film that I’m desperate to see next year, and that’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I’m a major Potter fan (as is evident from my Tumblr feed I’m sure) and this will be the first time I go into a Potter film with no inkling of what’s going to happen expect for what I see in the trailer. So I hope that they take a leaf out of Star War‘s books and keep the trailers spoiler-free.

Animation (Film and TV)

My favourite animated film of the year was, of course, Cartoon Saloon’s Song of the Sea. In case it wasn’t already evident from my blog posts throughout the year! (See here here and here). I was rather disappointed when it didn’t win the Annie for Best Feature, because I really, really thought it would get it. But I was so delighted that it got Best Feature at the IFTAs (even beating out live action films!) because it really deserved it. Following behind Song of the Sea is Studio Ghibli’s The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. What a gorgeous film! I’d would have said it was a close second, but I think the film began to drag in the later half (it was very long for an animated feature) and then went on a bit of a weird path. But my gosh that artwork and that soundtrack had me in tears. Another animated film I saw this year that I’d highly recommend is The Long Way North.

Films I didn’t see this year that I was disappointed I missed were The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Shaun the Sheep and Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet (the only showings I was even CLOSE to seeing were the premier at Annecy which I didn’t get in to, and the Irish Arabic Film Festival’s showing, but that was on my graduation night!) In last year’s post, I had said I was looking forward to seeing Big Hero 6, The Little Prince, and the Ratchet and Clank movie. I thought Big Hero 6 was fun and sweet. Unfortunately The Little Prince hasn’t been shown in Ireland yet (at least to my knowledge) and Ratchet and Clank isn’t out until next year. So I look forward to seeing those!

In terms of TV, there were some stunners: Gravity Falls Season 2 (which I’m on-edge about, waiting for the finale!), Steven Universe, Star VS the Forces of Evil (which I’m not all caught up on, but the handful of eps I watched were great), Over the Garden Wall, to name a few! Cartoons are really stepping it up, and I love it! And of course, biased as I am, there’s the amazing Danger Mouse! I love that my job means I get to see this show all the time!

Books 

Now on to books! I set my Goodreads goal as soon as we finished our film in May, promising myself I’d try read 15 books by the end of this December. Unfortunately, I only managed to complete 11 books, and I am currently reading my 12th. Man, I was so close to the finish line! That said, this is a great improvement on last year’s goal (last year I only managed 7 books between April 2014 and December 2014). Here’s the full list:

The best books I read this year have to be Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicles (The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, plus the novella The Slow Regard of Silent Things). Closely followed by The Falcon Throne by Karen Miller. I got a bunch of lovely new books for Christmas, so I’m looking forward to kick-starting my 2016 reading challenge!

Blog

I’ve also put up a little generated list of my best personal art posts over on my Tumblr account, which you can see here.

A Look Back at 2015

New Year’s Eve is upon us again, so it’s time to take a leaf out of last year’s blog post and take a look down Memory Lane. I’m particularly excited to write this year’s post, because despite the very high stress levels it brought with it, 2015 was a collection of very significant milestones for me. This is definitely one blog post I’ll want to read again in years to come.

Where do I even start…! So much happened this year that I’m going to have to do this in a short, calendar format and pop in links to the longer blogs I wrote about these events.

 

JANUARY 

This month was mostly a post-Christmas mini-breakdown, as we began to go into the final months in the production of our short film. I’m sure I killed a few dozen trees with the amount of paper I used this month.

On the up side, at the end of the month I got to work at Digital Biscuit, live-tweeting the talks and workshops going on. I got to play with a bunch of Wacom products, absorb acting and cinematography advise, and watch with wide eyes as people explained processes like colour grading and new animation technologies. My favourite talk though was Andrew Kavanagh’s talk about their project Kiva Can Do!. I felt a personal connection to the cardboard box motif of this show. In fact, the reason why my online pseudonym is AtticCreationz stems from many of the same experiences as Kiva’s – doing crafts with and playing with cardboard boxes in the attic.

FEBRUARY  

Mostly animating and writing here!

MARCH

This month was all about my second trip to Dingle, and the biggest operation I ever undertook as the head of the BCFE Animation Society. I have a full set of blog posts about this weekend:

Part 1  / Part Two  / Part Three  /  Afterwards  /  Dingle Map 

I’m really really looking forward to Dingle 2016, as it’s set to be even bigger and better than last year. I have my festival pass at the ready already!

APRIL

Oh gosh, this is when I started crying “the end is nigh” for college. My hand is cramping just thinking about all the writing and drawing. I’m pretty sure I finished up my dissertation (on the adaptation of How to Train Your Dragon from book to film, if you’re curious!) by the end of this month.

The best thing about this month was the news that I had been awarded under the SCC’s Niall Smyth Memorial Bursary, the funds from which would help me afford to go to Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2015. I wrote a full post about the Bursary here.

MAY & JUNE

This months have to be lumped together, as it was arguably the most important part of my 2015, the transitional phase, and one big whirlwind full of lasts and firsts. I have a full blog post about these two months here.

On the 11th of May, we handed in our film The Teacup for assessment, which in all technicality, was my last ever day of college. A surreal, emotional day. Read a full post about that here.

The day afterwards, I went to the launch of the first ever Animation Skillnet and Screen Training Ireland Animation and VFX Traineeship. It was such a great feeling to see a bunch of my friends be officially congratulated on their acceptance to the program. It also gave me great hope for all future students of animation and for the industry as a whole to see a program like this introduced. Much to my combined delight, awe and extreme embarrassment, I was introduced by my storyboarding sensei to the one and only Dean de Blois. So that was freakin’ awesome.

Then the rest of the month flew by, blow after blow – the first ever screening of our film at the end of year showcase, the first ever set of Teacup emblazoned DVDs made and ready to send to festivals, my last ever college portfolio presentation, and finally getting the results of my degree.

And let’s not forgot that we all voted YES to marriage equality, and Ireland became the first country in the world to introduce same-sex marriage by a vote of the people.

Next thing I knew, I had gotten a job at the studio I’d had my heart set on since my first year of studying animation, and after working my first week on my first full-time studio job, I was jetting off to the south of France to go to Annecy Film Festival! (Read more about that here.)

JULY 

Song of the Sea was finally released in Ireland! (again, read here.) We also put up our film’s website at theteacupfilm.tumblr.com and put up a teaser trailer here.

AUGUST 

As a belated birthday celebration, myself and my sister went to Kilkenny to see the Song of the Sea Exhibition (take a look at my photos from the trip here). Other things that happened this month included going to Dublin Comic Con for the first time this month, and I think I might have started playing D&D for the first time ever!

SEPTEMBER

Our new series of Danger Mouse finally makes a smashing début on CBBC! Read more here, or honestly, just take a scroll through the Boulder twitter account!

**deep breath** OK, last few months, here we go…!

OCTOBER

This month was pretty darn stressful, preparing for a bunch of upcoming November events and starting to write for Dublin2019 – read more here.

A counterbalance to the stress of the month was The Teacup’s festival run, which suddenly gained momentum with it’s screening at Warsaw Film Festival and it’s Honourable Mention win in the Best Irish Graduate Film category, which you can read about over on The Teacup blog.

NOVEMBER 

Or, as I like to think of it, the runner up for craziest month of the year. Between Eirtakon, the VFX Summit, and Graduation (not to mention a bunch of the most amazing gigs I’ve been to in a while) I was simply exhausted by the end of the month. There’s a little break down on November here.

DECEMBER 

At the beginning of the month, my first Dublin2019 article

Thankfully, not too much happened for the rest of this month. This was mostly due to my internal struggle between rest/recuperation from the rest of the year, and between the animator’s fatal flaw – instantly wanting to fill free time with all the projects you’d put on the back burner! This mean more time for friends, family, reading, and sketching.

But of course, restless as I am, my social media and blog activity shot up as I began posting my work from the past two moths (including this blog post!) I’ve put up a little generated list of my best personal art posts of 2015 over on my Tumblr account, which you can see here.

 

And now we’re all caught up to today. Phew. That was a lot. Although I’m not big on giant New Years’ celebrations, I love that each year this day reminds me to be thankful, to look back fondly over the memories I’ve made and the things I have accomplished. Three cheers for 2015, a year I will cherish, and here’s to an amazing 2016!

Lynn

PS – Stay tuned for Part 2, where I go through my favorite things of 2015!

Nov 2015 – Upcoming events!

Just a quick update/reminder post about the events I’m talking part in this November! 

 

EIRTAKON 

Fri 13th – Sun 15th

On the Saturday and Sunday of this Anime convention, I will be all set up with a stall at the Artist’s Alley, selling my artwork in print, bookmark and badge form. To get an idea of what my artwork looks like, check out my portfolio of personal art. For more news on my Eirtakon 2015 work, keep an eye on my Twitter and my Tumblr accounts as the event approaches. 
 

IRISH VFX + ANIMATION SUMMIT 

Fri 20th – Sun 22nd 

http://vfxsummit.com/

I’m a team members at this this industry conference, so I’ll be around the venue on Saturday and the Sunday helping out. Come say hi if you’re attending and need any help! 

 
OTHER STUFF 

Our graduating short, The Teacup, has been accepted to the 20th Boston Turkish Festival! It will be screened on the 7th of Novemebr, though unfortunately we will not actually be able to attend ourselves. Read more here: https://t.co/1pAwO9pWWT

Speaking of graduating, I’ll also be doing that this month! I will finally be able to officially say I have an actual Degree in Animation! 

 

That’s all for now! Leep an eye on my Twitter for updates on these events as they happen, and look forward to a longer post about these events sometime in December!

Lynn 

Temporary Hiatus

Yikes. October and November 2015 look like they’re gonna be SUPER busy months, so my blog is going to go on a bit of a hiatus until things calm down again. I’ve already had to admit defeat and stop doing #Inktober2015 on Twitter :( It was just one too many things on my plate. 

Other things on the plate include preparing for a convention, preparing for a conference, doing a bit of freelance writing, and admin on our film’s blog. (Plus some other things I can’t divulge yet). And I nearly forgot I have to to finish my Halloween costume… Jaysus let’s not forget I’m graduating in November too!

Here’s hoping I can make a catch-up post in December sometime talking about what I got up to in October/November. In the meantime, keep an eye on Twitter for mini updates on those events as they happen.

Time for me to log out, wish me luck!

Song of the Sea Exhibition

On Saturday the 22nd of August, my sister Megan and I went to go see the Song of the Sea Exhibition in the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny Castle. I’d been wanting to go visit the gallery for ages, but alas other obligations ate up most of my free time. After much tinkering about with dates and buses (dear god the buses) we were finally able to make it down to Kilkenny for the day.

When our bus arrived in the city centre, we spotted some familiar landmarks from previous trips to the county for sports events; but this was the first time we’d ever made a trip to Kilkenny for fun and as tourists. As for the experience of the gallery itself, it was like walking into a life size, interactive art book. (And it seems the actual art book will be available soon enough so if you didn’t make it down to the exhibition, look forward to that. I know I am!)

Here’s some photos, tweets and thoughts from our trip. Make sure and click on the images to see the captions on each of them!

 


 

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Danger Mouse Trailer(s)

Things are about to get DANGEROUS!

Last night was the BBC launch of the new Danger Mouse series and there have been lots of cool things posted online, including this shiny new trailer!

And If you haven’t seen it, here’s the trailer from San Diego Comic Con:

Other releases yesterday include interviews with the cast, special guest announcements, articles, photos from the yellow carpet, and more! Check out CBBC’s twitter account to find them all: https://twitter.com/cbbc.

The show will be on CBBC on September 28th, so please tune in!

(I’m a bit biased, as a proud member of the production team, but it’s an awesome show!)

Update June 2015

They say time flies when you’re having fun, and boy are they right. It’s July already! And what with the glorious twenty-odd-degree weather we’re having in Ireland this week, it’s a good start to the month!

The sudden appearance of 1st of July has prompted me to take a look back at all that happened in June. Life has been both wonderful and mental since leaving college. Many, many things have happened in succession over the past few weeks, to the point where it’s hard to believe it was, in fact, only a few weeks. As is usual on my blog, I want to write about these wonderful experiences to wrap my head around it all, use it as a little gratefulness exercise, and to be able to look back on this time a year or many years from now.

So, here’s a brief run through of what happened in June (with a generous sprinkling of Tweets!).

Having finished our film mid-May (see my previous blog post about finishing college), the job hunt went into turbo drive. In the last week of May, we handed in the final kernel of our work to the college, and met with the examiners. We had our Grad Show the next day, and the day after that was our Industry Portfolio Day. My gosh I was on edge that whole week! We got our results and I finished up college with a First Class Honors Degree. Needless to say, I was both relieved and over the moon.

Exactly a week later, I officially got a job at a studio that had left me with sparkles in my eyes since I first began learning about the Irish animation industry 4 years ago. To get a job straight out of college is a blessing in itself, but to get a job in one of your favourite studios is nothing short of a wish come true. I had only a few days to sort out my life after college (and there is still a lot to be done on that front, not to mention all the space being taken up by a ton of life drawing, animation paper and essay work!).

Then it was straight into my day on the job. It’s a testimony to the Irish animation industry how friendly and kind everyone was to me in my first week and every week since.

The day after my first week working, I flew off to France to go to Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2015. That deserves a whole blog post by itself, but all I will say for now is… just WOW. It was overwhelmingly awesome.

Naturally, I was exhausted afterwards… but there was no time to catch up on rest, because I landed back in Ireland on the Sunday, and went right back to work on Monday! In my spare time, I worked on some projects (and I’m sure if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll find out about in due time!). Then there was the Creative Cookout: lots of fun, the turnout was great, and the burgers were goooood.

I really wanted to go to Dr. Sketchy’s that weekend, for their fancy classic burlesque session, but twas on that morning that the exhaustion hit. So instead of a night out, I had a movie afternoon and went to see Minions! Much that I enjoyed the film, I got excited about another film:

And now we reach this week. I thought I’d have to pack away all my summer gear as soon as I got back from Annecy, but wouldn’t you know it, the weather’s been beautiful! I also got some good news that made my day even brighter (which, like those other projects, I will announce soon enough via Twitter).

Sunny weather, good news, ice cream, a beautiful film, and inspirational people. Today was a really wonderful day ☀

— Lynn O’Reilly (@AtticCreationz) June 30, 2015

To top it off, I went to see an industry screening of Song of the Sea at The Lighthouse Cinema (gosh I love that cinema!). It was brilliant to see the film again after so long. The first time I’d seen it was as part of an industry preview at Animation Dingle in March (read my blog post about that here). Seeing it the second time round, I could allow my eyes to wander around the screen and drink it all in (as opposed to the first time, where I was swept away by the story and couldn’t see for the tears in my eyes!). The Q&A afterwards was great, because as wonderful many articles I’ve read about the film are, it’s a totally different experience to get to hear about the processes behind the film right after seeing it and hearing it all first-hand from the director.

Again, I have to say what great speakers Paul Young and Tomm Moore are, and how kind they are to chat with everyone despite being exhausted from traveling the world with their film. Their passion for their work is an inspiring thing to see. I can’t wait until it’s released for the whole country to see on July 10th (next Friday!). It’s definitely an occasion to be celebrated with an Animation Society meet up methinks!

And now that’s everything all caught up. I still can’t quite believe that this is my life now. Working in a studio, a fancy French film festival, Q&As about Oscar nominated (Irish!) films, and dozens of other cool animation-related events… It’s almost too good to be true. After the stress that came with the end of college, this month has been such a blessing. A crazy, exhausted blessing! There’s still a lingering sadness from the end of college (missing all my classmates already *sob*) but these amazing experiences have eased that sadness a bit, and have made me excited for the future.

Lynn


 

Post-blog notes

For some reason, my blogs about Dingle 2015 won’t show on my home page on this blog. The links to those posts still work, but they aren’t listed… Hopefully I can figure out this weird glitch.

Speaking of which, I’m well overdue to finish my final Dingle post. My notes got scattered between my sketchbook, my old phone and my blog drafts, and it gets harder to write about as the time between the festival and the present grows larger. So hang tight for that.

I will be posting some Song of the Sea inspired artwork soon to celebrate the release, and also an older piece I made right after Dingle, so keep an eye out for those on my Twitter and Tumblr accounts.

As I say, I will soon be writing a post about my time at Annecy. (Let’s hope I don’t run into as much trouble as I did with my ever-postponed, final Dingle blog). In the meantime, I did a fair amount of gushing on Twitter in those rare moments I found wifi in France!