Blogs

Interview with Dapoon Rai Dewan


By michaelcawood, 2014-09-09

46_blogs.jpeg

To celebrate'Devils, Angels & Dating' reaching 2 Million views on YouTube, we wanted to check in on our talented team members to see where they are and what they've been up to since they worked on the film. This is a conversation withDapoon Rai Dewan, who was an animator on the film.

Tell us about your discovery of 'Devils, Angels & Dating', then what you ended up working on during the project.

I discovered 'Devils, Angels and Dating' through a post on a blog by my animator friend.

Those days I was on a really long bed rest due to a terrible road accident. Jobless and motionless, I didn't know how to get a hold of my career. I kept myself busy by working on personal animations but it wasn't enough. I really needed a push.

So when I stumbled upon this amazing film Mike was working on, it was like a blessing sent from above. To get to work on an international project with an amazing team & an accomplished animator as a director, without having to leave home, was EXACTLY what I was looking for! I jumped at the opportunity and emailed Mike my 2009 student reel. But I was in for a slight surprise.

Unfortunately he didn't feel it was strong enough for the film. I was a little disappointed of course, but then Mike gave me the best advice ever. He asked me to enter the 11 Second Cub contests to improve on my skills. I entered not once, but thrice. It was perhaps one of the best learning experiences ever. I quickly compiled a new reel and sent it to Mike. And guess what! I got in!

I got to work on ONE shot of 9 secs but it was amazing. I learned tremendously from Mike. He knew how to push me, and I could quickly see how much more it added to the shot. It was a treasure of knowledge I still hold very dear. Thanks Mike! :)

What were your thoughts, hopes and concerns about the project at the time, and how do you feel about it now?

To be honest, when I first saw glimpses of the film, I was amazed! The quality of production for a zero budget film was tremendous! And that too, working completely online. I've seen studios who can't come up with half the brilliance with the entire team working together under one roof! I seriously have to applaud Mike and the team for pulling off such a Herculean task!

However since I was also a member of the team, I was also slightly concerned about the story. It was a great out of the box story, but perhaps slightly lacking in clarity. I couldn't help getting confused a couple of times while watching the early animatics. Mike was sporting enough to give us a platform to critique the story and suggest ways to make it better. All of us brainstormed our ideas and voila! The story evolved to the masterpiece it has become today.

I'm really happy the way it was turned out now and I'm thankful that Mike considered all of our suggestions and implemented them.

Did Devils change the way you approach your career at all?

Oh yes absolutely! I learned to push myself much more. I remember when I got my shot, I 'animated' it in a couple of days and declared it finished. I was expecting Mike to say something like "Wow!! You're an animation bullet train!" So imagine my dismay when he instead said "Looks good! You can start animating it now!" :D

But seriously, it was then when I truly realized how much more I had to push myself before I could call it 'finished'. Now when I look at my 'bullet train speed' animation and compare it to the actually finished one, I see how much of a difference it makes when you get some great guidance. So thanks for the push Mike! :)

Do you know whether anything you did for Devils lead directly to any other opportunities you've had since?

Absolutely! It simply made my reel much stronger. In fact after Devils, I entered the AnimationRigs contest and won the Honorary Mention I spot. My confidence grew and I immediately landed a job that I'm still doing!

What have you been up to professionally since your involvement in Devils?

While working for Devils, I was also working at Fat Balloon Studios, Chennai as a freelance animator. I continued for a while there after wrapping up my work at Devils, before landing a full time job at Vaibhav Studios, Mumbai. It's been 3 years since then and today I've been promoted to the Senior Animator position. It feels great! Haha!

Have you worked on any other short films since Devils?

Not a short, but I'm currently working on a feature length in-house production of Vaibhav Studios named 'Return of the Jungle'. It's about this bunch of school kids who are told jungle stories by their old buddy they call Thatha (grandpa), and how those stories inspire the kids to face their problems at school.

Are you working on any personal projects?

Unfortunately none! I've been planning on a few of my own short films for quite sometime but work takes up almost all of my time. Hopefully soon enough!

However I could share some of the work I've done personally, for Devils and at Vaibhav Studios.

Is there anything you'd like to Promote?

I'd like to promote my blog:dapoonrai.blogspot.com

and the the film I'm working on now:

"It's great to see another enthusiastic Devils team member doing great work and making their lark on the industry." - Michael Cawood

Posted in: default | 0 comments

Interview with Michael Newton


By michaelcawood, 2014-09-05

43_blogs.png

To celebrate 'Devils, Angels & Dating' reaching 2 Million views on YouTube, we wanted to check in on our talented team members to see where they are and what they've been up to since they worked on the film. This is a conversation withMichael Newton, who worked with Jay Taylor on the sound design and handled the mix for the film.

Tell us about your discovery of 'Devils, Angels & Dating', then what you ended up working on during the project.

I was introduced to the project by Jay Taylor who was working on the sound and I ended up working on sound design and final mix.

What were your thoughts, hopes and concerns about the project at the time, and how do you feel about it now?

I was impressed with the scale and quality of an independent animation created by a collection of people who hadn't ever met in the flesh. It looked like an ambitious project but when I joined around 50% of the animation was finished so it was easy to see the project was actually going to work. I'm proud and impressed by what the animators managed to create.

Did Devils change the way you approach your career at all?

In the way that approaching and collaborating in independent films can be a great learning experience, yes. There really is a big international community out there looking to do big things. As long as you have a bread and butter job to support you financially, its great to do some projects with no budget, it takes the pressure off and everyone's in it for the love of it.

Do you know whether anything you did for Devils lead directly to any other opportunities you've had since?

Not directly, but I just finished the sound design and mix for a very similar project, called True Tail. It too was created byanon-linegroup of animators from all parts of the world. We've created a pilot and the producers are now unleashing it upon the world.

44_blogs.jpg?width=750

Whathaveyou been up to professionally since your involvement in Devils?

I have been working on a few interesting projects, including helping out with the SFX tracklay on the drama series Top of the Lake. I did a documentary series for Discovery called 'Walking with the Great Apes'. I finished the sound design and mix for a not-so-serious car chase movie 'Drive Hard'. I've done some reality work on the last Masterchef series in Australia. I'm also just about to wrap on the mix of a true-blue Aussie slasher film called 'Charlie's Farm', about a 7 foot man who's hell bent on killing Tara Reid!

45_blogs.jpg

Have you worked on any other short films since Devils?

I'm always involved in short films and independent features through friends. Its always interesting and exciting to see them picked up by international festivals in all parts of the world and knowing people are watching.

Are you working on any personal projects?

I'm starting to build my own sound effects libraries and also learning the sound design language of an application called 'Kyma'. It always makes me wonder why audio hasn't progressed as far as something like 3D animation, with its powerfulmodellingandscripting. Audio has progressed obviously, but I feel sound design could borrow a lot from animation tools, where you can create and manipulate objects

Is there anything you'd like to Promote?

Anyone who would like to collaborate, hit me up on skype: michael.newton1

"It's great to see the breadth of projects Michael has been working on. He's got a really good attitude to the projects he takes on. He even came back to the project eight months later to help out with a revised Director's Cut of the film." - Michael Cawood

Posted in: default | 0 comments

Interview with Phil Rey


By michaelcawood, 2014-09-05

?width=300

To celebrate 'Devils, Angels & Dating' reaching 2 Million views on YouTube, we wanted to check in on our talented team members to see where they are and what they've been up to since they worked on the film. This is a conversation withPhil Rey, who was our composer for the film.

Tell us about your discovery of 'Devils, Angels & Dating', then what you ended up working on during the project.

I discovered the project by chance on the net, at its early stage, and immediately fell in love with the few drawings and animations already done. Unfortunately at this time another composer was already working on the trailer and nothing was really decided about the soundtrack for the film itself. My memory is that some time later, Michael asked me for a short excerpt of music that can fit for the movie, and liked it. Then we started to work together, to exchange our views etc.. on what the score could be. It was really challenging technically because you have a lot of action, and there's also a narrative voice during the movie. So the music should be underlining the action, without leading over the narrative voice. The second challenge has been to place the credit song theme here in there in the score. But finally we did it!

What were your thoughts, hopes and concerns about the project at the time, and how do you feel about it now?

My thoughts were that the characters and animations are truly awesome and very attractive, even if the story itself can be a little bit confusing for some people. Visually I really enjoy this movie.

Did Devils change the way you approach your career at all?

Not at all. But I'd like to work for this kind of project again. The only thing, maybe, is that I would ask to be paid next time. It takes a lot of time and energy to achieve this kind of project.

Whathaveyou been up to professionally since your involvement in Devils?

I'm still composing music for video games, trailers, libraries etc... And I'd like to be working with a cool team, like this, again for other brilliant projects likeDevils, Angels & Dating. Money can be an issue, as I'm a professional composer and need to earn a living, but who knows? I'm open to any opportunities.

I'm also proud that my music opened the show to celebrate the New Year at Sydney Harbor Australia (giant fireworks). This is one of the most important television broadcasts in the world (ABC1 - Australian national TV, BBC, NBC, TF1, Euro News, etc)

42_blogs.jpg

Are you working on any personal projects?

I'm still producing my own albums, you can pre-order my next album to be released in October 2014 here :

http://phreymusic.bandcamp.com/album/kingdom-of-illusions

I also built my own company "Melodeicon" (music production for medias):

http://melodeicon.com/

"I just want to say that Phil's work before Devils was stunning, but he's gone from strength to strength and I've been caught listening to his playlists on his site on numerous occasions. Really good stuff. He was great to work with and... fingers crossed... we'll get an opportunity to work together again. Although I will follow up on his note on being paid for future project. It's great for many artists to expand their portfolio with strategic volunteer projects to move on up to the next phase in their careers, but no-one should do that for long and it's smart get paid. Composers in particular have to take on such a huge amount of work with any project like this." - Michael Cawood

Posted in: default | 0 comments

Interview with Rafael San Gregorio


By michaelcawood, 2014-09-05

40_blogs.jpg

To celebrate 'Devils, Angels & Dating' reaching 2 Million views on YouTube, we wanted to check in on our talented team members to see where they are and what they've been up to since they worked on the film. This is a conversation withSan Gregorio Rafael, who was an animator on the film.

Tell us about your discovery of 'Devils, Angels & Dating', then what you ended up working on during the project.

I was looking to keep learning and practicing animation. But wanted to work on a solid project. Not just a typical demoreel shot where you choose an audio piece and animate it.I wanted to have production experience, where you have to learn as a team and with a global vision. So I went looking on the web, and found 'Devils Angels & Dating'. Liked the atmosphere of the project and the team, and it was perfect for my objectives.

What were your thoughts, hopes and concerns about the project at the time, and how do you feel about it now?

I first wanted to find a solid project, that I knew would be finished. I didn't want to spend a lot of time on a project that could have ended in the trash because of the lack of commitment of the team. In that respect, my concerns were directly solved, because the community was really active and Michaelwas doing a great job keeping the team together. So my main objectives to work on a collaborative, serious project were achieved, and I'm really happy about the Devil's success.

Did Devils change the way you approach your career at all?

Not really, but it sure helped me to grow as a team player.

Whathaveyou been up to professionally since your involvement in Devils?

After Devils I have had several positions. I worked as a character animator on Minuscule Season 2, and also did a few shots on the feature film Minusculefor the company Nozon.

Then I was hired in Brussels at the same company (Nozon) to work on commercials, as a character setup and character animator.

Can you expand on the work you did for the film?

Well, on the movie I just did the last shot that was 500 hundred frames with a lot of ants building their home. I worked at the same company but in Brussels. The movie was animated in Lige and France.
But as I worked on the all of Season 2 of the TV show and because there was a rush to end the movie, I had the opportunity to work on it.The animation style is very unique and funny. It was completely different from all the animation work I did before.

41_blogs.jpg


Are you working on any personal projects?

When I work during my free time, it mainly consist on learning python coding to automate setup, and also learn new setup techniques.

Is there anything you'd like to promote?

My blog:http://rafaelsangregorio.blogspot.be/

"Rafael did some great shots for us, and it's wonderful to see the projects he's beeninvolvedin sincethen. Nice work Raf!" - Michael Cawood

Posted in: default | 0 comments

Interview with Alok Joshi


By michaelcawood, 2014-09-05

38_blogs.jpg?width=300

To celebrate 'Devils, Angels & Dating' reaching 2 Million views on YouTube, we wanted to check in on our talented team members to see where they are and what they've been up to since they worked on the film. This is a conversation withAlok Joshi, who was an animator on the film.

Tell us about your discovery of 'Devils, Angels & Dating; then what you ended up working on during the project.

Mike had messaged me on my YouTube channel about a short film named Devils, Angels & Dating. I followed the link and what I saw was one of the most innovative ways of animated filmmaking, everything was online. I had not worked on anything like this before so I thought this would be a great experience and it was. At first Mike gave me a small shot of Cupid, since I am born and brought up in India, this was the first time I was working with someone overseas and as talented as Mike.Initially it was hard for me to understand what quality and style was needed so I was sending so many updates but Mike explained me how important it is to understand the shot description and spend some quality time before sending updatesand it worked for me. I didn't think any of my shots would get approved at first but I ended up finishing more than 10 seconds.

What were your thoughts, hopes and concerns about the project at the time, and how do you feel about it now?

I really didn't know how someone can handle an entire 3D production from a forum based website and supervise so many artists from different parts of globe. But it was a success and I feel very proud that I was given opportunity to be part of it.

Did Devils change the way you approach your career at all?

Definitely, besides improving my animation & organizational skills, it boosted my confidence a lot.

Do you know whether anything you did for Devils lead directly to any other opportunities you've had since?

Yes, my animation reel became a lot better since I added shots from Devils.I got a chance to work on Dream Works: Dragons TV series which has aired on Cartoon Network. Animation quality required for it was pretty high since it followed the feature film by DW but my recent experience on Devils helped me a lot to give better quality output.

39_blogs.png?width=750

What have you been up to professionally since your involvement in Devils?

I worked at Crest animation studios after Devils where I got to work on DreamWorks, Dragons TV series. Working on dragons was a great experience. It was a first TV project for DW so the quality they were expecting was almost as good as feature film so it helped us animators to improve our skills a lot.

Since the TV series followed the original How to train your dragon movie, there was a lot of study material ready for us.I did lot of acting/editing before proceeding with blocking because generic gestures were just not looking right on those awesome characters.I worked on 2nd episode of the series. Here is my character animation showreel that includes some shots from this show:

After that I worked on some TV series and DVD movies such as Glo-e and Care Bears. I also worked on Disneys Planes 2 at Prana studios.

Have you worked on any other short films since Devils?

Unfortunately I do not get enough time to work on similar projects but since I am doing freelancing now, but I would love to get my hands on projects like this.

Are you working on any personal projects?

I am currently working as a freelance motion graphics artist under a name Tesseract Graphics since I also love creating abstract animation using various software and plugins. Mainly my focus is Logo animation slates.Here is my logo animation Showreel:

Is there anything youd like to Promote?

Well, do visit my website:

www.tesseractgraphics.in

...and my YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/alokasimov

"It was great working with Alok, and I'm really pleased to see how far he's come with his career since we last worked together." - Michael Cawood

Posted in: default | 0 comments

Festivals


By michaelcawood, 2014-07-18

Believe it or not Devils is still active on the festival circuit. There are new festivals popping up all the time, and new ways to submit to them. I can't keep an eye on all of it as it's a full time job in itself, but from time to time I check in and fire off a few more submissions. Thankfully more and more festivals are going online and digital, which significantly simplifies the process. Most limit submissions to recently completed films, but oddly seem to be quite loose about it. 1st January 2012 seems to be about the oldest most will accept and we just slip in at Jan the 4th 2012 (August 2012 if you want to get technical since it's the Directors Cut of the film I'm submitting).

I fired off another 20 or so applications today. There has been a little bit of earnings from YouTube, and I put some of that to festival submissions. Don't get too excited... the earnings are pretty small.

Posted in: default | 0 comments

Book - Finish Your Film


By michaelcawood, 2014-07-02

37_blogs.jpg

Kenny Roys book Finish Your Film! Tips and Tricks for Making an Animated Short in Maya features Devils Angels & Dating several times. It discusses the making of an animated short film. Its available at all the usual book retailers.

Posted in: default | 0 comments

Devils on Frederator


By michaelcawood, 2014-02-19

36_blogs.png

My YouTube channel has been part of the Frederator Network for a few months now, but they have just relaunched a new website to showcase it's members. Scroll down the creators page to find "Michael Cawood" and an image of Devil.

http://www.channelfrederatornetwork.com/creators.html

Obviously our short film Devils Angels and Dating is driving most of the traffic.

Posted in: default | 0 comments

2 Years on YouTube - the Stats


By michaelcawood, 2014-01-10

?width=750

It's been just over two years since Devils Angels and Dating premiered online on YouTube. In the full spirit of disclosure, that we've run this project, I wanted to share the statistics behind the people viewing it. As you can see we've passed 1.4 million views, most of which came in the first summer.

?width=750

I discuss other aspects of animated film-making at my blog,AnimatedFilmmaker.com

Posted in: default | 0 comments

Partnering with Frederator


By michaelcawood, 2013-12-16

35_blogs.jpg

The animation channel, Frederator, on YouTube has asked me if it can include my channel as part of their network. Obviously this includes Devils, and that's their primary interest in the channel. The deal is that they put adverts on the content and take a 30% cut, while also promoting the channel. I sat on the idea for a while as I wasn't under the impression there was much to gain from putting adverts on the channel at all. But it looks like it might be able to make a little bit, maybe enough to cover the running costs of our development site, hosting and domain. But I think the part of the arrangement that's most interesting is the relationship with Frederator. It could lead to other things in the future. I'm tempted to try it out for a year and see if it's worthwhile.

Certainly in the early days after the films release I didn't want to put advertising on it as the team were using it as part of their portfolio. But now there's the Director's cut available on Vimeo, so I think we're in the clear to try and take advantage of the 1000 views per day we get on YouTube.

Any thoughts from the team?

Posted in: default | 0 comments
 
 / 26