BAF stings

16 Nov 2009

In my last post I waxed lyrical about the fabulousness of Bradford Animation Festival, but didn't go in to much detail about what makes it the best animation festival in England (admittedly I've never been to Flip, Animex or several of the new ones that keep popping up, but it has to be said that Aurora, Exeter and Canterbury (while outstanding in their own ways) are merely pretenders to Bradford's throne.

I was particularly impressed by BAF's stings this year - a series of 10 second animations that emulated specific genres using the BAFMAN character, before revealing one of the letters in BAF. 'The stings are inventive takes on gothic horror, steampunk sci-fi, golden era Hollywood cartoons, and street-smart urban documentary' according to the BAF website

One of the animators (Kerry Drumm) was a good friend of ours at University, and ran the Animation Archive in Farnham before I took over when she left. She did a fantastic job at representing the Horror genre, with a grisly scenario that looked like a homage to one of the greatest animations of all time The Sandman. Aaron was able to use his meticulous attention to detail and love of model making by helping her with a couple of the props.

Animation being a fairly incestuous sort of world, we are also good friends with the guys who did the music for all 5 stings; Verbal Vigilante Music. They have been our frequent collaborators over the last few days, and scored both my and Aaron's graduation films. They did a great job yet again on these stings, making each one distinctive to the genre it depicts.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, are the BAF09 stings:

HORROR by Kerry Drumm

SCI FI by Gareth Howell

TOON by Caroline Parkinson

MO CAP by Andrew Chong


These stings (created by the Animation Academy at Loughborough) interest me because they help challenge people's preconception about animation as a genre of film making. To my mind, animation is a technique through which genre can be explored, which is exactly what these stings achieve.