tealin: (introspect)
Disclaimer: I am writing this between long, decongestant-ridden naps. I cannot pretend it will be coherent or, or, anything. So there you are.

Sarah Slean's new album is out at last, and you can listen to it streaming here:

CBC Music First Play: Metaphysics

... until April 7th, when it comes available to buy. (I have already bought it.)

It was ten years ago almost exactly that I heard Slean for the first time on one of the CBC's Saturday morning shows, singing "Lucky Me", prompting me to find her Myspace page (MySpace!) and listen to it on repeat for literally the rest of the day. 2007 was a pivotal year for me, and the refrain of that song played no small part in my taking the opportunities that arose in it:
And you're sad, and you're sorry,
Let it all out – what are you running for?
This is your chance, be ready –
I'm taking my seat ... Oh, lucky me!
Bla bla blah ... )
tealin: (terranova)

I started this as a demo for my animation class, but it really needed the second scene, so I threw that together tonight. A week, in bits, for the first part, about 4 hours for the second! I'm determined not to get too precious with it – I have a dozen other things making demands on this week – but at some point in the future may add a bit more wind effects to Cherry to tie him in a bit better. And, you know, finish the drawings, or something. But right now my wrist is saying "You did WHAT??" so it's time to call it a night.

A very happy, supremely satisfied night.

(Of course they would not be out on a windy hillside without their hats, especially in August when this is supposed to take place! But I needed practice drawing them hatless, so have fudged meteorology and human physiology for the purposes of aesthetic. I'll just ... pack my bags for when the history police get here.)
tealin: (CBC)
I'm in one of those phases again, where I'm listening to Radio-Canada (francophone CBC) to improve my ear. Sometimes I can follow things pretty well, and sometimes it just bounces off my eardrum, but this evening I ran into some programming so baffling I can only assume there was a bad combination of incomprehension and cultural disconnect.

In half an hour from about 1pm Montreal time, apparently part of the same programme but with no obvious connection, we got:
- Performance poetry(?)
- Someone making distressed animal noises
- The shooting of an elephant
- A rap about Aeroplan (the Canadian frequent flier/credit card points scheme)

Any answers, Quebec?

I'm really going to confuse the locals at Annecy when I turn up with my bad French in an accent that's mostly English but slightly Quebecois. The best animation school in France has a name that will really let the twang out to play; it should be said Go-blo(n) but in Quebecois it's Go-blai(n) and no matter how hard I concentrate, that's going to come out. Je m'escuse...

UPDATE: All previous bafflement made up for by the rap about Mardi Gras over this Acadian trad track that just played. I wonder if I'll ever manage to hear that again ...
tealin: (terranova)

This has been bumping around in my brain for seven years; I’ve only just summoned the nerve to get it down on paper. Apologies to Lewis Carroll, who I’m sure would never have imagined his harmless verse being put to such purpose. And for those who feel the need to inform me just how sick and wrong it is: I know. That's why it's taken seven years. (Though at least a year has probably been tacked onto that span by the idea that I ought to do it Tenniel-style or not at all ... thanks for that helpful suggestion, brain.)

Bill was pretty well acquainted with death; he had serious tuberculosis in his 20s and scurvy on the Discovery expedition, with numerous other close shaves and accidents along the way, so would have looked death in the face a few times, and that brings a person to come to terms with mortality. His thoughts on faith, fate, life, and death are unorthodox but worth reading, if you are into that sort of thing – I was collecting them for a while on ourdailybill.tumblr.com, but Cheltenham in Antarctica, and for a deeper exploration, The Faith of Edward Wilson, are much more organised sources.

In my head, the words go like this. (I doubt Lewis Carroll would have been able to imagine ... that ... either.)


Mar. 13th, 2017 07:30 pm
tealin: (Default)
I am back teaching in Viborg, and while my supposed-to-be-ten-day class is once again cut down to eight, this time it's not a national holiday or a school function but because we have a fabulous guest speaker for two days, and as I'm here I get to benefit from it too.

This afternoon he showed the classic short film Father and Daughter (warning: tears) which gave me a surprise of the kind I've come to find familiar when revisiting European things I haven't seen since moving to Europe. At about 6 minutes in, you hear a skylark, and you know that what was once water has been drained and is a field, even before you see it, because you only get skylarks singing above open fields – and this is not a happy accident, because at 6:15 you see the skylark doing its thing, so it's a decision made by someone who knows the associations of the bird.

I've always been a bit into birds – more than a bit, at some times – but I have to say European birds are a different ball game when it comes to what they tell you about the world, when you're familiar with them. I can think of a few North American birds with which I have seasonal associations: mockingbirds in the spring and summer in California, prominently, and the sing-song spring song of the chickadee; when I hear a particular regional variant of the white-crowned sparrow in a film, I know it's shot in BC. But it hardly compares to the richness of communication in European birdlife, which can put you in a place and season and even time of day more effectively than any title card. The song of a blackbird carries all the promise and fulfillment of burgeoning summer, even when they start singing in February. The wing slaps of fighting woodpigeons puts you in tall trees with fresh young leaves, the trilling of long-tailed tits in a winter hedgerow, a cuckoo into bright flowery woodland, the chucks of jackdaws down an old city street with eclectic chimney pots, and the screams of swifts belong in the bright blue summer sky with puffy clouds turning to thunderheads. (Britain's relationship with the robin warrants an entire post of its own ... )

And the thing is, European filmmakers (and radio producers) know this, and use it, because it means something to their audience, even if the audience doesn't realise it. I find it hard to imagine an LA filmmaker using a mockingbird's song to elicit the atmosphere of a warm jasmine-scented night, though it's as much a part of that as anything else. The white-crowned sparrow mentioned above is usually accidental, as the thing shot in BC is almost never supposed to be set there. But then, why should they use communicative bird sounds when their audience isn't going to get the cue either? The long-term urbanisation and population density of Europe means its people rub shoulders more comfortably with their wildlife than Americans/Canadians do with theirs, and are more perceptive of its habits; it helps, too, that European birds have such distinctive characteristics that they're more identifiable than, say, the umpteen variations on "brown thing that goes 'chirp'" which are resident in LA. But it'd still be nice to see more of that sort of attention paid to what makes up one's surroundings, and less in the vein of the quacking Canada goose in Source Code. It's not something you notice being absent from your entertainment until it becomes commonplace ...

FURTHER FEATHERED FILM FACT: I'm almost entirely certain that whatever bird sound was used for the flightless cormorant in Master and Commander was also used for an orc or orc-like creature in Return of the King, something which threw me when I saw the latter. It sounds a bit like the shag, if you want to try spotting it yourself.

Bill, again

Mar. 9th, 2017 05:59 pm
tealin: (terranova)
For the next couple weeks* I'm going to be teaching the brightest of bright young things how to animate dialogue. From my own personal experience, all the lectures about theory can't stack up against watching an actual animator actually animate an actual scene, so I like to have a demo to walk the class through, on which to demonstrate what I'm talking about, and the stages of animating a scene. It also happens to be a great way to work out a design. Last year I did this with Oates; this year I felt Wilson was in most need of the animation-test treatment. Remembering what a fight I had to get anything halfway decent out of him at the end of last year, I girded my loins for battle, but the minute I sat down to draw him he just ... turned up.

So, this should be fun ...

And now I've got him pretty much figured out (knock on wood), I have no excuse to put off any further the re-interpretative illustration of Victorian verse which I've had on my mental back burner for SEVEN YEARS now. Just in time for it, too – it should go up March 18th, or not at all. [slinks off mysteriously]

*When not stuffing my face with pickled herring and the world's best bread, which everyone knows are the real reasons I travel to Denmark
tealin: (terranova)

Next up on the design block is Tryggve Gran. Gran was a lieutenant in the Norwegian navy, as well as one of the first professional skiers. He was hired onto the expedition to teach the British how to ski – the sport was only just becoming popular in the mainstream, and while those who had been on the Discovery expedition had had practice with one-stick skiing, the two-stick cross-country skiing we’re familiar with today was an innovation in 1910.

I’ve only just started reading his published journals, but so far they’re confirming my impression of his being the Legolas of the expedition. His uncanny ease at gliding along on top of the snow only helps with the image.

Gran was enthusiastic about being part of this great undertaking, and optimistic about being chosen to go for the Pole, but things got awkward when Amundsen put his oar in, and for understandable reasons (as he admitted at the time) he had to be eliminated from consideration. Gran was loyal to Scott all his life, which was a long one – he died in 1980.

T. Griffith Taylor led a geological side-expedition to the Western Mountains on which Gran assisted, and in his official report (??!) which was published in Scott's Last Expedition: Vol. II he's hidden this little Easter egg, a ditty written for Gran's 23rd birthday: Read more... ) One is left to wonder just how 'unmoral' he might have been ... (Seriously, the official report, Griff?)
tealin: (Default)
A few years ago, when the BBC reran the radio dramatisation of The Worst Journey in the World which got me into this whole Scott thing, I made a small comic about the journey I've been on since being introduced to these amazing people and their story. A little while ago, a small gallery in Minneapolis with which I've had some dealings put out a call for art illustrating one's personal story and 'what makes you tick,' which seemed like the perfect excuse to bring the story up to the present and make something of it.

The continuation picks up in 2012, with the culmination of Centenary Fever, and the overseas trip which tipped the balance on my personal status quo:

... and goes three more pages through the changes both internal and external, my shift in perspective and priorities, and acceptance of a particular direction for my life.

Plus three more pages to bring it home, a small but hugely significant passage from Worst Journey (quoted with permission!), and a short suggested reading list should anyone have their curiosity piqued and be heedless of my warning that such material may change their life, too.

Said comic and text have been compiled into a small booklet, which is currently available from the gallery's shop should you wish to acquire one.* The site doesn't say so, but they are all signed!

This foray into self-publishing has been ... "an adventure" ... but I think I might be tempted to do a little more, if there's a market for it. It's strange to think anyone would smile on buying my artwork when I've been feeding the Internet for free lo these many years, but other people seem to manage it, so ...? Any advice on this, or suggestions for what sort of things you'd like to see, would be very gratefully received. With any luck I'll figure out something for North American distribution which will spare you paying through the nose for overseas shipping, something that couldn't get sorted out before the gallery show. (Sorry about that, but the profit margin is tiny on those little books, believe it or not.)

*Given that these booklets have had to cross the Atlantic once already, I'd advise Europeans to hold off for a few weeks and let those on the other side pick up the gallery copies – I aim to have some more local distribution set up in April or so.


Feb. 7th, 2017 10:09 am
tealin: (Default)
I have loads of packing and pre-travel stuff to do, but my brain won't leave me alone about these things I've been wanting to blog about for years, so I'm giving it one hour to say what it wants to say and stop bothering me. These were going to be big long thinky-posts, but I'm forcing myself to keep them to one paragraph.

Media piracy is a big deal, both for content producers (such as myself) and the consuming public, but I don't feel the current conversation is the one we need to be having. There are many grey areas in which limited theft ends up being for the greater good – essentially free marketing – but money has to be part of the equation at some point. The counter-piracy argument is always presented as 'if you don't pay for this film, you're stealing from the people who made it.' That is, essentially, untrue, as very few people who work on the film get any residuals from its profits. What you are doing is preventing things from getting made in the future. The rise of the box set has seen some fantastic television being produced, but it is being produced on the prospect that people will buy the box set, or digital equivalent thereof. Studios budget future projects based on what past ones have made, so if profits from Film B are down from Film A, they have less to give Film C, or decide that they can only make Film E, instead of Films D, E, and F as planned. I have been in meetings where the effects of this cycle are presented very matter-of-factly. When you pirate films, you are stealing from yourself, because your lack of monetary input means YOU will get fewer and lower-quality things to watch in future.

People argue endlessly about which approach to government is correct. There is no correct. There is only what best reflects your priorities. Everyone has a reason for believing what they believe. You can find statistics and studies to back up any argument you want to make, on any side. What it comes down to is a matter of choice. What kind of country do you want to live in? What kind of society? What do you want to put up on a pedestal as being the #1 Important Thing? A nation's government, in a way, projects back to the nation what it values. What values do you want those to be? What sort of people do you want to be allied with, or opposed to? What consequences are you willing to take? What sort of person does that make you? Are you OK with that?


Feb. 5th, 2017 08:58 am
tealin: (4addict)
Barely 24 hours after I post those thoughts about how A Series of Unfortunate Events challenges us to stand up for the Baudelaires around us, Radio 4 has broadcast programmes asking us "Which character in the story are you?" and referring to Yeats' "The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity."

I joke that I'm married to Radio 4 (and Cambridge, the physical embodiment thereof), but I'm starting to wonder if the fraying of reality is making that more true than I thought possible...
tealin: (writing)
Some fandoms are pretty universally popular, and some are so niche they barely qualify as fandoms at all. Snicket fandom falls somewhere in between. Some people are passionate fans, but quite a few dislike the books or 'don't get' them; it's interesting to figure out what it is in a person that clicks with A Series of Unfortunate Events; who ends up liking them and who not.

After much mental chewing on my own small sample group, the best conclusion I've reached on the subject is this: You are more likely to enjoy Lemony Snicket if you are aware of the darker side of life – not necessarily accepting of the darkness, but accepting the awareness of it. If you haven't suffered loss, or been uprooted, or been disappointed in someone you were counting on, or simply prefer not to think about depressing things like these, you are more likely not to 'get' these books and wonder why anyone does. But if you know that, at any moment, your life might be turned upside down and everything you take for granted – even abstract things like kindness, truth, and justice – cast into doubt, you are more likely to look at these maudlin tales of misfortune and have something in you say 'yes, that's how it is.' Overblown and dressed up in a silly costume, yes, but with a kernel of truth, around which the absurdity and poignancy and tongue-in-cheek narration are built up like layers on a gobstopper.

What We 'Get' About Them )

Now we find ourselves in a world where, on an abstract level, these ridiculous tales are suddenly not so far off the mark. This series was written mainly during the G.W. Bush administration, when the culture wars were already well underway, and the idea of educated, cultured urban sophisticates being locked in life-or-death conflict with ignorant and crude but more ruthless people was an entertaining hyperbole of the contemporary climate. Now we've had a US election where those wishing to stick it to 'the elites' have won, and similar forces are in the ascendency across the Eurocentric world. Last week I flicked between the Netflix series and Twitter, with its steady stream of outrage at the smash-and-grab first week of the Trump administration, contingency plans to save libraries, and this classic: “America is a tire fire. The resistance is led by Teen Vogue, Badlands National Park, and the Merriam-Webster dictionary.” ... and I thought, good grief, the ridiculous is now.

We Are All The Baudelaires )

It's not too hard to find a modern parallel for Count Olaf, the egotistical entertainer who will get what he wants by any means necessary, or for those who hitch a ride on his ambition. But is that where we should be looking? )


This popped up from my favourite singer/songwriter today, which seemed relevant:

There is a kind of elegant, uncomfortable wisdom to these times too, no? We are shocked and horrified by the uncovering of hidden hatred, but dormant love and generosity and courage are also coming out of hiding. I think we are all in some version of “hiding", more or less, and in this world it’s becoming harder and harder to hide. Maybe that’s a good thing?
tealin: (catharsis)
This is the exact moment I knew I was in big trouble:

On one hand, I don't know how I'd've gotten through last week without this show ... on the other I can literally (literally!) feel the dopamine coursing through my veins when I'm watching it, which ... is a little alarming?

Back on the first hand, it's good to have something to take the stress off and bring on the happy, even if it's a neurochemical kind of happy (though, what isn't?). But on the other hand again, maybe actual coping strategies are of more long-term value than hitting the escapism again? But then, on a foot, this is, in a bizarre way, helping me process things? (More on that later.)

Other foot as yet unclaimed by a rhetorical standpoint. Stay tuned.
tealin: (catharsis)
For a few minutes, let's escape to a completely fictional universe where kind, noble, intelligent people are pressed by conviction and circumstance to make a stand against violent, greedy, ignorant ones.

I've been a fan of Lemony Snicket most of my adult life, but never imagined his books would help me parse current events. How lucky we are the Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events should come along just when it should be so bafflingly relevant.

A Little Background )

I wasn't immediately excited when I heard Netflix was going to do a serial adaptation of the books. The 2004 movie got some things right, but some more important things wrong, and having worked in high-profile mainstream entertainment in the meantime, I didn't believe they'd be allowed to film the books in a manner faithful to both story and tone. Too indefinable! Too idiosyncratic! Too intelligentsia! But when the first promotional material for the show came out, they seemed to know exactly what they were doing – more came out and I lost hope again – then at last I semi-reluctantly gave the first episode a try, and within ten minutes was completely sold on it and reverted to the giddy early-twenty-something who ran around Vancouver taking blurry black-and-white photos and cracking up at apparently random things.

I'm not going to go into a point-by-point of likes and dislikes, as that will take all afternoon, and the only person interested in it is me. Instead, here are some general statements from an avowed fan and someone far more familiar with the audiobooks than any adult ought to be: Items. )

If this series has been your introduction to Lemony Snicket, then sleep easy – it's been a good one. If you like it, you'll probably like the books. Might I also heartily recommend the audiobooks, for long car journeys, or non-word-related workdays, or just a bit of company as you unwind from a day of fighting injustice and bad taste in your off-the-grid safehouse far up in the mountains. You can probably find a few of them at a local public library. Support your library!
tealin: (4addict)
It's been a disorganised couple of weeks, and I'm afraid the radio list reflects that somewhat, but there's some good stuff out there so don't miss it!

Cadfael: Monk's Hood - The television adaptations of the mystery-solving medieval monk were a big part of my teenage years, but the radio adaptations are good enough that I can suspend that attachment and appreciate them on their own right.
Homage to Catalonia - Orwell's memoir of fighting fascism in the Spanish Civil War, dramatised by some of the top talent at the BBC drama department. Probably my favourite dramatisation of any Orwell work that I've heard.
Giselle - Counterintuitively, a ballet on the radio. I haven't listened yet, but "a story of hidden identities, thwarted love and deceased brides who dance men to death" sounds pretty good.
Pinocchio - Whaddaya know, another source material whose deeper content was stripped in the Disney version.
(From Sunday) The Pedestrian - The short story "The Fireman" is often cited as the germ of Fahrenheit 451, but it could be co-germ with this story about someone arrested for walking, in a city dominated by cars and TV.

Slaughter of the Innocents - a profile of the Christian commemoration of the children killed in Bethlehem following the birth of Jesus (which may or may not have happened), the history if its celebration, and relevance today.
The Orwell Tapes - A complicated profile of a complicated man, through interviews with people who knew him.
The Reformation - A brief but excellent look at the religious and social change that transformed Europe in the 15th/16th centuries, with particular attention given to the complicated situation in Britain.
The Novel of the Century - How Victor Hugo's Les Miserables came to be written

John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme - There's yet ANOTHER episode. Blessings come in bundles of six, apparently.
The Unbelievable Truth - John Finnemore turns up again on this panel game where bald-faced lying is the pretext for comedy, instead of national governing policy.
21st Century for Time Travellers - In which the early 21st Century is promoted and explained as a destination for holidays from the future.
Time Spanner - I've linked to this before, but there's just over a week left to listen, and given Radio 4's track record for rerunning one-offs, it may be your last chance. It's hard to describe, but a bit like if the people who made FLCL did a Douglas Adams pastiche?
tealin: (catharsis)

Things I am doing to distract myself from how badly I want to watch The Miserable Mill:

1. Drawing something else entirely
2. Drawing about that exactly
3. Writing this blog post
4. Going to bed

You guys, this is a problem.

I mean there's only that book left and then the current series is over! And there won't be any more for me to move on to, at least not immediately!

But that also means that, if they get a next series (please please), that series will contain – breathe – The Ersatz Elevator AND The Vile Village.


This has been Snicket faff. There will be a more considered post at the conclusion of the series. Tealin is in full cognizance that 'going to bed' is laughable in her current state and means that purely in the abstract.
tealin: (Default)
Given that medical insurance Stateside is going to be up in the air for the next couple of years, a friend of mine who lives there has compiled this very useful list of low-cost, mainly independent health care resources, and generously given me permission to share it. I hope this information can be valuable to someone!

Free/Low-Cost Medical & Dental Clinics:

Requires free registration for full details, but users can get contact info for all listed clinics without registering.

Teaching Clinics:

If you have a college/university in your area, check to see if it has a teaching clinic that handles your health issue. Most teaching clinics charge very low fees, and some offer ongoing treatment. Medical students help doctors provide the care. Usually you'll have to let a few students observe at least part of your assessment or treatment in exchange - confidentiality laws apply.

$4 Drug Program

Program run by several major US stores. They offer lots of generic meds for between $4 - $10 per month. Includes most major mental health meds, epilepsy meds, and non-stimulant ADHD meds. Most member stores also include birth control, diabetes meds/supplies, and meds for a wide range of physical illnesses and disabilities.


Searchable nationwide database where you can find the most affordable pharmacies for a particular medication in your area. Covers meds for both humans and pets. Also offers pharmacy coupons and prescription discount cards.


Searchable nationwide database of free and low-cost medical and dental clinics; prescription assistance programs; pharmacy coupons and prescription discount cards; discount programs for certain medical procedures; and medical bill mediation resources. Covers meds for both humans and pets.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance

Database of all US drug companies' prescription assistance programs. Qualifying people can get many medications for little or no cost through these programs. People can apply for them through the site. Also has a nationwide database of free/low-cost clinics, including mental health services. Users must set up an account to get most of the database info.


Nationwide site for people to buy/sell secondhand home health equipment. Items include wheelchairs, scooters, mobility aids, lifts, ramps, beds, batteries, wheelchair vans, and daily living items. 3rd-party site - items are NOT checked before resale.

Zenni Optical

Use your glasses prescription to order eyewear here. Most glasses are under $30/pair. Also handles bifocals, prescription sunglasses, and many complex prescriptions.

SAMHSA Services Locator
1-800-487-4889 TDD

Government program's database of mental health and addiction treatment resources nationwide. Call, or search the database, for options in your area. Includes free peer support and self-help groups, as well as clinics and other places that charge fees.
Database and any resources getting SAMHSA funding may be affected by any future changes in health care laws.

Health insurance for people who were in foster care:


If you were ever in foster care in the US, and you are between 18-26 years old, you can automatically get state Medicaid health care until you turn 27. Follow the directions at this page to sign up.
This program may be affected by future changes in health care laws.

12-Step Programs

Use the meeting locators on these sites to find an in-person meeting in your area. Many of these programs also have online and phone meetings. Note - these programs had a Christian religious basis, but being Christian/religious is NOT required; some groups will discuss religion more than others


Alcoholics Anonymous: http://www.aa.org
Narcotics Anonymous: http://www.na.org
Al-Anon/Alateen: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org
Nar-Anon: http://www.nar-anon.org


Adult Children of Alcoholics: http://www.adultchildren.org
For people who grew up with bad parenting in general - not just alcoholic parents

Overeaters Anonymous: http://www.oa.org
For compulsive eating, anorexia, bulimia

Emotions Anonymous: http://www.emotionsanonymous.org
For people with mental/emotional health issues: depression, grief, compulsive behavior, fear/panic disorders, anxiety, anger problems

Co-Dependents Anonymous: http://www.coda.org

Eating Disorders Anonymous: http://www.eatingdisordersanonymous.org

Refuge Recovery

Anonymous peer counseling and meditation groups for addiction and codependency treatment. For any addictive behavior, not just substance abuse. Buddhist religious basis, but being Buddhist/religious NOT required. Use meeting locator on site to find a local group. Online and phone meetings also available.
tealin: (Default)
Tonight, I am at a crossroads.

I can either go out and get groceries (which means dinner, lest I go all night on the digestive biscuits with cheese I had at 4), or I can 'watch' Wolf Hall for the second time in a week while tying down animation until 1 a.m.

I think we all know how this story goes.


I'm actually hungry and my shoulders are stiff and I am foolishly optimistic that the newly-returned students have cleared out of Sainsbury's by this time of night. (It's probably the low blood sugar.)
tealin: (catharsis)
No spoilers this time. I was working through this episode so maybe didn't pay close enough attention to think much about anything, but I'm inclined to think I got the better end of the deal this way.

Breakups are always a handy device for drama – shouting, weeping, the tragedy of what might have been – but what doesn't get dramatised so often are the relationships that end with both parties basically going 'Yeah, you know what, we probably would both be happier going our own way.' I don't know if that's a happy ending, but it's a peaceful one, and best for all concerned. That's how I feel, anyway. 'Leave them wanting more' can be a bit overrated.

We got the Shipping Forecast and another completely gratuitous aviation callout, so, you know, not a total loss.

It's been a real slice. We'll always have series 1. ♥


Jan. 12th, 2017 08:42 pm
tealin: (CBC)
I'm in the middle of an unexpected but short bout of freelance animation. I love animating, and for the most part it pairs symbiotically with my love of radio. Unfortunately there's one stage in the animation process where you have to concentrate really hard and scribble the movement down; when I'm doing this rough pass I don't have any brain cells left over to process what the radio is trying to tell me, so I can't listen then. But I find it had to stay focused without something on in the background, so I'm once again streaming Radio-Canada (francophone CBC) in yet another attempt to improve my French comprehension.

I can't really say how well I'm doing in achieving that aim – yesterday was pretty good but today was just so much babble again – but it's all right because they have great taste in music, the news is so much nicer when you can barely understand it, and whenever Donald Trump speaks, someone in a calm voice starts talking over him in French. I do get amusing little tidbits, though, between Montreal traffic reports and interviews about artisan cheese in the Ottawa valley.
  • the French for 'witch hunt' is chasse aux sorcières which is WAY cooler.
  • it's not 'Aryan' it's aerien which means 'aerial', calm down.
  • there's always a really interesting discussion at about 9-9.30am local time, but I can't understand enough to look up the programme on the website.
  • London, England, is Londres as it is in Continental French, but London, Ontario is still London, just in a French accent.
  • the programme titles I can understand are often puns in some way; I assume the ones I think aren't puns are just puns I don't get.
  • the further away from Montreal someone is calling, the more twang there is in their accent
  • I can understand either the words people are saying, or the overall topic under discussion, but not, it seems, both
  • I seem to have conditioned myself into feeling worky in the auditory presence of French; this was pretty funny when a French song came on the music in a restaurant...

But even that got to require too much brainpower, so now I'm listening to this and getting REALLY EXCITED about not having any time at all to finish my analyses. Sigh. Back to work.
tealin: (Default)
Last year I had the joy and privilege to work on Ethel & Ernest, an animated adaptation of Raymond Briggs' graphic novel about his parents. It is exactly the sort of animated film that would never get made Stateside, and exactly the sort of film I always wished I could work on, so you can imagine how chuffed I was to be a part of it.

It was animated, for the most part, by freelancers across Europe (mainly in the UK, but some elsewhere), and so the scenes were divided up in a way I've never experienced on another animated film: we each got a sequence, in whole or in part. My first sequence was the Christmas decoration scene, which takes place in the middle of the war, when young Raymond has been evacuated to the countryside.

Something else I've never experienced before was, whenever there was a question about how something should be interpreted, the director would reach over and say "Let's check the book..." No surer way to a girl's heart.

Here's the book:

And here's my sequence:

If you're in the UK, or have a way around geolocking, you can watch Ethel & Ernest on the iPlayer until January 26th or so; the rest of the world can get a Region 2 DVD from such online retailers as they wish (e.g. Amazon) – if you have VLC Player it'll play multi-region DVDs.

Of course you know what this means ... I am a content provider for the BBC! \o/


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