Annecy Festival 2019 Highlights #Recap





Annecy Festival took place last week and we were once again stunned by the beautiful surroundings and incredibly fueled by the fantastic line-up of speakers and screenings that spanned the week-long festival! (Even if it did rain just a bit!)

Our Dublin studio recruitment team, Roisin McIntosh and Carolina Custoais along with our Manchester studio artists, Erica Lack, Giedre Kaveckaite and Bill Gordon, headed off to the festival and got to meet with some potential candidates eager to become part of the Brown Bag team, both for Dublin and Manchester, at the Annecy Recruitment Sessions.

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“After landing in Geneva on Monday we were met by some really intense torrential rain! Luckily, Annecy looks just as gorgeous in any weather!

Carrying a little umbrella with you is a good idea - the weather can be pretty unpredictable!”

- Giedre Kaveckaite, Art Director, Brown Bag Films Manchester

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“On Monday evening, Manchester and Dublin Brown Bag teams met up for a catch-up and of course, cheese!”

- Giedre Kaveckaite, Art Director, Brown Bag Films Manchester

Jennie Stacey, Erica Lack, Darragh O'Connell, Stephen Kelley, Bill Gordon & Giedre Kaveckaite
Jennie Stacey, Erica Lack, Darragh O'Connell, Stephen Kelley, Bill Gordon & Giedre Kaveckaite

“An important thing to know when you attend Annecy is that you need to become a logistics pro. Often official meetings like pitching sessions or recruitment happen at MIFA at the Imperial Palace by the lake. It's a 20-minute walk from town. So if you have meetings and then plan to attend a screening afterwards, you need to strategize how to pull it off. You also need to leave yourself sufficient time for travel. Taxies are at a premium and the Annecy shuttle runs only periodically.”

- Bill Gordon, Series Director, Brown Bag Films Manchester

/images/labs/Annecy-Festival-2019-Recap-036.jpg Roisin McIntosh and Carolina Custoais arrive at Annecy /images/labs/Annecy-Festival-2019-Recap-011.jpg Carolina Custoais at Annecy /images/labs/Annecy-Festival-2019-Recap-023.jpg Carolina at our Recruitment Sessions booth /images/labs/Annecy-Festival-2019-Recap-003.jpg Roisin McIntosh at Annecy /images/labs/Annecy-Festival-2019-Recap-008.jpg Bill Gordon setting up Day Two of our Recruitment Sessions booth /images/labs/Annecy-Festival-2019-Recap-033.jpeg Giedre Kaveckaite and Bill Gordon getting the all important swag bags ready

The MIFA recruitment space was located in a room in the Palais overlooking the lake so it was certainly a room with a view!

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The candidates who were from a variety of backgrounds shared some of their work with us and we were lucky to see some great talent!

“Wednesday kicked off our recruitment sessions. We met with candidates from all over the world with a wide variety of specialities, skills and experience. We hope that these new connections will add to our growing Brown Bag team in the near future. It was great to see all these new and budding talents!

Erica and I also attended a speed recruitment session organised by Gobelins animation school. The dedication to their craft and level of talent is really outstanding. Some of the candidates have worked on this year's winning feature film 'I lost My Body', which I really recommend watching if you have the chance!”  

- Giedre Kaveckaite, Art Director, Brown Bag Films Manchester

Brown Bag Dublin Recruitment Manager Roisin McIntosh spoke at the “Master Your Career in Animation/VFX” panel and highlighted some of the artwork from our studio along with a peek at our show Sadie Sparks!

“Despite the rain on our first few days, Annecy was a glorious experience. The panel I took part in with the NYSAD was such a great opportunity to hear graduates' queries and a great reminder that all of us recruiting in this industry feel the same pain points and hold the same values in the majority when it comes to hiring the best talent. It was a great opportunity to participate. In our recruiting sessions, we met with some really strong talent who I sincerely hope to be staying in touch with in the future.  Looking forward to next year already.”

- Roisin McIntosh, Recruitment Manager, Brown Bag Films Dublin

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But it wasn't all work and no play for our attendees! Check out some of our highlights:

“One thing that stood out for me at Annecy was a place called The Captain's Pub. It's kind of the unofficial meeting place for Annecy attendees. It's a tiny old pub in Old Town Annecy but in the evenings, it's packed. People gather out in the street and near the canal. If you want an unofficial meeting with someone, you can just say, “see you later at The Captain's Pub!” and they will definitely know what you mean. It's a place where you're just as likely to meet an industry executive as you are to meet a new animation grad. Everyone knows The Captain's!”

- Bill Gordon, Series Director, Brown Bag Films Manchester

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Bill tries out some VR inbetween recruitment sessions

“Between recruitment sessions and answering emails we tried to squeeze in as many talks and panels as we could! It's always fascinating to hear how other studios and productions approach their creative processes and what new and exciting projects and innovations are happening.

We were lucky to have scored entries to some fantastic panels and speakers. Our first one being a preview of Disney's 'The Owl House' created by Dana Terrace. We had an awesome opportunity to see how the project was developed from the pitch to the final artwork and even got to see some final snippets of the animation before the show airs next year!”

- Giedre Kaveckaite, Art Director, Brown Bag Films Manchester

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“We got an early preview of the upcoming Monsters Inc TV series, called 'Monsters at Work' while the creators walked us through the process of adapting a beloved feature film for TV screens and what challenges it presents.”

- Giedre Kaveckaite, Art Director, Brown Bag Films Manchester

/images/labs/Annecy-Festival-2019-Recap-030.jpeg Attended The Walt Disney Company: Monsters at Work studio focus /images/labs/Annecy-Festival-2019-Recap-054.jpg /images/labs/Annecy-Festival-2019-Recap-024.jpeg Erica Lack & Giedre Kaveckaite get swag happy at the DreamWorks studio focus /images/labs/Annecy-Festival-2019-Recap-026.jpeg Enjoyed hearing about exciting projects from the DreamWorks team

A little word of advice: If you are trying to book tickets to events and screenings, I really recommend getting onto the Annecy app or website the minute they launch - the demand is high and even with a ticket, you need to line up about an hour or so earlier to get into the event! In general, be prepared to do quite a bit of queuing, but it's totally worth it and is definitely part of the experience! Make sure to say hi to the people standing around you too - you never know what new connections and opportunities it might lead to!”

- Giedre Kaveckaite, Art Director, Brown Bag Films Manchester

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“The panel I was looking most forward to was Genndy Tartakovsky's 'Primal' and it did not disappoint! Gorgeous animation, done by studio La Cachette in France, and a mature, dark story really demonstrated the versatility of animation and it's relevancy for older audiences. It's also taking the artistry of TV animation a little bit further and is a fresh approach that I haven't seen in a while.

Genndy's early works (Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack) were one of the biggest inspirations that led me to pursue a career in animation, so it was a little bit surreal to meet the man himself in person!”

- Giedre Kaveckaite, Art Director, Brown Bag Films Manchester

/images/labs/Annecy-Festival-2019-Recap-027.jpeg Attended Genndy Tartakovsky's Primal /images/labs/Annecy-Festival-2019-Recap-028.jpeg Giedre got very lucky with an autograph from the fantastic Genndy!

“Cartoon Network's studio focus was packed full of fantastic advice and techniques on how to tackle comedy in animation. Mic Graves, Series Director and Writer on Amazing World of Gumball, gave some detailed breakdowns on the writing and storyboarding process,  how they approach jokes and comedy and ensure it translates well on screen and caters to many different tastes!

The Steven Universe panel with series creator Rebecca Sugar also focused on the creative process and how storyboard artists, in this case, write and board episodes at the same time, which is pretty unusual! Going into more detail and the reasoning behind certain story points, design elements and what future holds for the Steven Universe!

We finished off our festival run with some highly anticipated screenings of Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4, which were both shown for the first time outside the Burbank studios!

Did you know - before every screening there is a tradition of flying paper planes onto the stage and clapping if they successfully land? And that's not all, if you see a rabbit on screen, you must shout out 'lapin' which is French for rabbit! It's quite impressive when a big crowd gets involved.”

- Giedre Kaveckaite, Art Director, Brown Bag Films Manchester

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We also caught the ‘Edutainment: How Do You Create a Cartoon for Educational Purposes?’ panel which the fantastic 9 Story Chief Creative Officer Angela Santomero took part in! The panel discussed how animation can be used as a learning tool, something Angela is not only familiar with but has successfully done with shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Blue’s Clues and most recently, Charlie’s Colorforms City.

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Creative Director Darragh O'Connell hung out with the awesome Dean DeBlois (How to Train Your Dragon) at the Annecy Academy soirée!

Director Dean deBlois & Brown Bag Films Creative Director Darragh O'Connell
Director Dean deBlois & Brown Bag Films Creative Director Darragh O'Connell

“The highlight of Annecy for me was definitely the Academy soirée on Thursday night. It was a beautiful evening and we had the opportunity to meet/greet with some animation industry big-wigs. There was high-end catering, and an open bar and there were attendees from all over the world.

Animation veteran Bill Plympton was there, as well as VFX guru Marlon West. I had a chance to meet and talk to Dean DeBlois, director of the “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy.  Also attending was Academy Award nominee and director of The Breadwinner, Nora Twomey! It was fun to be part of such a cool event and to see how well attended Annecy Animation Festival is!” 

- Bill Gordon, Series Director, Brown Bag Films Manchester

 

And of course, we enjoyed the picturesque location! 

“All in all, Annecy Animation Festival is a real animation hub, offering a lot of insight into the inner workings of a studio and production, exclusive previews, chances to connect and network with professionals while surrounded by fantastic mountain views! It really helps ignite the creative spark in everyone :)”

- Giedre Kaveckaite, Art Director, Brown Bag Films Manchester

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A big thank you to Annecy Festival for yet another great event, we are counting down the days to next year already! ;)


Anahita Tabarsi

Anahita is Brown Bag Films' Digital Marketing Manager and drinks more than five coffees a day...

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