seeing our little film, at least on the second day of the festival. In other words, very proud to announce that we got selected for Thinking Football festival in Bilbao.
A postman knocked on my door theses days to propose a little exchange: my signature against his promising looking envelope. Ok, at first it didn’t look that appealing and I was rather trying to remember any acts from my part, that would justify that amount of paperwork. But quickly it turned out the nature of the shipment was entirely positive. The dear people of ANIMA, Festival International de Animación de Córdoba/ Argentina had sent a catalogue. How takes the pain of sending catalogues for a 12 minute appearance in the world panorama section these days? Well, they do! And even better, the catalogue is a box of many dozen of postcards as you can see. Funnily we share the postcard with David Buob from my hometown Dresden. Cheers David and many thanks to Argentina.
Sorry to misguide you, no coincidence set us close to the ceremony at the Dolby Theatre. Still Watching the Ball won a nice little price with a long name just a couple of days before the Oscars- Brazilian international student animation festival “Animarte!” gave us the first prize for best professional sport film.
Very proud about the prize and very sorry to be in freezing Berlin instead of summery Brazil.
While WTB is nowadays a widely known abreviation for Watching the Ball, many are unshure what FCB stands for. Some opt for Feedback Control Bypass, wile others think of obscure football clubs like FC Barcelone or FC Bayern. And there is also the FC Basel, which will be in focus at the starting day of football film festival Flutlicht in Basel on friday, 15th january. Which takes us back to WTB, that will be screened two days later in the shortfilm section of Flutlicht.
Certainly among the top teams in soccer, Brasil is now also among the screening countries for WTB. Short film festival animarte! is dedicated to animation films and student audience and will screen in December Brasilian and International shorts in Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba. It would be so nice to be there, but unfortunately it’s just so much “not around the corner”
Here’s the device to make time travelling finally come true: the TT200+1x: Continue reading
Sarajevo, great hometown of the well known Ivan Ramadan (or vice versa) hosts each year the most important film festival of the Balkans. Which makes the vibrating city for one week even more buzzing. Very handy to know an approved local guide to it’s bars and night places. Btw, Watching the ball was screened at noon, as only animation film at the Bosnian shortfilm section with some hundred people in the audience. Glad to be there!
Happy to announce the south american premiere! As part of the world panorama slot our story of football and desaster will be screened at Anima Córdoba in Argentina in september. And we will also be in Russia at Krok Festival and in Greece (3rd festical in Greece) at Be There in Korfu! Be There:)
Watching The Ball is selected for Cartoon Club Award which is a part of the Cartoon Club Rimini from 17th to 20th July in Rimini/Italy. Yeah!
Astro Turf instead of the usual red carpet and a coaching bench in front of the cinema. Welcome to a festival that’s all around watching the ball in cinema
As quite a view people of the crew are from Berlin, the festival was a nice opportunity to gather and rehearse positioning for a good wall. Ready for the next free kick…
In an epic struggle against sensory overload of their visual cortex, the audience at Athens Animafest Animation Film Festival 2015 will face Watching The Ball (among approximately 250 other animation shorts) at the Marathon section from 26th to 31st of March. Know your limits and don’t forget drinking (water, what else…..)
Finally: Five years (!) after the first meeting we come back to the point of origin and celebrate the completion of Watching The Ball and the great hospitality of Filmfest Dresden and the Exchange Forum. Big Thanks to Annegret Richter and Lars Meyer for their restless support during the years.
At Dresden the film is part of the programme “Cinema Roulette”(Thursday, 16th April 2015) which will be screened in a former casino and betting office with a unique character.
We are happy to announce the screening at the 10th edition of 11mm Football Film Festival in Berlin on friday, 20th march. If you happen to be in the city from 19th to 23rd march, you really should consider attending a show or an event at this very nice blend of cinema and football.
and please find the astronaut:)
Tomorrow Watching the Ball will be screened at the animateka Festival in Ljubljana / Slovenia!
World Wide Premiere of Watching The Ball during 57th festival “DOK Leipzig” in Germany! In the section of International programme the film was screened together with fine Belgian, Italian, Estonian, Swiss, Australian, French and German Animation. Many thanks to the wonderfull team of DOK Leipzig for the nice festival:)
After 4 years, 5 month and estimated 27 days we will premiere the film at DOK Leipzig. We are really happy to show the film for the first time at world’s oldest festival for documentary films with their renowned animation programme. Looking forward to the 29th october…
No time for ping-pong:( While sound postproducion facility Basis Berlin features exquisite possibilities for playing table tennis,we were far to bussy using it’s equally superb features for sound mixing to make Watching the Ball a real aural candy. After spending two days in the mix we left very pleased, with a farewell match on the table.
A new championship has finished yesterday and Watching The Balls animator Till Lassmann from Hamburg / Germany comments about the German win:
A preview of a new scene where the astronauts escape from a big meteorite- and discover they missed the only goal in the match. German composer Henning Schärfke contributed the atmospheric waltz to the scene.
The character of the old football coach got a new graphical makeover. Vid Rajin gave him more depth and edges and you can compare both version in the picure below.
Till Lassmann made a great effort to give life to Dave and his dog which will show up as the last scene of the film. This short clip shows the setting and timing, the animation of Uros Krcadinac in the TV is yet missing. Probably we finally need to find a name for the dog…
An animation test sequence of Iron Man, demonstratin his key powers: changing clothes in an eye wink, entering any room through the window and acting totally stupid…
Here is a quick first animation test with the newly layouted football fans- or rather with one of them. The sound is just a layout, featuring Marracash First Session Orchestra ‘s frontman Joe La Baloue.
For the match- part of Watching the Ball we will have real football, championship-class football. Unfortunately the original players weren’t available so we will go with some slightly simplified characters (24 drawings is a lot of penwork). But how much simplyfying is best? That’s the question of the moment.
With the first animation tests done, it is time to do something about the look of the prison, namely add more atmosphere and shadows to it. Here is some steps and tests. Enjoy!
As a result of the last meeting in Arnstadt we changed the animation technique of the Prison-story. It is now animated in stop trick, opposed to the previous classic 2d-drawing approach. It goes without saying, that the layout of characters and set changed a lot with this decision. Here is sketches that show the development of the characters from the start on.
He spends most of his days inside with his memories and his TV set. Oldie is an elderly man with some health issues but a big enthusiasm for football. Being a coach for many teams himself in the past, his small flat is packed with reminiscences to the past. This is some steps in the process of the character layout from Vid Rajin.
We are working on the design of the football fans for the monster-story in Watching the ball. After a current break in the city, rioting football fans become so intense in their rage that they form a monster and doom is at hand. But how much individuality do we allow the fans that become part of something else? That’s the main question we are trying to find out in the layout drafts.
There is actual historical basis for the film, the match between the Dutch and Spanish team in the championship finals of 2010. But how to transform the actions of the match into animation? To find the best shots and framing we are working with 3d animation for camera positioning. The images below show some test for the 82nd minute of the match, where Dutch player Robben fails kick the ball around the Spanish goalkeeper.
Arnstadt is a nice town in the middle of Germany. Katre Haav and I met here to work on the prison story (-actually we changed it almost completely while we were at it..). Now we have a streamlined NEW prison story, NEW Characters, a slightly new ending. Needles to say, that also the style changed, subject of a different post (with pictures!).
The Berlin-based foundation Nipkow Programme awards Martin Kleinmichel a fellowship for the development of Watching the ball. Martin will spend his residency in Berlin to prepare the visual storytelling for film and to get everything ready for production.
The end of the year sees pretty much all the team meeting up in Cologne. For three days we go through storyboard, animatic- and the bars at night:) Having the first time everybody together since Filmfestival Dresden is such a good feeling, after almost 20 month of endless skype, and mail-talks. After a long weekend everyboday heads home full of inspirations and never thought before bowling skills. And we are almost ready to start production….
One year after our first meeting in Dresden, a part of the team is back for the 10th annual exchange forum where participants of the nine precedent years gather. Beside the busy festival schedule and the programme of the exchange forum we steal some time to meet and discuss aspects of the respective stories- and have a walk on the hills surrounding the city.