for The Making of Longbird - Will Anderson (director and animator), Donald Holwill (producer) Will Anderson, Ainslie Henderson, Vitalij Sicinava (writers)
Foot tapping foxtrot palm court music fills the theatre space. The screen holds a cloudscape with a hoop of a moon hinting at a host of possibilities. And these possibilities come from the work of four recent graduates of Edinburgh College of Art’s Animation Department: Clare Lamond, Vitalij Sichinava, Ainslie Henderson and Will Anderson. The free but ticketed short events that preceded other events in the Manipulate Festival were introduced by leading Scottish animator and EIFF programmer, Iain Gardner.
Ainslie Henderson’s tale of a man trying to find his singing voice through his (literally) inner child told through the stop motion technique with Henderson’s stylised yet incredibly humanised waxy figures is sensitive and very funny. The dried mouth voice over was poignancy itselfand Alice Bodgener’s miniature costumes immaculate. The children’s song The Witches of Halloween will never be the same again! The film has already had worldwide screenings and is the winner of multiple awards.
Will Anderson’s The Making of Longbird uses a mix of Super 8 and digital to create a vintage and modern reality in his brilliantly funny and surreal salute to the fictional Russian animator Vladislav Alexandravich Feltov. Anderson is present but not prominent throughout the some- time split screen technique where a long necked mouthy bird stars. This gem has already won a Scottish BAFTA and has been nominated for BAFTA. The world of awards is a complex one but for new graduates to already have the word BAFTA on their lips is pretty wonderful.
There was a discussion on 09 February among former head of animation at Edinburgh College of Art, Donald Holwill and photographic artist Tobias Feltus hosted by Iain Gardner. While much of the talk was esoteric it was nonetheless interesting. Holwill spoke of the importance of collaboration and pooling and this is evident in the film credits and the positives of his idea that ‘…everyone should live in an art college environment at some time.’ is evident in these short films. I was unable to see All that Glisters by Clare Lamond and Tea Party by Vitalij Sichinava but it was a privilege to view this standard of talent in animated film making.
8 & 9 Feb, 6.05pm