The American pilot Amelia Earhart once said, "Obviously I faced the possibility of not returning when first I considered going. Once faced and settled there really wasn't any good reason to refer to it". It's true, having committed in your heart to leaving a place for an indefinite amount of time, thinking about the possibility of returning just seems like a waste of energy. This is the beginning of a new writing project, to contribute an ongoing blog to the Animation World Network, but for us, it's also the beginning of another daunting adventure. In the next couple of months, as we develop a home here at AWN, we're going to be relocating in the real world too.
Right now the two of us are split between Wales and England in the UK, either teaching or working commercially on animation and games projects. It's been a strange year here in the old country, and the recession has carved a deep trench for many people. Animation, games and advertising design are all feeling the squeeze, and companies are taking stock and beginning to assert themselves slowly. In the midst of these stormy seas, an opportunity surfaced.
We had been touring around the animation festivals over the past year, Ottawa, Annecy, Stuttgart, Bradford, and several more. At the F5 festival in Germany, Dave was invited to talk about the degree in animation at Newport School of Art, Media and Design where he teaches. It was a fantastic opportunity to situate our work amongst representatives from China, France, New Zealand and America. You know the colleges, and probably the people; Eric Riewer from Goeblins, Leo Hobaica from CalArts. It was an honour and a privilege to frame the work of Newport in such illustrious contexts.
But there was a real lack of representation of Australian material at F5. While Australia plays host to some really amazing directors such as Adam Elliot and Darcy Prendergast, and also Malcolm Turner's incredible festival, we felt that we, personally, hadn't encountered Australian animation, or games, or advertising design in any significant way during our time here in the UK. And so a job came up to teach animation in Australia, and we think it looks good. Dave goes for it and gets it, and so it's the thing we want to talk about most right now.
The question everyone asks, 'why Melbourne Australia? What's wrong with London?' is a thorny but illuminating one. I think some of the answers, cut to the core of what we want to talk about here on this shiny new blog.The Parallax View! What better place than the exact opposite side of the planet to get a new vantage point?
Australia may lack the large scale institutionally recognisable animation or games industries we find in the UK and America, but has responded rapidly to the growth of new indie scenes, and as such has a vibrant indie games, illustration and animation culture.
We think that anybody working in any of our related media -- animation, games, advertising design -- need to take seriously the huge growth of audiences and markets in Asia, and in particular China. Japanese animé has been going through something of a renaissance in recent years, and it has been largely bypassed by festival programmers in the West. Our new proximity to Japan is exciting.
We're putting our combined efforts into this blog, and so we hope you'll come back regularly and follow it as it grows over the next few months.