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Dear friends,

since a couple of months I am working full time on my new short ”Mia”, together with the incredible crew of Creative Conspiracy, in Gent. Though I could already show you several visuals and stuff, I would still like to keep them to myself. Don’t want to jinx what we got going. :)

But no worries, here’s something else I can finally share with you: the short animated sequences I directed for the Flemish television program ”Groenland” on Eén, made by production house Hotel Hungaria.

Together with amazing animator Matty Jorissen and Wijnand Driessen (Matte! Nande?) we made animated segments, each +-10 seconds long, that merged two different video items of the gardening program. Every week for 43 weeks, we made 2 of these segments, resulting in a total of about 14 minutes of animation.

The character animation was entirely made in Flash, though we tried to keep an organic and tactile feel to it. Backgrounds were hand painted on paper, with aquarel and pencil. Compositing was done in After Effects.
It was quite a challenge for us to deliver these pieces every week, for a whole tv season, in between other work. We’re very glad we pulled it off. Keeping the gags funny and/or original was our main focus, while staying in the feeling of the program in its whole.

Here’s a montage of some of the best moments. Watch full screen and in HD for more eye candies! Enjoy!

Hi buddies,

made a small illustration this weekend for my good Berlin based Belgian screenwriting pal Bert Vandecasteele. I have been working closely together with Bert these last couple of months, writing on the script of my new animated short, with the VAF Wildcard. It’s great sharing insights with him, brainstorming together, listening to him analyzing my script and picking each other’s brain. Makes writing so much more fun, compared to when I was writing alone on Mouse for sale. Here’s a picture of Bert and I next to the Berlin wall, when was in Berlin with my girlfriend for a week.

Here’s his website: http://web-epos.be/  and the reviews and analyses he makes: http://web-epos.be/reviews/

Bert submitted an exposé for a screenwriting contest and I made an illustration for the front page. It’s an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tail ”The Tinderbox”. I have also been involved in the development of the writing for a small part, which was great to get the feel for the atmosphere I had to create in the drawing. The man who owns the tinderbox sees a woman in the flame and finds her.

Here it is. Drew it first on paper and painted it in Photoshop. I am finally experimenting more with brushes, trying to get a more tactile painting.

Hi visitors,

a bit of a different kind of post but I wanted to do a shout-out to a friend and colleague of mine: Tom Van Gestel.

I met Tom during my internship at Walking The Dog in Brussels in 2009 where he was one of my internship leaders, together with Quartier. Both were my senseis not only during the time I worked at the studio, but also afterwards, during the making of Mouse for sale. They were always there to relentlessly comment on my work, tell me in all honesty how much it sucked and give me pointers. Never satisfied but with the best, they pushed me to the next level. I owe a great deal of the skills I have to these two guys. Both had intimidatingly good graduation shorts and my goal was to try to reach their level, one way or the other.

Now, working on my new short film, I’ve officially appointed Tom as my mentor. What made me want to have Tom as my backup are the following things: 1. He is really really picky about everything and will tell you in your face if he thinks something sucks. 2. When he tears something down, he will always give you advice how to build it up again, in a very straightforward way. 3. He is extremely talented, works like crazy and doesn’t make a big fuss about it.

Both Tom and Freek have been big examples for me in attitude and professionalism. So now, being able to work on the new film with Tom as my mentor and combining both our experiences and skills is just great.

Anyway, here are some examples of Tom’s work. Too bad he is busy working all the time and doesn’t post much of what he does online. (Can’t seem to find his graduation short or much of his older work.) What he most recently has been doing was the production design of the Dutch short ”The Monster of Nix” which was the animated short the Netherlands sent to the Oscars. Together with Freek, Tom did all the backgrounds (which were almost all matte paintings, with very little actual 3D in it, which they got to work somehow) and designed a lot of the characters and props. Every time he explains to me how he made what he made I am astonished about how mundane is goes about it. I’m just very glad I’ve got an example like him to pull myself up to and to keep learning from. Here’s some of his work I found on his blog http://tomvg.blogspot.com/ and grabbed from the trailers of ”The Monster of Nix”. At the moment Tom is directing an animated series ”Picknick with Pie”, based on the kidsbook by Thé Tjong Khing.

Enjoy.

Hi readers,

time for another post.

As described in the last post I was invited at the Film Festival of Ghent to participate at a debate about working abroad vs. working in Belgium, in the audio-visual business. That was a few weeks ago, but it was really an interesting and truthful discussion, everyone saying like it is. The group consisted of 2 studio bosses, a leader of a cultural/audio-visual concern, a teacher/freelancer, Frédéric Du Chau (director in the States for Disney), myself (starting freelancer/director) and Jan Verheyen (director in Belgium) as the moderator.

We talked about our experiences working in Belgium and abroad. Frédéric mainly comparing the American style of working with the European/Belgian style. It was great hearing first hand from him how things work overseas. He knows about both sides, which made him the ideal person to compare them. It was very inspiring to hear him talk about his path of life and how he fulfilled his dreams. How tough it was and how worthwhile it has been.

We also talked a great deal about education and school. That’s where I kicked in. We asked ourself a lot of questions, talking from our own experiences. Things like: is the gap between the graduating student and the actual industry too big? Is integrating students in studio’s (a bit like I did by doing extra internships) a good thing? How can we take students to the next level, during their studies? I really enjoyed the fact that people really said what they thought, even if it meant you bothered someone else by doing so. This made the discussion worthwhile.

I also had the chance to show my graduation short Mouse for sale to Frédéric and to get feedback from him. He said he was pretty impressed and said that I should go for it, if I was thinking to work in the States. It was a bit surreal talking about it and I said I would think about it.

But anyway, here’s a picture of the whole gang. Except for me, because I was on the toilet for 2 minutes the moment the photographer came by.. So far for my timing. So I drew myself in the picture as best as I could.

Here’s one with me in real life.

And one with Frédéric.

In every day life I’m still working on the new film. Going over it again and again and again. Have to get it right. More about that later.

Cheerios!
Wouter

Hi friends,

it’s been time for a new post since quite a while. So here it is. Here are some updates.

I’m working on my new animated short full time. Doing all the designs and fine-tuning the script, while being mentored by the übertalented Tom Van Gestel. It’s the first time that I’m giving the character and set designs such an important role, within the story and the look of the film. I really wanted to raise the bar, in comparison to Mouse for sale and play with styles and designs. Working on this is taking up most of my days. As always, it includes a great deal of struggles and trial and error. But the film is really starting to live and breath, which is really fun to see. Just keep on going, that’s the mantra.

Apart from the new film I’ve gotten the chance do short animated pieces for a program on the Belgian TV channel ”één” (= one). For 42 weeks I’ll be supervising and creating 20 seconds of animation, each week. It is part of a new gardening program called ”Groenland” (= Greenland). As a transition between the 3 big segments of the program there will be short animated pieces. These are 2D (flash animated and watercolor background) clips, where you see a drawn version of the host going from one set to the other, in an amusing way (or so we try). A good friend of mine who studied animation at the same school, Matty Jorissen, is doing the character animation. I’m doing the supervision and the painting of the backgrounds. I wish I could show you some of the results, but I’m not allowed to put it online. So you’ll have to do with the picture above. :) You can always watch the program on TV, every Sunday at 18h15, on één. Here are some pieces of the program online, though not including the animation: http://www.een.be/programmas/groenland

I’ve also recently made an overview of the festivals where Mouse for sale has been or will be shown. Might be fun to post it here as well:

Giffoni Film Festival 2011 (Italy),  Chicago International Children’s Film Festival 2011 (USA), Festival Int. de cinéma jeunesse de Rimouski 2011 (Canada), 13th Seoul International Youth Film Festival 2011 (South-Korea), Int. Art Film Festival for Children in Colombia 2011 (Colombia), 34th International Children’s Film Festival LUCAS 2011 (Germany), Kaliber35 Munich Int. Short Film Festival 2011 (Germany), 19th Filmfest Hamburg 2011 (Germany), Curtocircuito Santiago de Compostela ISFF 2011 (Spain), International Film Festival Ciné-Jeune de l’Aisne 2011 (France), Emmentaler Filmtage 2010 (Switserland), MCM Filmfest 2011 (The Netherlands), Anima 2011 (Belgium), Film Festival Oostende 2011 (Belgium),  Intern. Short Film Festival Leuven 2010 (Belgium), 14th Brussels Short Film Festival 2011 (Belgium), Het Grote Ongeduld! 2010 (Belgium)

It has become quite a list. I’m just really happy so many people can enjoy the film this way and that it can mean something to people who don’t even speak the same language as I do.

Other than that I’ve moved to Hasselt, about 20km from where I lived before in Genk. It was time for a change. So at the moment, I’m just working on these projects and trying to be happy.

Peace, W

Hey friends,

if you might be bored or have 10 minutes to kill, here’s an interview made by De Positieve Revolutie.

De Positieve Revolutie is an initiative by a couple of active people, who feel that’s it’s time for our school systems to give a bit more attention again to the individual talents of our pupils. Talents, other than listening to, remembering and reproducing information that is being given to them. A cause I feel is worth standing up for.

In this context, De Positieve Revolutie contacted me to do an interview and talk about how I became an animator and how the road to my passion looked like. Enjoy. :)

Here is another interview, of the Belgian actress Joke Devynck, which I found very inspiring. It really struck me how we say the same things a lot of the time.

During the year I was working on my short and the year before, during my internships, I always wrote down words I found that inspired me or encouraged me and kept them somewhere on my desk. I thought I could share these with you guys, so they can encourage you too, if you would need them to.

cheers
W

 

Here are a couple of older animated shorts I made at the Media & Design Academie in Genk, Belgium. Dating from 2006-2008.

Thought it was about time I’d share them here with you.. Enjoy.

So my year of internships at the animationstudios Walking The Dog and Sinematik (see also here and here) in Brussels are done. It was an awesome experience. So very valuable to me, in many many ways. I’ve met amazingly talented people, all with great personalities. They’ve all learned me so many things, not only about animation. A huge thank you to all those people that have taken me under their wings this last year.

At the same time I’m moving back home (to Genk), from my student-room (in Leuven). I had a great time over there as well, especially with all my friends of the student-house. It was good for me to learn to live by myself. I feel more mature now, but still with a fair dose of childness. ;)

I’ve got july and august off, before my last year of animation at school starts, in september. But I’ll be starting production for my animated short as soon as my new computer arrives. I’m planning on going full throttle with the 3D production starting 1st of august. The movie is due june 2010. The script is written and almost final. Almost all of the designs of the characters and backgrounds are done as well. Time to give birth to this baby!

Here are some (cellphone) pictures taken in studio Sinematik, on my birthday, 17th of june, when I turned 23. I got some pies and arrived extra-early to decorate the studio for an old-school birthday-party. :) I couldn’t find party-hats, so I just made a crown myself. They even gave me 3 beautiful french comic-books! Trop chouette. An awesome ending of an incredible year.

bdaysinematik_01

And this might just be the most pathetic birthday-picture ever! Haha, I love it. There were about 20 folks over there, they’re all standing behind the camera.

verjaardagsinematik02

Hello friends,

how are things? I just wanted keep you guys up to date about my whereabouts and activities.

February the 6th I’ve started my new internship in Brussels, in the animationstudio [sinematik]*. The studio is part of the French production company ”Blue Spirit” (situated in Paris and Angoulême). I’ll be staying there untill the end of june.

I’m working on a animated feature film(!!) called “Le Tableau” (=The Painting). It’s kind of a dream come true. Still don’t realise i am making a movie. So very excited about it.. Here you see the pilot that has been made in 2006: http://www.spirit-prod.com/site/le_tableau.html

At the moment I am the head of background modeling, which is totally insane. =) I feel very very flattered with all the responsibility that has been giving me. I am responsible for completely modeling a pretty important scene in the film. That’s all i can say.

Other than that I am still staying in Leuven. Doing Leuven-Brussels, Brussels-Leuven every day. I’m still working on my graduationfilm for next year (about the mice), but mainly on the inside of my head.

That’s all I have to say. There is much more I
could say, but this wouldn’t be the right place. =)

Here you see a bunch of screenshots I took from the pilot. Notice how the coloursceme goes from almost not saturared to very saturated. (All images and movies © Blue Spirit)

bye! Wouter

letableau_pilot_screenshots

here’s a sneak peak of my latest animated short:

‘Mijn leven als animator’ – ‘My life as an animator’

i’ll try to get it up here soon, or just ask me a dvd copy!

wallysketches?

Welcome to the blog of the Belgian animator called Wouter 'Wally' Bongaerts. This is where he puts his sketches, photo's and works in progress. It's kept simple for your pleasure. Feel free to roam around or contact him at wouterbongaerts@gmail.com!