Saturday, December 27, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Peg Bar are looking for show reels!

Peg Bar are looking for show reels!

'It's a Peg Bar affair' is a networking event for animation artists, illustrators and sfx artists.

The collective who created Peg Bar saw a need for a networking event directed solely at the animation industry in Ireland. They began the project in July 2008 and have gained a lot of success from their first event in August 2008. Since their last event, they have started a blog with Interviews, podcasts and news of Irish animation/animator on top of organising their next event in January 2009. The Peg Bar collective is made up of Daniel Spencer, Anna O'Sullivan, Ben Hennessy, Lisa Scannell and Ben Harper and can be contacted at 'pegbaraffair(at)gmail(dot)com'

'it's a peg bar affair vol.2' is upon us. The venue and date have been booked for Friday 23rd of January, and the show will be opened by Eamonn Butler of Double Negative (HellBoy2, 10,000BC, and HarryPotter and the Order of Peonix) http://www.dneg.com/

We are now looking for show reels off artists.

What we need is a disc containing 2movie files of your show reel and a word document/pdf with your short bio, picture of yourself and cv., The two movie files should be an uncompressed version of your reel and a compressed version under 50mb of your reel(. avi or .mov)

If you are interested in sending us your reel, please email us at, pegbaraffair(at)gmail(dot)com and we will send you the full details on how to apply.

The deadline for received applications will be on the Mon 22th of December

interview with Larry Lauria




I'm sorry to Larry, but I have been so busy I have only got time to finish off this transcription recently.






Question 1



You spent a good few years in Ireland and worked on a number of important projects and in a number of associations that helped develop the Irish Animation Industry, on reflection, how do you feel about your work, lifestyle and achievements from your time in Ireland?


Em, I really enjoyed my time in Ireland and we accomplished some wonderful things. When I first went over there, I went over there without a job. I was going over to do some directing over there on the ‘Turtles’. I had a studio called the ‘Animation House Incorporated’ (to which Michael Lowry worked for me) out in Washington DC and I had done everything I could do in DC, so I was looking for new adventures so that’s how I got started thinking about Ireland.

I was going to go over there, to direct for six months and come back. I had some other teaching gigs planned so I couldn’t go straight away. But when it came time to go, the company lost their distribution contract and told us to hold on in the states. But we had sold our house and gave away our cars, so my wife and my three kids and I actually ended up going over there with just duffle bags.

We weren’t doing it for financial reasons, I mean the whole Ireland thing wasn’t a financial windfall for us, because when I first got there I was being paid as a second level teacher and when I moved to Dun Laoghaire, it was like a third level teacher, so it wasn’t like ‘oh my god, here’s an American on an American salary’, we were living on the Irish economy when we got there. We were doing it for the adventure and we thought it would be great for the kids to see the United States from the other side of the pond type thing.

So when we got over there, there was this fellow Dave Brain, who was working for the Disney programme in Dun Laoghaire at the time. Disney got a bit ancy because of the Gulf War and pulled out of Ireland. So we came over there, and I was talking to Dave (to which we had a mutual friend, June Foray, who was the voice of Rocky the flying squirrel). She told me that Dave was in Ireland, I gave Dave a call, and it must have been 2 o’clock in the morning in Ireland time, and he answered and said, I’m leaving in 3 weeks how would you like to come and replace me.

So we went over and Roisin Hogan, who was running the Dun Laoghaire programme, was on vacation and I wouldn’t have a job until she came back. We just thought we’d go over there for a month and if it doesn’t work out, then we’ve had this great vacation. Because we sold the house and everything, and had a bit of cash, we said ‘what the hey’. We were very much in our adventure stage to which we haven’t really gotten out of it since then.

As far as what we accomplished in Ireland, when I left the programme in Dun Laoghaire was going to be a filmmakers programme and I think that’s where Roisin Hogan wanted to take it. The one in Ballyfermot was really training people for the industry because of Don Bluth studios because Don Bluth needed so many people. He had a staff of over 300 so. I met Jerome Morrissey at the Annecy Animation Festival and it just happened, I told him I was looking for a job as I found out that I couldn’t get Dun Laoghaire, so it was do something else or go home. And we really wanted to stay in Ireland. So this other opening came up and I went up to coordinate on the Ballyfermot Course and when I left it was one of the top 3 courses in the world. Warner Bros said they would pick it as number one because of all the animation training and all the layout training. I think our big secret was we did a lot of life drawing.

I was teaching at a school here in the States and I left them a couple of weeks ago because they took life drawing out of their programme. They had some animation and layout drawing classes but they had no real drawing in the programme. So I said it was time to go from that school.



Question 2
When you left Ireland, how did you come about to get work in Walt Disney and did you enjoy your time there?

Em, yeah when I left, well, I only had to make one phone call to get the job. I knew it was time to come back and my kids were about to start high school and my dad had passed away. Even though I had two brothers and two sisters, four other siblings in the states, my mom really depended on me, or really wanted me back in the states. I felt like I really wanted to be back in the states even though my mother was west coast. I called Disney, I called Frank Gladstone and he basically said ‘where do you want to work?’. See, he had been over in Ireland and had seen the work and he knew what I could do. He said ‘do you want to work in LA, do you want to work in Paris or do you want to work in Orlando?’ I thought to myself ‘Paris, why didn’t ask me that years ago, that would’ve been great!’

He told me about the ‘Disney Institute’ and that they basically wanted someone like himself and I told him that 'I was him', someone who had an animation background and a teaching background. They were putting a resort together, and it was funny from a teaching stand point because you never knew who was going to walk in the door. It could be someone coming out of a theme park wanting to animate, or there where times where I would have a special class with 8 to 10 professionals coming in. So there was a really wide range, but luckily we had a diverse staff force to cover that.



Question3
You created the first Irish American Disney character, ‘Squash McStretch’, what was the inspiration to create him?

I think it was kind of like a homage, after being in Ireland for 5 years, my kids grew up there. A lot of things that my kids did over there, where transported back over here. My sons an actor now, and he took his first acting classes over in Ireland. My daughter is a horse trainer and she started horse riding when she was in Ireland. And my other daughter is a great scholar and loves books and literature and loves all the Irish literature so it was just Ireland really affected them and the whole family. It was great. There wasn’t any character that was an Irish character in Disney and they needed a universal character for learning with at the Disney Institute, so what we did was we came up with a few designs and I designed Squash and we ended up using him in a lot of exercises and then ended up putting him on pins and then making jackets for the staff with him on them.

We started selling Cell Painting kits with him and people would make different series with him and people would come back looking for the next series with Squash on them so. It was going really cool with him. Originally I was going to use him for a gaming character in Ireland, there was a fella there ‘Steve Macken’, he was head of the digital programme and we were going to do some work together. I think it was just my little tribute to Ireland and my 5 years there. The only thing I wish I would’ve done was painting, I’m really into painting now, and I wish I could’ve started my painting back then, when I was over there.



Question4
A lot of the associations in Ireland that you worked for, have gotten a recent reputation for being less animation accomidating than in the past. In the early 90s, how easy or hard was it to get animation projects off their feet?

I had the idea for ‘animagic’ and Eina McHugh was really the one who put it together. I had gone up to the cinemagic festival in Belfast and also they sent me up to Derry to do workshops. And the people up in Derry were asking me ‘why are you here?’, and the people were lovely. I would come back and people would ask me ‘Whats it like up in Belfast?’ and I was thinking ‘what do you mean, its not that far away’. It was amazing to me that people had never been up the North and in Belfast. And there was a lot of misconceptions on both sides to what each other were like.


So I had this idea and presented it to Drew Mauricey, who was head of Senior College Ballyfermot at that point, and to Eina McHugh who was head of the Northern Ireland Film Council. Enid put it together with Jerome, she got funding from the North, he got funding from the South and the project got started. It took about a year to put together and the same day the project was announced, the peace accord was also announced. And the peace held all the way through the project and the project ended in Decemeber and the peace broke that February.

We took all these kids from the south, and went up to the North and talked about everything, the problems, talked about animation and the animation was just an excuse to get them talking about social issues. So I said if everyone does 30seconds then we’ll be fine, we’ll have an 16 minute film. And we were really hoping the kids would do at least ten seconds of animation and we got back 30 seconds from everyone which we ended up having a 16 minute film about cultural aspects of Ireland. It was kind of like an ‘animajam’, where we took the last drawings off people and that was the next persons first drawing to start off their own sequence.

So when we came together to in a function room above a pub up the North (to which I found out later that there were two recent shootings in the pub) and when we put everything up on the walls we had this natural flow through everything. The project was great, its still the proudest thing, I’ve ever done, It was amazing because we had these kids who didn’t want to talk to each other and by the third day we had them jamming out ideas on how to solve conflicts together. They found out they were the same and had the same concerns as each other.



Question5
With the development in technology changing animation world wide, do you see any aspects or innovative ideas that animators and studios are going to have to adapt to in order to survive.

I like to look at Gobelin’s stuff because they have a great combination of 2d and 3d and look at their designs, they have great design. I think the Europeans do a better job at design styles and are of a higher quality in maybe being that little bit out there than just main stream western styles.

I’m not a big motion capture guy, thinking about technology here, I know lots of people who use it. Richy Baneham was one of the kids who came out of Ballyfermot, I say kid but he’s a big time supervisor in animation doing Lord of the Rings and Narnia. Maybe I shouldn’t say this but the actor was brilliant but without the animator to go in there and put in the weight and exaggerate the performance and have all that. I personally haven’t moved over to CG and I don’t think you have to be jockey on a computer to be a director of animation.

I don’t think Brad Bird is up to date on his computers but if you go and see his films and they’re all CG but all the animation seems to be 2d based and he knows how to tell a story and uses 3d the exact same way it would be animated in 2d. And that’s what makes his films stand out. When I saw the animation in 'Enchanted' and it was only a few snippets from James Baxters 'Enchanted', it seems so life like and so wonderful. And I think because it was made by hand by humans that it touches a few of the heart strings when you look at it.

I probably sound like an old fart but there is something about that goes inside you and pulls something extraordinary out of the audience. Until I saw the animation of someone like Nick Park, I never thought that those indepth emotions could be attached to clay animation. But going back to the technology thing, I think if you have the basics right then you can adapt it and bring those skills into any medium. People can watch feature animations on their cell phones, someday people will be able to watch animations in their belly buttons for all I know and I think tutors and animators are just going to flow and adapt as long as they have the basics.



Question6
Going back to your teaching career, and Larry’s Toon Institute that you have set up over the internet, what was the initiative for you to begin that project?

After the Disney Institute, in 1998, I decided I should have a website. As I started making it, it felt weird that I was just making a website for myself, so I thought because I’m a teacher and an animator I should put up some lessons as well. I started doing lessons and I guess the website became popular and I was fortunate enough at that time to talk to the folks at Animation World Network and in their interest they came to me and said they’d host the website if I would be a moderator on one of their forums.

I’ve been with them for like nine years now. So with the website, I just kept on putting down lessons and I think theres about a dozen lessons and then what came from that is a project called ‘animation fundamentals’ in collaberation with Digicell and myself. Its basically getting affordable lessons out there for the whole world to see. I know there’s thousands of people who pay 3 – 6 grand for tuition in animation. I just put down a number of lessons for 20 bucks each and within the lessons you get 2 or 3 videos and 4 or 5 handouts and then you can buy extra tuition with me. Like I get paid a thousand dollars every talk I do, but I’m not trying to do that here, I’m trying to get affordable lessons out there so that folks around the world can have the animation basics. I’m trying to start with Junior High and then get into High School and then College. And because there are so many people working with computers now I don’t want them to forget about the artistry behind animation and get the basics in them.

All I can say is they’re lovely and basic lessons that apply to everything in animation and also affordable so that my thing. So its http://digicelinc.com/

Friday, November 21, 2008

Double Negative to open the show!

Double Negative to open the show

Peg Bar are happy to announce that Double Negative will be sending over a representative to open the show on the 23rd of January. Double Negative are a London based company, their work includes animation on such blockbusters as Hellboy 2, Batman:The Dark Knight, Harry Potter and the Order of Pheonix and 10,000 BC.
Double Negative, located in the heart of London's Soho, was set up in 1998 with a team of 30 staff. Since then the company has grown to 450+ staff. Through our growth we have always sought to retain the creative drive and involvement of our artists through all projects, ensuring that they have a close collaboration with clients. This approach ensures films both small and large receive the same high standard of creative and technical service.
check out

Friday, October 31, 2008

peg bar needs financial help

The next 'its a peg bar affair' has been planned over the last few months and we have a date and venue for the event. We need sponsorship for advertising, as well as funds to help us grow our abilities, our options and our mission.

Last time the event came out of our own pockets. This time it is not viable to hold the whole event financially on our own, so we need help and sponsorship.

Our main goals, this time around, are to expand our advertising and promotion, create a website to establish a constant presence and to create a useful contact tool between artists, their reels and companies. These goals are among an overwhelming list of goals we wish to accomplish.

Again, the organisers will be working for free and will be keeping tight financial books for all to see.

If you can help, or know someone who could help.....please give us a shout at

pegbaraffair (at) gmail (com)

exhibition of Norman Teeling's work and others

Norman Teeling worked as a background artist on two feature films with Don Bluth Studios. Experience also came as a background artist for Fred Wolf Films, producer of many successful TV series including Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles known as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the USA Zorro and The Fantastic Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor. Teeling traveled to Norway in 1996 to develop his first animated feature film, Gurin with the Foxtail. Work was also produced for several animation studios in Germany and Italy. Additional work has appeared on RTÉ, the Irish state TV broadcaster, and his creation Fearless Film was produced for Children's Television, Dublin.


He is having an exhibition in Gallery 4, Sandymount next monday week if anyone is interested in going.


Keep up to date on Norman's website http://www.normanteeling.com/ and Gallery 4's website http://www.gallery4.ie/


Norman recently had an exhibition in the GPO with paintings about 'the rising', his paintings can also be seen on his website.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Interview with Siobhán Ní Ghadhra of Telegael

Question1
With near 2 decades of history behind Telegael including a number of prestigious awards, how have you guys adapted to change within the production of film and animation, has it been easier or harder in recent times to take on animated productions?

THE GLOBAL MARKET IS CHANGING CONSTANTLY AND OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS IN PARTICULAR, THE NEED FOR INTERNATIONALLY CO-PRODUCING HAS BECOME HUGELY IMPORTANT. THE AREA OF BROADCASTING HAS CHANGED SO MUCH, AND GONE ARE THE DAYS WHERE A BROADCASTER WILL PAY FOR A SERIES IN IT'S ENTIRETY. I FEEL PRIVILEGED TO BE ABLE TO WORK WITH PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD AND TO WORK TOGETHER AS A TEAM TO CREATE AMAZING ANIMATED SERIES. THE HUGE ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY ARE OBVIOUSLY EXTREMELY IMPORTANT IN ALLOWING US TO WORK LIKE THIS.

Question2
How does Telegael manage to keep work going on out in Spiddal? Being decentralised, what challenges do you have to overcome?

THE SETTING OF A COMPANY IS BECOMING LESS AND LESS IMPORTANT AS TECHNOLOGY ADVANCES. WE HAVE THE ADVANTAGE OF ONLY BEING 10 MILES FROM GALWAY CITY. MANY OF OUR INTERNATIONAL CLIENTS IN PARTICULAR WHEN THEY VISIT US, FIND US COMFORTING AND ENJOYABLE IN AN OLD BUILDING IN A SMALL COUNTRY VILLAGE!

Question3
Teaming up with other production houses must be hard, how do you keep strong and friendly communications going through all your partnered projects so that the projects don't fall to pieces? and how many projects does Telegael enjoy in development at any one time?

WE ARE LUCKY TO HAVE EXPERIENCE IN DEALING WITH PARTNERS IN IRELAND AND INTERNATIONAL. WE HAVE A STRONG POLICY OF DELIVERING A VERY HIGH STANDARD TO OUR CLIENTS AND OUR TRACK RECORD IS VERY IMPORTANT. WE WOULD BE WORKING ON UP TO 10 PROJECTS IN VARIOUS STAGES AT ANY ONE TIME.

Question4
Do you have any exciting productions in development that you would like to tell us about?

WE HAVE A PROJECT ENTITLED "KATIE & ROOKIE" WHICH IS A PRE-SCHOOL SHOW WHICH WE HOPE TO MOVE INTO PRODUCTION IN 2009. GIVE THIS LINK A MINUTE TO UPLOAD http://www.zero-capital.com/pages/Katie.pdf

Question5
When producing a lot of children's productions, how do you reach the 'global kid' of today and what considerations are put in place for the level of humour and education you guys are targeting?

IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT PROJECTS HAVE INTERNATIONAL APPEAL BUT THANKFULLY, KIDS TEND TO BE PRETTY MUCH THE SAME THE WORLD OVER, WITH THE SAME VALUES AND INTERESTS.

Question6
What has kept Telegael in business through such a creative and competitive industry? How do you feel you guys are going to pan out within this much talked about recession?

TELEGAEL WORKS ON A VERY TIGHT BUSINESS MODEL AND THIS HAS STOOD TO US. LIKE ANY COMPANY, WE HAVE OUR UP AND DOWNS BUT HAVE MANAGED TO STAND THE TEST OF TIME.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Interview with Stephen Silver








On our first round of short interviews I was delighted to make contact with Stephen Silver, the man behind the character development of Danny Phantom, Kim Possible and Clerks animated series. You can check out Stephen Silver's work on his website http://www.silvertoons.com/







1. Stephen, you are renowned world wide for the characters that you have developed, when did you start becoming interested in art?


Not sure about the renowned world wide, but I think a lot of people who are fans of art and animation may know of me. I became interested in art at around the age of 6. I always drew but then started taking it seriously when I was about 18.

2. You started making money with your drawings by making caricatures in amusement parks, how did you transition yourself from those days in the parks into Warner Bros and the animation industry?


I believe that caricatures and character design are one in the same. It is all about shape variation. It kind of happened over night for me. I simply put together a portfolio, contacted someone I knew at warner bros. They dropped off my portfolio and within weeks I got a call.


3. What were your influences within cartoons that have got you into the profession of character development?


All my influences were illustrators. once I was in the industry I started learning about the animation artists and then they became influences.


4. You have been within the animation industry for over a decade now, you have worked really hard on some outstanding projects and played a major part in character design, in reflection, how does that feel, how do you feel you are doing and what do you think lies in the future for you?


It feels pretty good having been an artist with a passion and all I wanted to do was draw and then people noticed. I love what I do and right now get the opportunity to just do it out of my home studio. For the future, I plan to keep on teaching my online character design course at https://www.schoolism.com/ and I want to keep on doing what it is I do, CHARACTER DESIGN.


5. What keeps you motivated within the business of art and animation while operating your own business, working for big companies and on top of all the other projects you participate in?


I would say, the pure love and enjoyment of drawing. And on top of that"STAY HUNGRY" It is a very exciting career, it always changes, new challenges all the time and on top of that it is a creative field and you can do whatever you want to do, create whatever you want to create as long as you don't procrastinate.


6. Have you got any projects in the pipeline that you can discuss with us?

None that I can discuss at this time. The only thing is that I am doing lectures at schools and teaching.








Thursday, August 14, 2008

our first event

Hey guys, thanks to everyone who came down on the night, we really appreciate it. We hope to keep growing and reaching new goals in the future and hope to see you with us all the way. here are some of the pics from the night.