"Rogue Farm" is an animated film that's
coming soon to STV and
Grampian TV. It's an adaptation of Charles Stross’
Sci-Fi tale focusing
on a weird and wild future, where rogue creations
are running amok,
destroying farms and land, and generally doing odd
things. The cautionary
tale features lurking creatures, bleak landscapes,
talking dogs, and bitching
bodysuits - "Mechas" - straight out
of "Aliens" as well as an otherworld
oddness all of its own. The 24minute enterprise was
Machinima Pro, and the result is an eerie piece
all-Sci-Fi, and really rather fascinating.
"Rogue Farm" has been touring the festival
circuit over the last few months,
prior to its TV engagement, and it was nominated
for Scottish BAFTA last
year. Producer Alan Jenkins tells us that
the film took just 5 months to make,
and that he and his company are using its success
as a springboard on to
other series and film ideas from their Edinburgh
The film premieres here in Scotland, on STV and Grampian
at 11pm on
Thursday April 7th. But never fear, those of you
south of of the border -
or anywhere else, for that matter - will soon
be able to buy it on DVD
direct from the
Rogue Farm web site...
"Planet Sketch" is an all-new toon concept
from Aardman Animation and
Decode Entertainment that's coming soon
to CiTV. It's being billed as a
rapid-fire, high-energy production with a cast
of recurring characters
- which sounds a little like an animated version
of "The Fast Show".
Exact details are still - er - "sketchy"
at the moment, but included in the initial
line-up of 13 x 11mins are The Gnaughty
Gnomes, who like to play sneaky
pranks on passers-by, The Soppy Street Rappers,
who are actually quite
wet when no one's looking, and The Nose-Picker,
a girl with a very particular
bad habit. Others to look out for are The Bickering
Babes, Dr. Insoaur and
The series features a blend of CGI
animation and 2D Flash. It was actually
given the greenlight back in October 2004, and
now six months on, the
Powers That Be are beginning to fanfare
its imminent arrival. CiTV have high
hopes for the toon, which they believe will "revolutionise" the
genre (ie: inspire
a shed-load of copycat commissions). It all sounds very
intriguing, and we'll
find out quite how "revolutionary"
it will be when it premieres
Look up in the sky! - But mind the poop, because
instead of Superman,
we in the UK are about to get an eyeful of Vanguard
Unless you've been living in a pigeon coop this
last week, you can't
have failed to have notice the film being promoted
all over the media.
"Valiant" follows the avdentures of
a plucky British wood pigeon in his
bid to rise through the ranks and become
a fully-fledged carrier pigeon
for the allies, during WWII. The film opens wide in
the UK on 25th March.
And it deserves a rousing fanfare because it's
another of those extraordinary
rarities, an all-British toon, filmed at Ealing
Studios. And not only that, it's
a CGI toon - so it gets a double fanfare
Much of the tv publicity has focused on voice
stars Ewan McGregor and
Ricky Gervais - the former concurrently promoting
his role in Blue Sky's
"Robots" and the latter using the moment
to talk about his imminent new
projects. And "Valiant"s timing is intriguing,
coming so soon after "The Magic
Roundabout" and clinging to the coat-tails
of "Robots". On top of that
we also have The
Incredibles scaling the DVD charts, with Barbie's Fairytopia
Zino and the Snurks also making CGI noise. Whoever
coordinated the release date here has surely gone
"Valiant" looks like a bit of fine-feathered
fun. But - oh - that timing is a
worry. It's also caused some interesting cross-promotion
let's face it, pigeons simply aren't lovable things
- even CGI ones. Right now, the stars are beaming proudly on
the front of boxes of Weeto's,
which does make you think again about the contents.
So will this chicken run, or will the pigeons
bomb? - The early
are certainly very encouraging...
"Broadcast" recently ran a very interesting
interview with Gerry Anderson.
The big man is currently flushed with the critical
success of his new CGI
"Captain Scarlet", and in the course of his
chat with the trade, he set out
his stall regarding his career, the ill-fated
"Thunderbirds" movie ("Everybody
hated it, not just me"), and his plans for the
future. And it's this latter piece
that's most intriguing...
According to the interviewer (Emily Booth), Gerry
wants to follow the
Scarlet reworking with another tv series - quote
- "either another remake...
or something entirely new".
Now that's news to get fandom frothing. What series
be next? "Thunderbirds" has been and seemingly
gone and "Joe 90" is
currently tied up in a developing
feature film. Then there's "Stingray", a
top series but somewhat mired to its Sixties trappings,
with all those
underwater races and machines - though it is still
very popular and would
look fab in CGI. "Supercar" too, is a tricky
one to upgrade. "Torchy" and
"Twizzle" are quite dated now, "The
Secret Service" is probably just too
eccentric, and away from the puppets, "U.F.O."
must be a contender,
but it shares so many themes with "Captain
Oh, and let's not think about "Terrahawks".
So what does that leave? Well Fireball
XL5 could be a doozey, if one
can ensure it stands apart from the recent "Dan
Dare" revamp. And an
all-new take on "Space 1999" could be
better still - scientific faults
aside. Indeed I'd hedge my money on the latter. It's screaming
a CGI upgrade. "Space 2099" - Why hasn't it been
A chuffing disc (09.03.05)
"Ivor the Engine" has been languishing in
the top left-hand corner of Wales for a
chuffingly long time, whilst all around him, treasured
series have been appearing
as handsome DVD editions. But now, SmallFilms
fans everywhere can brew
up a cuppa, kick back, and wallow in the wonders of
theMerioneth and Llantisilly
railwaybecause Ivor, Jones, Dai, Owen and the Grumbly and District
Society will be steaming in to stores from April 4th,
of 4 Front video...
"Ivor the Engine" was the very first
SmallFilms series, originally filmed in black
and white in 1959, but remade in colour
fifteen years later. Oliver Postgate and
Peter Firmin drew inspiration from the works
and words of Dylan Thomas and
the show is steeped in "Welshness".
Choirs, coal smoke, dragons - Ivor's got
the lot and more. The muted colour pallette
and clouds of colliery smoke
bring a certain melancholy with them, but
Ivor's world is never dreary, and
above all, there's a glorious coal-fired
heart at the center of the show that
still warms the cockles, all these years on.
know, I've said it many times, but a webmaster's work is never done.
This site has constant niggles which need attending
to - new links, links to
remove, corrected info, additions and amendments. And
these all go on top
of the day-to-day running - news updates, new
pages and site sections.
Now I can handle all of that with a whistle and
smile, normally. But this month
hasn't been normal because, in spite of high alert
firewall and Internet settings,
bang up-to-date virus definitions, Ad-Aware software, Mailwasher
Washer programs, Antispyware and a fully-patched XP
something - or one - managed to bring my computer to
a crashing, grating
halt last week. Was it a virus, or trojan, or dodgy
software? - Heck, I still
don't know, but to cut to the chaff, I had no
option left but to reformat
the hard drive and reinstall the whole caboodle
Fortunately, I had backed up my site files just
twenty-four hours earlier.
Unfortunately, I'd forgotten to save the numerous
emails and addresses
from my mailbox.
And that, folks, means I've just lost a whole
stack of news, contacts and
info that's pertinent to the site and its content.
I'm now having to guess my
way through what's missing and - piece by piece
- put it all back together
again. That's why this month's updates have slowed
down, and why I'm
sitting here now, gazing out at the Monday morning
sun and wondering
why on earth I bother...
Ah, but then I remember. The buzz of new info.
The excitement of some hot
new animation that's "coming soon".
And the very flattering feedback I get
- and I get a lot, gawd bless you. It's very humbling
to be appreciated like this,
and it always encourages me to get back to my
keyboard and start tap,
tap, tapping away again. So hopefully, come Easter,
there should be a wave
of new additions to the site - new series indexed,
info, news, and more of
those older pages updated at last.