Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Saga of Bjorn - bad pitch, great film

Now and again I teach animation classes at the wonderful Animation Workshop in Viborg, Denmark, a school which I think offers one of the very best English-speaking undergraduate animation courses in the world. The school has a great spirit, marvellous dedicated staff, and produces excellent work. A couple of years ago I was working there as an artist in residence when one of my students, Benjamin Kousholt, pitched me his idea for a student film. It was all about Vikings. "Oh no..." I thought, "here we go..."  Vikings? (yawn) Going to Valhalla? (double yawn). I thought: When will these Danes stop banging on about Vikings? It's like the Norwegians and their forest trolls - time to stop digging through the cultural attic in search of antique furniture and do something new.

How wrong I was. Benjamin and his team of animators and visual effects artists put together one of the best student films I have ever seen. It's beautifully designed, well animated, very funny, and has over a million hits on YouTube. I salute their hard work and a wonderful result. - Alex