That said, I still tuned out completely out of habit.
So, on to the projects.
The morning opened with the trailer for The Three Robbers. This looked lovely to me. Traditional 2D that looked like 3 Men and a Baby with thieves. They were pitching it as a television show but all of the footage came from a feature version that they had made first. I have never seen the feature but some people there who had said it was excellent.
There was some thing called The Troubadours that was a whole bunch of real live kids dancing around and the odd shot of a 3D character. Is that a cartoon? Well, I'd say no. I didn't go to the presentation. The next one wasn't all that different either - Badly Drawn Roy. Based on a short film that is actually pretty funny, it's about a cartoon boy living in the real world. So it's mostly live action. It was Irish and all seemed very, well, local. Oirish. I imagine it will play brilliantly in their home territory but I'd be iffy about the rest of the world. And, though he may be 'badly drawn', using what seemed like first year animation student studies to illustrate him didn't impress me. BBC loved it though so what do I know.
There was a trailer for a thing called Claude from Folimage that was fantastic. It was this four-eyed monster thing just waiting for toast to pop. And then it did. A very understated trailer but one that I loved and I regretted missing the presentation. But I did miss it.
Then there was that Monkey Fist. The 3D looks pretty good actually and the style is like a fleshed out Gorillaz copy. But it's several years too late. It will take at least two years to make it to air and by then, well, I'm sure we're all praying this kung fu bandwagon is dead.
But the project that totally and utterly won the Cartoon Forum for me was one called Stories About Francis by a German company called Ogglies. The trailer was genius. This is what it looks like -
It began as the most insipid derivative cack. This curly haired boy called Francis gets bullied by bullies (who else?). They call him a girl over and over. Then his friend turns up and she joins in. What a bitch! So here they are all calling him a girl. Then the moment of genius - Francis screams "I am not a girl!" and drops his pants. I spat my coffee all over the table. Those wacky Germans. I loved it. Totally won the Forum for me.
There was nothing worth mentioning in the afternoon projects. I feel sorry for those who got allocated that slot because a lot of people had already left. It's the same every year.
And that was the Cartoon Forum Ludwigsburg. 60-something projects in three days. Many more if you count all the ones sitting on the laptops of the wandering producers.
Next year, the Forum is off to Norway. That should be nice.
In the next day or so, I'll give you my Bitter Animator Cartoon Forum '08 Awards. Sure, it's just the first year of these awards but I think they'll be highly prestigious at some point.