I've been very busy working on layouts and colour guides recently. I finally tweaked all the colours to my liking, they are final! And I am learning to maneuver around in Corel Painter which I recently purchased.

Right now I want to plug the amazing Larra Skye, indie Canadian jazz singer/songwriter. I got to work with Larra last year on music for my animated short; Pickled. She was an absolute pleasure to work with from the first meeting to the last. I am so grateful for her passion and dedication. I know she has been working really hard on her second album, (when not touring around North America to play gigs). I got to listen to a rough cut of one of her demos; Pull Me In last year at our first meeting in August. Now you can listen to that and Grain of Sand on her facebook page. I hope you do. Her music is sultry, jazzy and smooth.

Please check Larra's webpage and her donation page. May 24 I believe is the deadline for her donation goal.

AuthorAndrea K Haid
It's a gothic twist-ending love story.

Met with my songwriter today!!! It went amazing. Can't wait to hear what she comes up with.

Here are some tips from my brother Dan (a composer and DJ) on collaborating with musicians for film:

1.) Even though it is the musicians job to write what you ask for, you can't expect the musician to create anything outside the limits of their abilities. If you're working with a jazz musician, then she'll probably only be best at writing jazz.
2.) The musician may also be limited with instruments. If you want real instruments, like piano or guitar, then it can get expensive and difficult to record them all. If you're okay with synthesized instruments, then it will be easier to add a fuller (yet faker) ensemble of instruments.
3.) When talking to the musician, be careful when using words like "beat", "rhythm" "melody" etc. A lot of musical terms can have different meanings depending on the context, and it could make the musician confused. Try using non-musical words to describe what you want, like "cheerful" "nervous" "fast-paced" "panicked" etc.
4.) Always keep in touch to see how things are going. Musicians are flaky sometimes, so they might forget about the deadline if you don't stay in touch often through email or phone.
5) Most importantly, a film-musician is just like an actor. They take a lot of pride in their work, and can get sensitive when it comes to criticism and comprimise. So if you lay out your expectations as clearly as possibly from the very beginning, and don't change your expectations throughout the project it will go smoother. If you don't give the musician a clear precise outline of the music you want from the beginning, the musician will not be pleased when you say that you want them to do something different than what they started.
AuthorAndrea K Haid
It looks like I am going to have some time to make this story idea of mine into a film at last! My husband has been hired by an animation company in Australia so I'm going to finish up my contract at Elliott Animation and then we're going to both head out there to live for a year or so. We're waiting on our visa's right now. My current work contract goes until late November and I'll move in early December. When I move there I plan to focus on creating storyboards and a leica (animatic) as well as backgrounds for this short film. I can do freelance or find a part time job on the side if I like. Until then, when I'm not packing up every belonging I own, I will be prepping my film. I've gotten ahold of a Toronto jazz singer songwriter and I'm meeting up with her in a couple of weeks. Her name is Larra Skye and she's fabulous. And really professional. And very nice. I have some rough lyrics right now and I need a musician to collaborate with to craft that into music. I also contacted an artist about doing some character designs. When I thought about who in the world I would want to work with more than anyone on my film I thought of Deanna Marsigliese. I asked if she would work with me and was thrilled that she said yes! Deanna was in the year ahead of me at Sheridan and I've always admired her beautiful work.

Here's an image by Deanna:
Vespa by Deanna Marsigliese
While looking for some musical inspiration I searched for some images of jazz and here are my 3 favourites:
logo at All that Jazz and More's website, a jazz band for hire
a music inspired painting by: Nancy Peacock
Jazz Face by Ryanselow

AuthorAndrea K Haid
Without music and sound effects, movies would be lifeless. I feel that animation and music are a perfect match.As far as animated musicals go... they have been done perhaps a few too many times, or maybe some animated films are musicals that shouldn't have been. Personally I love a good musical. Recently I've gone through a few artistic phases, basically where I get really hooked on a artistic medium and I think this is due to an artistic frustration... I've got creativity dying to get out of me and I have never created or found enough time to really express that the way I want to... by making a short film. My last hook was that I wanted to write music. Though that would be wonderful, to be able to write music and get out some ideas, it would take me years and years to be able to do. And it wouldn't be something I would pursure professionally either. So maybe in the future I will pick up an instrument and learn a little more, but for now I've tried to put that creative urge to use. Upon reworking the Pickled Perfection script, I tried to write it as if I was writing a song or a musical of sorts. I've got 'lyrics' and I can feel a very definite pacing of the whole thing. I hope I can get it to work... I'm going to need to find a composer to work with who is a match for the project and will feel rewarded by working on it. My brother composes and I am hoping he will be interested... Until I find someone I am letting the rough outline and script stew in my mind. I find it very difficult to critically look at your own work while it's still fresh.

A singer/musician I recently got inspired by is Jenny Lewis. You can listen to some of her songs on her myspace page. I often try to listen to new music and learn about artists I don't know much about.

Here are some very rough design ideas I got out today:
AuthorAndrea K Haid