Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dance Like a Monkey wins

You might recall the AFF trailers from 04 and 05 involving an animated Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway, they were both animated by Austin animator, Dano Johnson. Since then, he has gone on to form Collection Agency Films with producer Troy Campbell where they have done animated ads for Kinky Friedman's campaign and an award-winning short called Tall Tales and Other Big Lies (based on a story by musician Ray Wylie Hubbard). Tall Tales can now be seen on the Frederator podcast and has also been recently adapted into a comic book.

As if that wasn't enough, they also did the video for the New York Dolls single, "Dance Like a Monkey" and it recenly took home the Best Animated Video Award from the Bradford Animation Festival.

Dano is also animating a new adaptation of Edwin A. Abbott's novel, Flatland.

Below is the "official" word on the big win....

Austin's Collection Agency Films Collects UK Animation Award

“Dance Like a Monkey” brings home

Best Animated Music Video Award from 2006 Bradford Animation Festival

Austin animation house Collection Agency Films won best animated music video at the 2006 Bradford Animation Festival in England on Saturday, November 18th. Their film, “Dance Like a Monkey”, is a music video for the New York Dolls' new album “One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This.”

Producer Troy Campbell accepted the award in Bradford, where he took a break from his European concert tour. “Everyone at the festival was so nice. I felt treated like a star!” The annual celebration of animation is the longest-running and largest animation festival in the UK“Dance Like a Monkey” was one of 5 animated music videos in competition and was the only nominee from the United States. “A brilliant visual interpretation of the spirit of the music,” said the BAF webpage.

Director and animator Dano Johnson received a text message from Campbell Saturday night that simply read, “we won! we won! you are a star here!” Johnson couldn't believe the good news. “I was pretty surprised, especially since we were up against great videos for the Gorillaz, Wolf Parade, and Smog. But this validates all the late nights of hard work. I'm incredibly proud of our talented team and I can't thank the New York Dolls enough for giving us this chance!”

The video came about when Troy Campbell's friend Darren Hill, manager of the Dolls, approached Collection Agency Films about doing an animated music video. After phone conferences with David Johansen, lead singer of the New York Dolls, Dano and Troy won their confidence with a humorous and satirical concept. Dano recalls, “When listening to the song, which has lots of clever references to the evolution/creationism/intelligent design 'debate,' I had the idea of monkeys in an evolutionary science exhibit breaking out and causing chaos in the museum, all to teach an intelligent designer to embrace her inner monkey.”

The video was animated early in the summer of 2006. Cameron Petri illustrated the main sets and characters, while Maura Murnane provided illustrations for the video's montage sequence. Dano Johnson animated and composited the video, while 'Heart of Texas' animator R. Don Smith animated David Johansen's simian likeness. Despite fatal computer crashes and sleep-deprivation, the video was a resounding success, eliciting approval from the label, the band, and fans.

“We're big fans of the Dolls, so it was incredible to be a part of their first album in 30 years,” Campbell remarked. “This video was so much fun to make. Who doesn't like dancing monkeys? And you won't see another music video featuring Charles Darwin, Pat Robertson, Dick Cheney, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster for a long, long time, I reckon,” says Johnson.

This is the first international award for Collection Agency Films. They won previous awards for their short film “Tall Tales & Other Big Lies” (Runner-up Animated Short, SXSW 2006 Film Festival) and their political cartoons for Kinky Friedman (2006 Telly Awards for Best Online Political Ad). Currently Troy Campbell is promoting his acclaimed album, 'Long in the Sun'. Dano Johnson is furiously animating an adaptation of the classic novel 'Flatland', which stars Martin Sheen, Kristen Bell, and various talented Austinites. Collection Agency Films is about to release a comic book, 'Tall Tales & Other Big Lies: the Stories of Ray Wylie Hubbard.' “Dance Like a Monkey” can be seen at various sites online, as well as on Austin's MeTV.

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