ROSS MURRAY PRESENTATION
The constituent member of the Cartoon Saloon Studio Ross Murray will present the work of the studio, Irish production and distribution, and position of an independent animation studio in it.
At the turn of the 20th century, the signs for the recognition of Irish animation consisted of the fact that the market was filled with small independent studios producing commercial films in order to be able to finance more original, artistically ambitious projects, while at the same time maintaining the high standards of their commercials. Later on, many of these studios disappeared.
The survivors, however, still have a prominent voice in determining the character of contemporary Irish animation. Cartoon Saloon is one of these studios. During the last five years, its position has changed from that of a provider of internet animations, e.g. for the food company Knorr, to that of a producer of television commercials with a distinctive authorial style for both national and transnational agencies /DDB, IIBBDO Dublin, FCB Chicago/.
At the same time, the studio gained a position as a trustworthy and popular production and co-production base, respected also outside its domestic territory, creating design and animation for films and television series. Among the most successful television commissions is Skunk Fu!, a series about anthropomorphized animals engaging in martial arts. Amusing though not pushy, the series employs humor to pass on the basic pillars of the moral creed to child viewers, not underestimating the under-age consumers nor resigning from cultivating their taste. For that matter, Skunk Fu! was awarded the prestigious IFTA /Irish Film and Television Award/. Authorial short-length animated films are also produced here.
The human base of the studio is represented by four people; the director of the company and producer Paul Young, directors Tomm Moore and Nora Tworney, and the manager of the studio and producer Ross Murray. Besides their work in the studio, they all participate actively in the Irish art scene, for example, Ross founded and still runs the Irish international festival of animated film Feile Beochan, held annually in Kilkenny, the base of Cartoon Saloon.
In the recent past, the studio, with its philosophy of artistic and technical experimentation and the search for new, effective approaches to creativity, has won awards and respect at an international level. The film From Darkness by Nora Tworney received positive critical acclaim as well as viewers' appreciation, while the currently post-production feature length debut of the studio Brendan and the Secret of Kells is an event of great expectation.
The main subject of the presentation of the studio by Ross Murray consists of the explication of his philosophy of creativity, the demonstration of the methods and principles employed and the naming of the position of the studio within both national and transnational context of contemporary animation.