The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

Schedule Changes - Sunday

Please note that the schedule on Sunday has changed ever so slightly. We are starting 10 minutes earlier in the morning so we can extend the lunch & AGM session. It's not too early for a Sunday morning but you might have to behave a bit at the party!

Sunday 11th July

Food, Drink & Sights

We like our maps! We've put together a live Google map showing recommended bars, restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops around Edinburgh College of Art. We've tried to pick locally run establishments where possible and also places that we think delegates will enjoy, including pubs with good selections of real ales, and whiskys.

Obviously there's no getting away from chains - so if you're desperate for a fix of Starbucks for some reason you won't have to look too hard. Edinburgh likes its bars, so most of them also serve food. Check out the descriptions in the larger map for a few more details, such as the great selection of food from our friends at the Filmhouse cafe bar.

View Animation Evolution 2010 - Food,Drink & Sights in a larger map

The map also shows some sights that attendees may like to visit (not during conference hours, obviously). Some of these are near ECA, like the Grassmarket and Royal Mile, while others require a bit more effort, such as climbing to the top of Arthur's Seat or Calton Hill. Perhaps save that for the Monday morning!

Map of Venues and Local Area

We've produced a map that shows the locations of the conference venues, as well as the accommodation that can be booked through the conference website, and some selected local transport links. Hopefully this will help delegates plan their visit. This map will be reproduced in the conference programme, and the delegate pack will also include a city centre pocket map.

(click on the map for a larger version)

Conference Venues
1. Edinburgh College of Art
2. Filmhouse Cinema
3. The Rutland – The One Below
4. The Counting House

5. Hotel Novotel
6. Premier Inn
7. Mercure Point Hotel
8. Apex City Hotel
9. Fountain Court Apartments – Harris
10. Fountain Court Apartments – Morrison
11. Fountain Court Apartments – Grove
12. Fountain Court Apartments – EQ-2

13. Edinburgh Waverley Train Station (Taxi Rank Inside Station)
14. Air Link Bus Stop (Direct Buses to and from Edinburgh International Airport)
15. * Bus Stop for No. 45, 23 and 27 – to Edinburgh College of Art
16. * Bus Stop for No. 45, 23 and 27 – from Edinburgh College of Art
17. + Bus Stop for No. 45, 23 and 27 – to City Centre, and No. 35 from Edinburgh International Airport
18. + Bus Stop for No. 45, 23 and 27 – from City Centre, and No. 35 to Edinburgh International Airport

* Due to ongoing roadworks in Edinburgh for the new tram system, some bus routes are being diverted. At the moment bus stops 15 and 16 above are currently not in use, and services are diverted along Waverley Bridge adjacent to Waverley Train Station and the Air Link terminal. However, by the time of the conference it is expected that the bus routes will have returned to normal.

+ Lothian Buses Number 35 runs direct from Edinburgh Airport to Edinburgh College or Art. The 35 is a normal city bus that departs every 15 minutes, takes approximately 50 minutes, and has limited luggage space, Attendees may prefer to travel on the Air Link bus, which has departures from the airport to the city centre every 10 minutes and takes about 30 minutes to travel to the city centre. Combined travel time is similar for both options.

Map image © OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA. For more information please visit the websites and

Guest tickets for social events

We know that several delegates and speakers are traveling with partners/guests/spouses who are not attending the conference, so we have arranged a special guest ticket for all of the social events so they can join us in the evenings. (assuming they want to)

Tickets cost £25 and will allow the guest access to the screening at the Filmhouse and the reception at the Rutland on Friday night, and the party at the Counting House on Saturday night. The tickets must be ordered in advance (for numbers) by Friday 2nd July at the latest and are limited to guests of registered attendees only.
Tickets must be paid for in cash and can be paid for and collected from the conference registration desk.

You can order them by contacting me at

see you soon!
Nichola Dobson
Conference Chair

Final Reminder: Animation Deviation

13 July 2010
 Bower Ashton Campus, University of the West of England, Bristol

The final programme and full information for this one day symposium at Bower Ashton Campus, Uni of the West of England, Bristol, is now up on the Animation Deviation website:

Participants include significant animation theorists, experimental filmmakers, and new media artists and researchers in the UK and internationally.

Keynote speakers are

Alan Cholodenko - University of Sydney
Editor of The Illusion of Life: Essays on Animation and The Illusion of Life 2: More Essays on Animation 

Nicky Hamlyn - University for the Creative Arts 
Film-maker and author of Film, Art, Phenomena.

Esther Leslie - Birkbeck College, London 
Author of Hollywood Flatlands, Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant Garde; Walter Benjamin: Overpowering Conformism; Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry and Walter Benjamin.

Other presenters include Birgitta Hosea, Paul Wells, Susan Sloan, and Rose Bond.
Registration fee is £10. Book and pay via the symposium website. Cash only will be accepted on the day if places are still available.

Vicky Smith and Patrick Crogan,
Film Studies Research Group,
University of the West of England

Scottish Animation Network – Retrospective

Friday 9th July 17.30
The Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road

To herald the beginning of the 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies, hosted in Scotland for the first time, the Scottish Animation Network proudly presents a retrospective of the best and most diverse Scottish animation. The selection represents the range of talent and production facilities that have been nurtured in Scotland over many years. Featuring short films, TV commissions, advertising and the avant-garde, these short subjects will make you laugh, cry, reflect, cheer, applaud and if you happen to hail from Scotland, they will also make you proud.

In short, this screening has something for everyone to enjoy and celebrates everything that the animation sector in Scotland has to offer. This special compilation of films is to be shown at Edinburgh’s Filmhouse.

The screening will be followed by a drinks reception at The One Below, The Rutland Hotel, just a few minutes walk away. The reception from 19.00-21.00 is sponsored by Scottish Development International and will give delegates the chance to chat to some of the filmmakers in a relaxed setting.

Information for Speakers

Though you are welcome to bring your own laptops there will be PCs supplied for your presentation, which you can bring on CD/DVD or USB stick.

If you are using powerpoint or similar, where possible please email your presentation to the conference chair in advance (by Monday 5th July at the latest); if doing so please also bring backups on USB/disc.

All presenters note that while we will do our utmost to meet AV needs, we cannot guarantee the equipment so please have a backup plan for your paper presentation.

The technical specs for the rooms are as follows:

Lecture Theatre:
PC, with office 2007 (powerpoint etc), Internet access (on ECA PC), leads for own laptop, Mac connectors, data projector, powered speakers, Region 2 DVD player, Pal VHS player, Europe region Bluray player.

Laptop (PC) with office 2007, mac/laptop connectors, powered speakers, Internet access (on ECA PC), data projector

Board Room:
Laptop (PC) with office 2007, mac/laptop connectors, powered speakers, Internet access (on ECA PC), data projector (DVD players can be provided for J05 and Board Room but we must know in advance)

All rooms will be made available 15 minutes prior to your session; please use this time to set up and test any equipment, in order to avoid any delays in session times.

Please note that as the conference schedule is so busy we will be trying to keep to time as strictly as possible.

Convergence Panel

Saturday 10th July
11 - 12.30 (lecture theatre)

Animation is facing new opportunities and challenges in a number of areas including technology, education, exhibition and industrial changes. The nature of animation is questioned as live action increasingly embraces CG while the games industry is often at the forefront of digital animation techniques. With all of this in mind this panel will examine the nature of convergence of the animation industry with games, discuss new avenues of exhibition while querying the challenges of traditional broadcasting, and discuss the impact of these changes on the next generation of animators. In the midst of this, theorist increasingly battle apparent changes in the very definition of the form when the newest Hollywood releases rely heavily on digital effects, without acknowledging their animatedness.

Confirmed Panellists:
Gregor White – Abertay University (Chair)
Helen Jackson – Binary Fable animation studios.
Martin Fisher – Visible Ink
Dr Caroline Ruddell – Queen Mary’s University College

With support from the University of Abertay Dundee

Delegate offer from publisher SAGE

Some of you may already be aware of the Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, published by SAGE and edited by SAS member Suzanne Buchan.

The kind folks at SAGE have offered our conference delegates free online access from today until 30 September.

You can link to the free trial here

Paul Wells - Closing Keynote

Paul Wells has provided an abstract of his closing keynote paper to get you in the mood:

Another Fine Messi : Animation, Sport and Theorising Fascination

As the Society for Animation Studies Conference collides with the World Cup Football Finals, animation and top class sporting action once more vie for attention, each provoking the other to find out what brings them together – both the epitome of consciously created motion for a specific, pre-determined purpose, both a language of expression for a particular gaze.

Football’s own ‘professor’, Arsenal’s manager, Arsene Wenger, recently described Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi’s dazzling performance against his team in the Champions League quarter finals, as that of a ‘Playstation’ player. This is not the first time that animated figures have been cited as a way of thinking about sporting practices, ranging inevitably from critiques predicated on ‘cartoon’ humour through to acknowledgements of the relationship between animated choreographies and the lyrical beauty of sporting activity.

Perhaps more importantly, and less recognised is that sport has been intrinsically bound up with animation right from its outset. Arguably, Arthur Melbourne Cooper’s animated matches playing volleyball and cricket in films made in 1896 are the first extant animated films per se, and inaugurate a history of sporting animation which plays itself out, for example, through British topical cartoons, Goofy’s sporting response to the radicalism of Warner Bros’ and MGM shorts, Anime’s preoccupation with baseball and sci-fi, arthouse engagements with sport and memory, and the gender-sensitive sporting representations in global advertising.

This paper will address this history, seeking to determine how execution and expression in animation and sport come together, and may be theorised by seeking out the fundamentals and fascinations of ‘the sporting animus’, and how this in turn may provide tools by which to articulate why animation and sport are so similar, attractive, intense and emotionally provocative.

Bus Deals

An update to the travel information has been added. Edinburgh Convention Bureau have negotiated special rates on the Airlink buses and on Edinburgh Bus Tours.

Please follow this
link to book your print at home tickets.

Though the schedule is packed, if you have extra time you might want to check out one of the tours, but no skiving off!

More information coming soon....