ways to live forever: the film!

Last night I went to see the film Ways to Live Forever and got very excited about some of the low-tech animation in it. Here’s some more by the same studio, which I think fits in very well with Titus’s imaginative sketchbook world in When Titus Took the Train.

YouTube link

This was created by Spanish company Miopia Efectos Visuales, who made the special effects for Ways to Live Forever, which I saw as part of the East End Film Festival. Here’s Miopia’s webpage for the film, or you can watch some of the animation sequences right here:

Vimeo link

And here’s the website with loads of video clips about the makings of Ways to Live Forever, and the trailer:

YouTube link

I’ve been excited for ages to see the film because it’s based on the marvelous book of the same name, written by my friend Sally Nicholls. She wrote it when she was in her very early twenties, but it’s a masterpiece of combining comedy with hard life questions. It’s a real skill to make people laugh while they’re reading about a boy dying of leukemia, and it really pulls you into Sam’s world, his very good questions about life and death, and his attempt at a scientific way to find answers. (Read about Ways to Live Forever on Sally’s website. or on the Scholastic book website.)

Here’s Sally and her husband Tom in the lobby of West India Quay Cinema, where a bunch of us gathered to watch her film being screened. I tried to catch Sally pointing to Ways to Live Forever in the film listening on the screen, but unfortunately it doesn’t show in the photo.

Ways to Live Forever was made by a Spanish film company and hasn’t yet found a distributor in the UK, but I am so, SO hoping it does. This film’s amazing. Yes, a real tear-jerker, but it earns its tears. Robbie Kay and Alex Etel do a very lively and convincing job playing the two kids who bond in the hospital ward and Ben Chaplin and Emilia Fox do a great job playing the parents. (Here’s the IMDB listing for more details.) And there’s even a giant red airship! If you haven’t yet read the book, go do that while we’re waiting for the film to come out.

Sally and I first met when I was about to sign on with her agent (who then was Rosemary Canter). I was a bit nervous about commitment and went into overdrive to research her agenting work, tracking down at least five of her writers and illustrators and getting their recommendations. Sally was one of the first people I talked with; we met up over coffee and then just kept meeting up. (You can see past posts about Sally here, including a photo from 2008 of an airship, stars and some clouds I made for her book launch.

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