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At the Animation Show of Shows, I asked amazing animators about their next films

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Tonight I went to The 13th annual Animation Show of Shows, a program of short animation from around the world (including a lot of likely oscar winners). It tours around with it’s host, Ron Diamond (on facebook.)

This was a members-only event by ASIFA, the animator’s association, thanks to it’s generous organizer, Karl Cohen. Members-only means: if you pony up a measly $25 for a year’s membership, every month you get this kind of quality event free, AND a cool newsletter full of original content that isn’t on the web. I almost avoid talking about it, because it’s like a cool secret. It let me walk a few blocks up the street to hang out at Dolby labs, say, “hey there’s a pantsfull of Emmys,” see a show, and meet some of the world’s best animation film makers. Free.

Here were the films with their directors present tonight:

  • Luminaris, by Juan Pablo Zaramella – Argentine pixellation of a city, using available light to animate it’s shadows and the people in it. They chew up marbles like gum, and blow them out as lightbulbs.
  • Wild Life, by Amanda Forbis – A droll story of proper englishmen on the Canadian frontier.
  • Paths of Hate, by Damian Nenow – An air battle between two WW2 fighter pilots, whose dedication to destroying each other lives after death.
  • Romance, by Georges Schwitzgebel – A classy Swiss film of hand-painted dimensional zooming shots, set to Rachmaninoff.
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    After the show, I asked them: what do you have in mind for your next films?

    Juan Pablo: Nothing yet, just little ideas…
    Damian: Nothing yet, just little ideas… and I’ll concentrate on getting commercial work.
    Amanda: Nothing yet. Well, I’ve been toying with a little idea about something in black and white… but I’ll look for commercial work.
    Georges: a 3:00 film to celebrate the 300th birthday of the philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

    Of 12 films, my favorite not represented in person was Journey to Cape Verde, by Jos̩ Miguel RibeiroРa Portuguese travelogue, like an animated sketchbook. It made me really happy to see how full of life and personal the sketchbook art was. I noticed that the island setting (which was studied by Darwin) connected in a tiny way with Wild Life (which quoted Darwin)- just a little trivia.

    As if it wasn’t exciting enough to see such good animation, as the show was being introduced, a 3.8 earthquake rattled the Dolby theater and made the chandeliers swing.

    2 Responses to “At the Animation Show of Shows, I asked amazing animators about their next films”

    1. Enjoyed your comments on last night’s show. The only bone of contention I have with what you said was abut JOURNEY TO CAPE VERDE. I have sat on several juries where we have watched that film and although it is visually stunning I always get the feeling that it is a student travel log of his holiiday and not a strong story.
      Of course, anytime you are a critic you are only writing an individual opinion but that is mine. I think that there were stronger films on the program.

      • pat says:

        Thanks, Nancy! I’m with you on that. Cape Verde wasn’t necessarily my favorite (just my favorite not represented in person)… or the best film… it just gave me a lot of joy to watch. You see, I find making an animated film to get excruciating towards the end- the delayed gratification and wanting it to just be done, months or years after coming up with the initial idea. The best part for me happens after it’s done. Not so for sketchbook art. It feels very direct to draw, scan and post like my last blog post here- and I could feel that enjoyment coming out of every frame of this film. It felt like the maker had a great time making it directly and personally. That’s the part that struck a chord with me. Picking a best film to me is like trying to pick the best food. A film like Paths of Hate had so many more levels of polish and technical beauty that I couldn’t even tell how it was done, so it felt a little more removed, but I found it to be stunning as well.

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