Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ASIFA-Atlanta Update, September 2008

I wrote this for ASIFA's members-only magazine. I didn't realize how much we'd done!!

I'm also realizing that this blog is slowing morphing into almost entirely ASIFA-Atlanta-related content. I'd like to post more Brett-related art stuff in the future. I think posts like the one about munnybrella is a good direction. We'll see!

Okay, here's the article:

ASIFA-Atlanta continues to thrive, thanks to our dedicated volunteers and the inspiring animation community in Atlanta. Since our last update, we've had three big events, and we have three more planned, in addition to our regularly recurring events- a weekly figure drawing class (run by Joe Peery) and the monthly Animators' Workshop at Manuel's Tavern, run by our Screening Coordinator Karl Sigler.

On May 26th, ASIFA-Atlanta had its annual "Roll Yer Own" event, which showcases locally-produced independent animation. This year was particularly impressive, featuring a wide range of techniques. For instance, we showed "Moviekiss: The Lite Brite Video", animated with a lite brite, "Knight vs Knight", animated on a TI-86 graphic calculator, and "Bee Bog", animated traditionally and composited with AfterEffects.

More films for "Roll Yer Own" included the music video "Code Monkey" by ASIFA-Atlanta webmaster Jennifer Barclay, and a brief introduction by ASIFA-Atlanta President Brett W. Thompson. Recent graduate Amanda Goodbread premiered her thesis film, "Curtains", at this screening. Two first-time local animators, Emily Kempf and Gary Eddy, showed their films as well. Two of the longer pieces, "Hitler's Brain" by Count Lear Bunda, local Adult Swim employee, and "24 Frames" by Brad Patullo (submitted on his behalf by Lee Crowe), were years in the making.

"Roll Yer Own" was very well attended- the Five Spot, our venue, was completely packed! We actually scheduled a second showing as a result. Many thanks to John Cason for the beautiful flyer that helped promote the show, and to ASIFA-Atlanta Screening Coordinator Karl Sigler for compiling all the films onto a single DVD, which is no small feat. For the second showing of "Roll Yer Own", we added one film, "Busted", by Matt Maiellaro. Although best known for this popular and amusing work on Aqua Teen, Matt's film "Busted" differs in its approach, featuring no dialogue and fluid, kid-friendly animation. Also special to the second screening, Gary Eddy performed his film's soundtrack live, singing and playing ukelele.

On July 14th, we showed Atlanta-produced commerical animation for another annual event called "Blowin' Smoke". Local studios showcased their best work and generously took the time to talk to eager animators seeking advice and employment. Atlanta studios that participated included Primal Screen, Radical Axis, Turner Studios, and 70/30; all of their work was impressive and inspiring, and we were very grateful to have several of the studio big shots in attendance (Doug Grimmett of Primal Screen, Craig Hartin of Radical Axis, Joe Peery of Turner Studios, and Neal Holman of 70/30).

One of the best submissions, an opening title sequence for a pilot called "Kupser", was from local animator Joanna Davidovich, who's great at design. Recent transplant Chris Miller also showed excellent, hilarious work, and locals Mark Smith and Laurence Laufer also showed commerical animation as part of the screening.

"Animation Attack!", part of the Atlanta Underground Film Festival, was a big success. We showed an animated feature at Lenny's, "John's Arm: Armageddon", and two blocks of awesome animated shorts at Atlanta's historic Plaza Theatre. Several of the films came from animators who were working on Superjail at Augenblick Studios in Brooklyn at the time.

Although all the films were amazing, we chose several to receive awards, including Aaron Augenblick's "Golden Age", which was given the highest honor of Best Animated Short. We gave Mathieu Labaye's "Orgesticulanismus" Best Foreign Animated Short, and Max Margulies and Naoko Masuda, who were in attendance from Philidelphia, received Best Student Animated Short for "God of Tears". We showed ASIFA-East member Tim Rauch's film "Germans in the Woods" which got Best Dramatic Animated Short. "Marvelous, Keen, Loony Bin", by Lizzi Akana, was a distinct audience favorite, and "Muto" received the "Most Impressive Animation Technique" award. Em Kempf received the Best Local Animated Short for "Maniacal" and Amanda Goodbread received "Best Local Student Animated Short" for "Curtains".

"Animation Attack!" was very well received and attended- it was a joy and relief for staff to hear the audience laugh loudly at films like Chris Conforti's "Frog" and Edmond Hawkins' "Soccer Time". Max Margulies, Naoko Masuda, and Amanda Goodbread answered questions from the audience, moderated by Brett W. Thompson.

Upcoming ASIFA-Atlanta events are International Animation Day at the High Museum's Hill Auditorium on October 28th, Don Hertzfeldt at Midtown Art Cinema on November 11th, and to end the year, an art opening on December 6th at Eyedrum, featuring a plethora of Golden Era themed artwork by local cartoonists and wildly creative music by local bands Floating Coats, The Back Pockets, The Falcon Lords, and Omelet. Details for these and future events can be found at asifa-atlanta.com.

-Brett W. Thompson, President of ASIFA-Atlanta

Monday, September 29, 2008

ASIFA-Atlanta Membership Form

This is an experimental replacement for our paper form, as beautiful as it is!

ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d'Animation) was formed in 1960 by an international group of animators to coordinate and increase worldwide visibility of animated film. ASIFA's membership includes animation professionals and fans from more than 50 countries

Benefits to being a member of ASIFA-Atlanta:
- Discounts to screenings, festivals, and events
- The right to show your work in our annual screenings of local animation, "Roll Yer Own" and "Blowin' Smoke" as well as possibly have your film sent around the world as part of "International Animation Day"
- You'll be a member of ASIFA-International as well, which means you will get a subscription to the ASIFA members-only magazine
- And best of all, it offers you a chance to meet and talk with professionals, students, and other fans of animation!

Be a part of the thriving animation community in Atlanta- join ASIFA-Atlanta!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Superjail premieres tonight!

I'm a huge fan of Superjail. Aaron Augenblick hired an unbelievably talented staff, and he and Christy Karacas are brilliant.

Several of the films in Animation Attack! came from Augenblick folks who worked on Superjail! We showed two of Christy's films last year, and this year Aaron's film "Golden Age" got Best Animated Short, for instance.

I also got to visit Augenblick Studios briefly when I visited NYC. What an awesome place!!

So, Superjail premieres tonight at 11:45pm on Adult Swim, woo hoo!

I just found some extras on adultswim.com:

- Pilot (with extras!! wow!!)
- First Episode (airing tonight I think?)

Thanks to Radio Diatribe blog for these links!

I love Superjail for many reasons. It's great to see full, beautiful, crazy animation like this, and it's inspiring and encouraging that it was all done by hand and not shipped anywhere. It's great to see the crazy gags (I'm a sucker for violence). And it's really great to see super talented animators working on something they love (it shows!).

I'm hoping Superjail will have a big impact and bring more appreciation for hand-drawn, creative animation like this. Yay!

Support Superjail!! I want to see a second season happen, even though I've only seen two episodes, haha!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quote about Don Hertzfeldt's new film

I've mentioned this before but thanks to ASIFA-Atlanta's screening coordinator Karl Sigler, Don Hertzfeldt is coming to Atlanta to show his new film (and his old ones too) on November 11th, 9pm, at Midtown Art Cinema! It's going to be awesome!

We just got this quote about the film, "I Am So Proud of You":

"A fucking masterpiece. I can't even begin to articulate my thoughts about the
film but it just gave me shivers and I wasn't able to attend the party after
the screening. Just had to be alone. It had this effect on a number of other
people here too. Stunning, beautiful, tragic, absurd work."

-Chris Robinson
Director, Ottawa International Animation Festival


Monday, September 22, 2008

munnybrella at MINT

There was an awesome munny show at MINT yesterday; my little guy is in the picture above! I've got some other pictures of him that I might post later.

I was thoroughly impressed with the high quality of the pieces. I could talk about all of them, but you should just see for yourself.

More info here:


Thanks to Victoria Warren and Chris for putting together such a great show, and also to MINT of course!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

ASIFA-Atlanta Art Show!

ASIFA-Atlanta is having an art opening/music show/party! It's at the Eyedrum on December 6th. Entry will be free for ASIFA-Atlanta members, Eyedrum members, and participating artists, and $7 for other folks.

This art show was the idea of ASIFA-Atlanta board member Alena Spragg. We want to give our members and the community a chance to show their talents. We also want to throw an event to end the year with a bang!

Most of ASIFA-Atlanta's events are film screenings, but this event will showcase a plethora of art inspired by Golden Age Comics and Cartoons, as well as the extremely creative music of Floating Coats, The Back Pockets, The Falcon Lords, and Omelet. All of these bands either have visual artists as members or are visually interesting themselves. It is certain to be captivating.

The purpose of the theme of Golden Age Comics and Cartoons is to serve as inspiration and also to encourage research and appreciation.

ASIFA-Atlanta is the local chapter of the worldwide animation society ASIFA ("Association International du Film d'Animation"), which was founded in 1960 in France. One need not be an animator to be an ASIFA-Atlanta member. ASIFA aims to promote the art and appreciation of animation.

ASIFA-Atlanta puts together animation screenings of films from all over the world ("International Animation Day"), local independent and commercial films ("Roll Yer Own" and "Blowin' Smoke"), and historical cartoons ("To Hell with Hitler", curated by Clay Croker last February), as well as offering a regular workshop at Manuel's Tavern (www.atl-animators.org) and a weekly figure drawing class (every Thursday night at Westwood College).

Artists participating in this show include veteran animation professionals (Joe Peery, Todd Redner, John Ryan), award-winning comics artists (Rich Tommaso, who recently won the Eisner) and many very talented locals, including several people from the Hand Job Live Art Crew (Thom Foolery, Andrew Bellury, Ted Murphy, Chris Hamer, Amanda Goodbread), and dedicated ASIFA-Atlanta volunteers (Aubrey Longley-Cook, Laurence Laufer, Jacqueline Stringham), as well as independent comics artists (Alex App, Joel Ball, Ambrose Hoilman).

The lovely flyer was designed by John Cason.

The following is the list of artists participating in the show (so far!):

Alena Spragg
Alex App
Allen Spetnagel
Amanda Goodbread
Ambrose Hoilman
Andrew Bellury
April Leigh
Aubrey Longley-Cook
Brandon Ross
Brett W. Thompson
Chris Hamer
Claire Reeve
Jacqueline Stringham
Joe Peery
Joel Ball
John Cason
John Ryan
Laurence Laufer
Rebecca Salcedo
Rich Tommaso
Ryan Bousquet
Savannah Murphy
Solomon Mars
Stephen Sweny
Ted Murphy
Thom Foolery
Todd Redner

Friday, September 12, 2008

ASIFA-Atlanta Art Show!

ASIFA-Atlanta is having an art opening/music show/party! It's at the Eyedrum on December 6th, and you are invited :)

Entry will be free for ASIFA-Atlanta members, Eyedrum members, and participating artists, and $7 for other folks.

We are still very much looking for artists. If you email us soon, we will be able to include your name on the flyer when we print it up! :)

Here are the submission details:

- Any art somehow inspired by Golden Age of Comics/Cartoons (we're stretching it from 1920's to 1970's)
- Artists who aren't members of ASIFA-Atlanta will have to pay a $5 entry free
- Artists will be able to sell their art for a price of their choosing (so the $5 will hopefully be easy to get back!)
- Drop off day is November 17th
- Pieces will hang in Eyedrum for about three weeks
- Artists can submit 1-3 pieces
- Please email brett.w.thompson@gmail.com or spragg.a7@gmail.com to be added to the artist list

The following mind-blowingly amazing bands will be playing:



The Falcon Lords


The Back Pockets


Floating Coats


Thanks to John Cason for making the beautiful flyer!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Upcoming ASIFA-Atlanta Events:

- International Animation Day at the High Museum on October 28th, free! 7pm and 9pm.You'll be able to reserve seats at asifa-atlanta.com as the date gets closer.

- Don Hertzfeldt at Midtown Art Cinema on November 11th, 9pm, $8 for ASIFA-Atlanta members, $10 for regular folks

- First Annual ASIFA-Atlanta Gallery Show December 6th at Eyedrum; bands playing are Omelet, The Falcon Lords, The Back Pockets, and Floating Coats! Participating artists and ASIFA-Atlanta members will get in free.

We are still very much looking for artists to submit work for the show; work is due November 17th and can be anything inspired by Golden Era of Comics/Cartoons. Please email Brett at brett.w.thompson@gmail.com if you are interested in being added to the list of artists. You'll be able to put a price on and hopefully sell your work- it will hang in Eyedrum for about three weeks. If you're not an ASIFA-Atlanta member, there will be a $5 hanging fee (but as a participating artist you'll get in for free).