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

1 comment:

K. said...

Damn we rock.