Friday, May 29, 2015

"Revengeance" Kickstarter stretch goal success!

A big "Thank You" to everyone who helped support our Kickstarter campaign for "Revengeance".  We started with a goal of $80,000 and we surpassed it, with over $90,000 in donations.

Of course, a lot of the credit goes to the awesome Adam Rackoff, who worked his butt off to spread the word and make it a success. 


Thanks to all you supporters, we can now continue the production of "Revengeance", which is written, designed and voiced by the great Jim Lujan and animated by yours truly. 

We're hoping to finish this film by the winter of 2016, and then we'll send it out to film festivals all over.  So hopefully you'll be able to see it in your local multiplex or art cinema shortly after that.  Even better, if you're a Kickstarter contributor, you'll get to see your name in the credits. 

I love Kickstarter!  It's such an important part of me being able to remain independent and make films the way I want to make them. 

Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word, and thanks again to everyone who kicked in some money. 

--Bill Plympton

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"Revengeance" Kickstarter campaign success!

Yeee Haw!  We made our Kickstarter goal of $80,000 for "Revengeance", the new animated feature I'm making with Jim Lujan -

However, it was a close call - now we have one day left in the campaign, so my Kickstarter advisor said that it would be super cool if we could go over our goal, set a new stretch goal and raise money for the post-production of the film.  So we're going to make a bold move and raise the goal to $90,000 - that is, if we get another $10,000, we'll put that money toward editing, sound and promotion.

The crowd-funding landscape sort of changed a bit since we raised money for my last film, CHEATIN' - I don't know if there are just more projects out there to fund or what, but it's not as easy as it used to be.  My thanks to Adam Rackoff for keeping on top of things, and adding more rewards tiers to get more people to back the film.  My staff also helped out by digging through bins of artwork to find some of the best images from my classic films - we raided the archive to help raise money for the next film!

                                                           Get them while they last!

We also benefited from the great news that Matthew Modine will be joining the voice cast of the film.  Matthew's been a great friend and has done voices for me before, in my shorts "Santa, the Fascist Years" and "The Flying House", so it will be great to work with him again.  I'm glad that working with me didn't prevent him from being in films like "Jobs" and "The Dark Knight Rises".

                                      Matthew Modine and his "Revengeance" character, Sid

"Revengeance" is about 1/3 done, and I must say, in all modesty - it looks fantastic!  And I hope you'll be proud to help support such an amazing film.  I'll remind you that for a measly $1,500 I will create a character from your photo and put you in a scene or two in the movie - you'll be immortalized forever (I guess that's redundant) in a Bill Plympton film!

So, keep indie animation alive and tell your friends that they have until 9 pm on Thursday, May 21 to be part of this great film - once again, the link to the campaign is:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/billplympton/bill-plymptons-revengeance-an-animated-feature-fil

Thanks,

Bill Plympton

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

CHEATIN' Tour, Part 5

The next stop on my CHEATIN' tour was Columbus, Ohio.  I flew there from Portland, and after so many cities in a row, it was tough to leave my hometown of Portland, but also nice to be getting close to returning to New York.  In Columbus the Gateway Film Center had a special Monday night screening of CHEATIN', followed by a meet-and-greet with members of their local film club.

As part of the publicity materials for the theaters, I had signed 10 prints of art from my film, and we told each theater that they could use them however they wanted to promote the film - they could raffle them off, they could give them to the first 10 people in the door, whatever they thought would get the most attention.  In Columbus, they gave away the prints to members of this Film Club - I'm glad that clubs like this exist to appreciate movies, so check out the cinemas in your area to see if you can join one!  You never know what you'll get out of it.

After Columbus, I came back home to NY, to a big pile of e-mail and some interview requests, but just a few days later I was on the train up to Boston, for the opening night screening at the Brattle Theater.  There was a great crowd at the Brattle, especially considering that "Avengers: Age of Ultron" was opening that same day.  Maybe that film got sold out and people came to see CHEATIN' instead, I don't know.  But people waited in a long line after the show to get sketches from me, which I always appreciate.

I remember one trip I took up to Boston back when my film "Mondo Plympton" was playing in theaters, and there was a huge snowstorm that day, plus there was a Bugs Bunny festival playing in another theater across town, so very few people came out to my show.  This trip to Boston was a lot better, so that's progress.

                                      Doing a Q&A session at the Brattle Theater in Boston.

Finally, I took a trip up to Rochester, NY, arranged by Peter Murphey at RIT.  I've been up to RIT before, they have a great animation department.  I did two presentations at the school on Wednesday, one was more about the artistic side of making animation, and the other was more about the business aspects of it, like how to survive as an independent animator. 

My thanks to Maxwell Harvey-Sampson for taking such great photos of my lectures at RIT.

The next night, I appeared at the Little Theatre in Rochester, which is another of these cool little indie cinemas that you should definitely check out if you're in the area.  They screened CHEATIN' and I did the Q&A session afterwards, and once again people lined up to get their sketches.  I definitely felt like a rock-star after making so many appearances around the country! 

                                         The crowd at the Little Theatre after the screening

But that sort of brought me to a break the tour.  Not really the end, because we're already setting up the next leg, with screenings in Philadelphia and Washington DC at the end of July (stay tuned for details).  If I didn't make it to your city this time around, please let me know, or contact your local theater and tell them they can still book CHEATIN' this summer by e-mailing me or my staff.

Right now, I need to get back to animating some new projects, and answering some of my mail.  Plus we have to get ready for San Diego Comic-Con, which is really right around the corner. 

Meanwhile, check out my Kickstarter campaign for "Revengeance", we've only got a few days left to make our goal, and we recently added some new rewards, including a whole bunch of original animation art from some of my most classic films!  Please take a look, here's a link:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/billplympton/bill-plymptons-revengeance-an-animated-feature-fil

Friday, May 1, 2015

CHEATIN' Tour, Part 4

My next stop on my tour was Denver, where I met a lot of old friends to reminisce about my early years.  Also, Ron Henderson, the past director of the Denver Film Festival, was there to introduce me.  Back in the mid-1990's, he was the first person to organize a complete Bill Plympton retrospective.

Finally, I arrived in my home state of Oregon, to do a 4-city tour.  It began in Portland, where I dropped in at LAIKA, the studio behind "The Boxtrolls", "Coraline" and "Paranorman" - I gave a talk to help promote my film and got to hang out with Travis Knight, lead animator on "The Boxtrolls".


Then I had two sold-out shows at Cinema 21, thanks to Tom Ranieri and my local publicity guy, Steve Tenhonen.

The next day, I traveled to Salem Cinema, where my old friend Loretta Miles organized an afternoon premiere of CHEATIN'.  As soon as I finished my Q&A, I jumped into my rental car and hustled up to Portland to do an appearance on the LiveWire broadcast.

                                       Hey, it's a cake with my "Guard Dog" character on it!

It was a packed house of 700 people, even with a monsoon storm going on outside.  LiveWire is a very cool radio show, similar to "Prairie Home Companion" - lots of awesome interviews, comedians and musical guests.  In the green room, I got to chat with Ken Jennings, the celebrated all-time winner of the most games on "Jeopardy!", and Andy Richter from the "Conan" show.  Of course, I was there to promote CHEATIN', now available on Vimeo on Demand.

                                             With Andy Richter at the LiveWire broadcast

                                                  With Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings

The following day, I drove to Corvallis, home of the Oregon State Beavers, to appear at the cool Darkside Cinema - unfortunately, they weren't aware of my appearance until the day before, so there were only 6 Plympton fans in the audience.

On to Eugene, home of the Oregon Ducks - I showed CHEATIN' at the Bijou Cinema, which used to be a church, then a funeral home, and now it's a very "religious" cinema.

Part 5 coming soon!

--Bill

Monday, April 27, 2015

CHEATIN' Tour, Part 3

From Seattle I flew to San Francisco, where I had three screenings of CHEATIN' in the area.  The first was at the historic (1910's), Roxie Theater.  It used to be a porn palace in the 1970's, and now they switched to indie films and serving beer to give a boost to the audience.  (I had to hope that the pissing guy from Seattle didn't show up at the Roxie.)


The next day, I went out to Berkeley to screen at the Rialto in Elmwood.  It wasn't a big crowd, but it was the most enthusiastic crowd ever.  There was even a guy who had my face tattooed on his arm!

                                    Now THIS is a Bill Plympton fan!  Check out that tattoo!

From there, I went to Sebastopol for a screening of CHEATIN', and afterwards I took a side trip to Santa Rosa, the setting for Alfred Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt", and also the location of the Schulz Museum, home to "Peanuts" and "Snoopy" art.



The next morning, I flew to Los Angeles, where I met with the great and hilarious Patton Oswalt, to record his voice for my new short film (we're keeping the title secret, prior to making an official announcement to follow).

That night, we had a preview screening of CHEATIN' at USC's School of Film.  It was a wonderful event, even Rob Clampett (Bob's son) was there.  Also, the great Tom Sito was on hand to direct a Q&A session for an inquisitive gaggle of animation students.

The next day, with I met with the wonderful writer and voice artist on "Revengeance", Jim Lujan.  We spent the afternoon talking about the Kickstarter campaign and the progress of the film itself.

                                                    With Jim Lujan and Ken Mora in L.A.

Jim then drove me to the special screening of CHEATIN' at the Arena Theater.  This was a star-studded event to promote the release of CHEATIN' on Vimeo on Demand on April 21.

Lots of bloggers were invited to the screening, and press people were there to photograph TV and movie actors, none of whom I recognized.  However, the reigning Playboy Playmate of the Year was there, and also David Silverman ("The Simpsons Movie") was Master of Ceremonies.

It was a packed house, and we all gathered at the awesome W Hotel after to party into the night.  What a great time! 
                                               With David Silverman at the Arena Theater

                                               With Jim Lujan at the CHEATIN' screening

                                    With Alexia Anastasio, David Silverman, Theo Dumont,
                                                 Jim Lujan and Kevin Sean Michaels.

Part 4 coming soon!

--Bill P.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Revengeance on Kickstarter

I've got very exciting news - we've just begun a big Kickstarter campaign for the new feature film I'm making with Jim Lujan.

I've had to keep it under wraps for a long time, because we promised the exclusive for a big-time publication, but now I'm finally free to talk about our Kickstarter campaign.

As some of you know, I met Jim at the San Diego Comic Con and he kept giving me his DVDs to watch (I get a lot of DVDs) but I never did until one rainy afternoon when I had nothing to do.  I slipped on his "Rod Rosse" DVD and became totally obsessed with his characters and voices.  I called him up to propose making a feature together, and that's where "Revengeance" was born.



We've got some really cool rewards available for the contributors.  For example, one of the funnest rewards is a caricature of the backer that I will personally animate as a character in the movie.  So you can be immortalized in a Bill Plympton film!  Imagine the joy of telling your grandchildren that you're a famous cartoon character, like Bugs Bunny or Bambi, in an animated film.  Pretty awesome, huh?

You can also get the film on DVD or BluRay as a reward (you'll have to wait until we finish making it, though...) or rewards like my book "Independently Animated", or my Super Fan Package.

So, please check out our Kickstarter campaign via the link below.  Thanks so much for your support!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/billplympton/bill-plymptons-revengeance-an-animated-feature-fil

--Bill



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

CHEATIN' Tour, Part 2

My next stop was Seattle, Washington, the NW Film Forum -


It's a delightful independent cinema where ten years ago, I screened my feature "Hair High".  At that screening, some drunken fan stood up on his seat, pulled out his wang and started to piss all over the audience.  I was waiting outside, heard the screams and saw throngs of horrified attendees stampeding out of the theater.  We were finally able to wrangle the drunken guy out of the cinema and on to the street.  Unfortunately, after we cleaned up his mess, there were only three stalwart audience members who remained to watch the end of the film.

Fortunately for this screening of CHEATIN', we had no drunk assholes to ruin the night, and the audience enjoyed the film without any "scattered showers". 

After Seattle, I rode up to Bellingham, Washington, to a small cinema there called the Limelight, part of the Pickford Film Center. 


They held a nice wine reception for me at the opening.  I had visited Bellingham when I was a child, and my aunt, Hazel Plympton, lived there and taught art.  It's a beautiful old city on the shores of Puget Sound.  I was able to walk around the old logging and fishing city and explore its turn-of-the-century architecture.

I'll be posting Part 3 of my travelog soon - but I'm still out on tour, so don't forget to check the schedule and come meet me in person at a screening of CHEATIN'!

Monday, April 20, 2015

CHEATIN' Tour, Part 1

So my booking agent, Michael Tuckman, set me up on a 15-cinema, 10-city tour to help promote my film CHEATIN' as a theatrical release, and also to help get some national publicity for the film's Vimeo-On-Demand release on April 21.  And he did a great job - it's extremely complicated to arrange all of these screenings in all of these locations, plus to figure out travel, hotels, publicity and screening formats.  So far Michael and John Holderried, my office manager and itinerary planner, have made my trip work like a fine watch.

My first stop was the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago.  It's a wonderful arts cinema and I had a lot of young animators studying at the Art Institute show up to hear me talk about animation and how I survive as an independent filmmaker.

                              With Emily Esperanza at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago

The next stop was Minneapolis/St. Paul, a screening at the International Film Festival there, which is located in a huge multiplex cinema right on the banks of the Mississippi River. It was a beautiful day and everyone was sitting out in the caf├ęs and taverns, feeling the cool spring breeze.  What a great location for a film festival!  It's called MSPIFF - so it sounds like you're spitting when you pronounce it. 

                                       Drawing sketches at the Minneapolis/St. Paul screening

I got to hang out with Rebekah Maysles, she's Albert Maysles' daughter, and she had a film there called "Iris", which her father directed.  So we talked about documentaries and getting releases, since I'm working on a new mockumentary called "Hitler's Folly". 


It's a wonderful festival, you should all enter your films there and be sure to attend!

Part 2 of my tour blog to follow shortly!

--Bill

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Village Voice

As I hope you're aware, my new feature film, CHEATIN', is being released in theaters across the U.S. this month.  See my earlier post for the full schedule.

It's going to be a crazy month - in addition to the hundreds of interviews, I'm doing a cross-country caravan, hitting 15 cities to promote CHEATIN' (the movie, not the act...)

So, it's a very tense and nervous time.  Will I be receiving great reviews or rejections in each city?  Will there be packed movie theaters or cinemas that look like ghost towns? 

I was greatly relieved to get the reviews that came out around the time of the NYC opening.  The Village Voice, the paper based in the neighborhood where we were screening, said things like "more inspired gorgeous wonder than late Malick films" and "don't-miss-it chance to see a master dream up a pungent freak-out".

http://www.villagevoice.com/movies/cheatin-4027326/

Wow, how can I top that?  And then I got the review from the New York Times.  Among other great things, they said it's a "lusty film-noir dreamscape" with a "volatile blending of the sensual and the grotesque". 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/03/movies/review-cheatin-conjures-a-lusty-film-noir-dreamscape.html?_r=0

But the best one came from IndieWire - they called it "the best animated movie of 2015". 

http://www.indiewire.com/article/the-best-animated-movie-of-2015-is-already-here-20150401

I'm so relieved that people like the movie - after spending all my savings on it and drawing for three years on the project, it's finally going to find its audience.  So please check my Facebook page or the schedule here on my blog, or follow me on Twitter to find out when CHEATIN' might be coming to your city! 

I hope to see you there -

Thanks,

Bill Plympton

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

CHEATIN' release update

It's Day 5 of the theatrical release of CHEATIN' at the Village East Cinema.  We only have two more days to go, and the chances of breaking even don't look good.  We had great opening audiences on Friday, and a few of the evening shows have been crowded, but not enough to make a profit.

Since we couldn't get the type of distribution we wanted, we decided to "four-wall" the cinema, that meant we essentially rented the theater for one whole week for a lot of money, hoping that the buzz for the film would fill the seats.

Well, an empty theater seat is a terrible thing to waste - and even with the stellar reviews we got (we have an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes) we're just not bringing in the crowds.

I believe the big problem is our lack of a sufficient advertising budget.  All the big Hollywood films pump out millions of dollars to promote their films - I think we spent just $800 on ads.

Yet, in the Village East Cinema, CHEATIN' is kicking Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart's asses - and they have "Get Hard" on two screens, while we have only one.

Next week, I start my 15-city tour - so hopefully I'll be able to bring you better news from the hinterlands.  Thanks for all your help, spreading the word about independent animation!

--Bill P.

                                                 Hey, look, CHEATIN' is on the marquee! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Crazy week!!!

April will be a very busy month for me - I'm juggling numerous projects.

The first project is my new short film "The Loneliest Stoplight", it's about 6 minutes long and it's all colored and it looks beautiful.  I'll be in L.A. later this month and I'm going to have a famous comedian record the voice-over.  I'm very excited about this new short, it may be my best.

Also, I'm in the middle of animating my new feature film, written by the hilarious Jim Lujan.  He also designed it and is doing most of the voices.  I'm about 1/3 of the way through the animation, and in all modesty, I think it looks amazing and I'm having a ball.

The third ball I'm juggling is "Hitler's Folly".  I've shown a very rough cut to some friends who make documentaries, and although they think it's funny, they're having trouble with the main character's personality.  I think I know how to fix it, however I'll have to do some reshoots and that's going to take some time and money.  And I'm hoping to go to the final edit next week, so I'd better hop to it.

And the final big ball is the release of CHEATIN' in theaters across America.  It opens at the Village East Cinemas in New York on April 3, for one week only.  We decided to "four-wall" it, since no distributor was willing to take a chance on a hand-drawn animated feature for adults.  (Idiots!)

So we need to do a big publicity push to get some buzz going, and hopefully we'll get a big crowd to go to the Village East Cinemas.  I'll be there every night to talk and give sketches to all of the attendees.

From there, I go on to a 2 1/2 week tour of the U.S. to promote the film in 15 theaters.  You can see my schedule in my last blog post - I'm going to Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, Bellingham WA, San Francisco, Berkeley, Sonoma CA, Denver, Portland, Salem, Eugene OR, Corvallis OR, Columbus OH, Boston. 

And on April 21, we're offering CHEATIN' exclusively on Vimeo - and this is where we hope to cash in on all of our hard work.  I've been working on this film since 2009, and it's so great to finally see the fruits of my labor available to the public.

So, if you were a Kickstarter contributor, or just a fan of my animation, please help spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever - tell everyone to check out CHEATIN' - I think you'll fall in love with the film!

Thanks for your support!

--Bill Plympton


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

CHEATIN' theatrical release in April

All you Kickstarter backers and Plympton fans will be delighted to learn that we finally have a release date for my latest feature film, CHEATIN'.

Mark your calendars, because on April 3, CHEATIN' will have its U.S. theatrical premiere in NYC - then the next week it starts opening across America.


We're planning to do a lot of press and personal appearances - in NYC we're going to have a star-studded premiere, and everyone who comes will get a free Bill Plympton sketch, and a few of the early attendees will get some prints or drawings from the film.

As I travel around the country (like a rock star) making appearances, I also plan on giving out sketches to every member of the audience who wants one.  We'll also have very cool posters and DVDs of my earlier films for sale.

Below is a list of the opening dates around the country, and then a rough itinerary of my travels.  Please tell your friends and everyone you know to come check out CHEATIN'!  Keep checking back here, because we could book more dates, and my staff will keep the lists updated.

We weren't able to get a big-time distributor for the film.  Most of them believe there is no audience for an animated feature that's hand-drawn and made for adults.  That's why I'm relying on YOU, my faithful fans, to show up and show them that they're wrong.

Instead, we hired a booker to set up these screening dates and my rock-star tour.  This is truly a new type of independent model for distribution, and I think this is really the format for the future.  Often, even if a film is a big success, it never makes a profit, because money is siphoned off by agents, distributors and lawyers.  We don't have any of those, so we have a greater chance of breaking even.

In fact, in New York we decided to "four-wall" the film, that means we're basically renting the cinema for a week, but we get to keep all of the box office.  It's very risky, and we could lose our investment if people don't show up.  So, once again, we need the support of my faithful audience to help us get our money back.

So please tell all of your friends, and even your enemies, to come see me and CHEATIN' when I come to your town.  Check your local listings for showtimes + tickets.  I hope to see you there!

You can also read more about the upcoming release here:
http://www.awn.com/news/new-trailer-poster-released-bill-plympton-s-cheatin

--Bill Plympton

CHEATIN' THEATRICAL RELEASE OPENING DATES

April 3 - NEW YORK - Village East Cinema
April 10 - CHICAGO - Gene Siskel Theater
April 13 - MINNEAPOLIS - St. Anthony Main Theater (Minneapolis Film Festival Screening)
April 15 - SEATTLE - NW Film Forum
April 16 - BELLINGHAM, WA - Pickford Film Center
April 17 - SAN FRANCISCO - Roxie Theater
April 17 - BERKELEY, CA - Elmwood Cinema
April 17 - SONOMA, CA - Sebastopol Cinemas
April 17 - SANTA FE, NM - Jean Cocteau Cinema
April 17 - KANSAS CITY, MO - Screenland Crossroads
April 21 - GAINESVILLE, FL - The Wooly
April 24 - DENVER - Sie Film Center
April 24 - PORTLAND, OR - Cinema 21
April 24 - EUGENE, OR - Bijou Theater
April 24 - SALEM, OR - Salem Cinema
April 24 - CORVALLIS, OR - Darkside Cinema
April 24 - ALBUQUERQUE, NM - Guild Cinema
April 24 - COLUMBUS, OH - Gateway Film Center
April 24 - TEMPE, AZ - Harkins Valley Art
April 28 - DALLAS, TX - Texas Theater
April 30 - WINSTON-SALEM, NC - Aperture Cinema
May 1 - MINNEAPOLIS - U Film
May 1 - BOSTON - Brattle Theater
May 1 - MONTREAL, QUEBEC - Cinema du Parc
May 1 - MAITLAND, FL - Enzian Theater
May 3 - SAN DIEGO, CA - Media Arts Center
May 7 - ROCHESTER, NY - Little Theater
May 10 - AUSTIN, TX - Austin Film Society
May 15 - PHOENIX, AZ - FilmBar
May 22 - PELHAM, NY - The Picturehouse


BILL PLYMPTON APPEARANCE SCHEDULE (subject to change, times TBD)

April 3-5 - NEW YORK - Village East Cinema
April 12 - CHICAGO - Gene Siskel Theater
April 13-14 - MINNEAPOLIS - St. Anthony Main Theater
April 15 - SEATTLE - NW Film Forum
April 16 - BELLINGHAM, WA - Pickford Film Center
April 17 - SAN FRANCISCO - Roxie Theater
April 18 - BERKELEY, CA - Elmwood Cinema
April 19 - SONOMA, CA - Sebastopol Cinemas
April 22 - DENVER - Sie Film Center
April 24-25 - PORTLAND, OR - Cinema 21
April 25 - SALEM, OR - Salem Cinema
April 26 - EUGENE, OR - Bijou Theater
April 26 - CORVALLIS, OR - Darkside Cinema
April 27 - COLUMBUS, OH - Gateway Film Center
May 1 - BOSTON - Brattle Theater
May 7 - ROCHESTER, NY - Little Theater

Monday, February 23, 2015

Enzian Theater's 30th Anniversary

I first attended the Florida Film Festival back in the early 1990's.  I went to this festival in Orlando and had a ball, because it was one of those rare festivals that seemed to care more about the filmmakers than the press or sponsors.  I was treated so well I decided to come back, and come back I did. 


They claim that I've had more films screen at the Florida Film Festival then any other filmmaker - and that led to me creating two trailers and two posters for the festival, and happily I was also commissioned to design a mural for their very popular Eden Bar. 

                             People drinking at the Eden Bar, with my mural in the background!

Since this February they were celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Enzian Theater (coincidentally, it's also my 30th Anniversary of working in animation) they asked me to create a new trailer to celebrate the event and they brought me down to be part of the celebration. 



The weather in NYC, as you all know, has been extremely frigid, so a long weekend break in sunny Florida seemed like the perfect getaway for Valentine's Day with my wife, Sandrine.

The big celebration at the Enzian was a marvelous event, presided over by Siggy, Henry and Liz, with great food and the typical warm family atmosphere that is the custom at the Florida Film Festival.


But the biggest news was the announcement of a massive new construction project to expand the one-screen cinema into a much larger three-screen cinema with a second kitchen and larger lobby.  It will be the centerpiece of culture in central Florida.


If you have a new film, please enter it in the Florida Film Festival, and be sure to attend.  You'll have a ball!


For more information about the Enzian Theater and the Florida Film Festival, please visit:
http://www.enzian.org/

--Bill P.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Jennifer Aniston and Me

I got an invitation to see Jennifer Aniston's new film "Cake" and to also have dinner and drinks and meet the star herself.  I don't always go to these events - I'm usually too busy, but I thought this might be a good opportunity to introduce myself as the animator who drew her character on the FOX T.V. show "The Edge" years ago.  Also, I thought she might be interested in doing a voice for a new short film I'm starting work on, called "The Loneliest Stoplight".

So, I went to the packed screening of "Cake".  Aniston is, of course, wonderful in it, but the film itself is not my kind of movie.  It's very cynical and depressing. 

I took a cab to the reception, got there early and introduced myself to her, and I was just about to mention "The Edge" when some old friends of hers butted in, and slowly I got pushed to the periphery, then photographers told me to move out of the way so they could take pictures.

But I hung in there, knowing that she'd probably be delighted to meet the guy who did animation for the sketch comedy show she was on before "Friends" - perhaps she'd even ask me for a drawing.  More of her friends joined in the crowd, and the more I hung around, the more her personal bodyguards thought I was a stalker.

Finally, the burly bodyguard told me to back away from her so she could eat.  But I explained to the guy that I worked with her on a project and wanted to chat with her for a minute.  He then became very insistent that I move away so she could have her dinner. 

So I asked him if she or her management company actually paid $15,000 for this event so she could eat dinner, or if they forked over the big bucks so she could meet Academy voters and talk about her film for an Oscar nomination.  That didn't seem to convince him, as he moved his body directly between Ms. Aniston and me. 

I took the hint that my opportunity was now gone, as he seemed to single me out as a troublemaker.  So I grabbed my coat and as I left in frustration I said to the bodyguard, "Because of you, I'm not going to vote for Ms. Aniston or the film.  And I don't believe those are Jennifer's wishes." 

Boy, I really told him off - but in the end neither of us got nominated this time, so we couldn't meet up at the Governors Ball and laugh about the whole incident.  Now that would have been cool!

--Bill P.

Monday, February 9, 2015

My trip to the 2015 Annie Awards


I've just returned to the frozen tundra of NYC from the tropical paradise of L.A., where I attended the famous Annie Awards.  I also used that golden opportunity to make an appearance at Sony Pictures Animation, to see what they were doing and talk about my new films.

I also did a show at the Steve Allen Theater, where I showed clips from my new films, "Hitler's Folly" (which I was very nervous about, but people laughed a lot...) and "Revengeance" with Jim Lujan, which also got a great reception.

                                At the Annies with Ken Mora, Jim Lujan, Sandrine Plympton
                                                              and James Hancock.

                          On the red carpet with CHEATIN' composer Nicole Renaud and Sandrine.

But on to the Annies - it's a wonderful black-tie affair that takes place at UCLA's Royce Hall.  It's become the Oscars for animation - all the big studios put their big films and big stars on display.

 I got to hang out with Matt Groening - in fact, I introduced him to Phil Lord and Christopher Miller of  "LEGO Movie" fame.  (Chris used to be an intern at my studio years ago.)  It turns out they're mutual admirers. 

                  Matt Groening meets Christopher Miller and Phil Lord from "The LEGO Movie"

                 With Sandrine and Brandon Oldenburg and William Joyce of Moonbot Studios.

I said hello to Travis Knight of Laika House, producer of "The Boxtrolls", and I was also able to chat with Leslie Iwerks, granddaughter of the famous Ub Iwerks, and a great documentary filmmaker.  Also, I congratulated Bonnie Arnold on her big success, being hired as the head of Dreamworks Animation.  She's famous for producing "Toy Story" and a bunch of Pixar hits, but she also produced the big hit "How to Train Your Dragon 2", which I believe was the best animated film of 2014.

So I knew going in that had only a snowball's chance in hell of winning an Annie - but that's OK, because I just love hanging out in L.A. (the mecca of animation) and catching up with my friends and talking about animation. 

                              With David Silverman (producer/director on "The Simpsons")
                                  and Jerry Beck, animation historian ("Cartoon Research")

                                  With Tomm Moore ("Song of the Sea") and his wife, plus
                                       CHEATIN' composer Nicole Renaud and Sandrine.

If you're interested in finding out who the winners were, you can check them out at http://annieawards.org/

--Bill Plympton