My short film “Santa, The Fascist Years” got nominated at the Annies, which is one of my favorite events because I can see everyone who’s anyone in the animation industry in one glamorous night. So I decided to do some meetings and some appearances at the same time. Maybe make a few bucks.
My first stop was Sony pictures where I pitched a couple of feature film ideas “The Jester” and “Underearth” to Hannah Minghella. Fred Siebert helped set up the meeting and I think it went pretty well.
The next stop was the Woodbury College; a lovely campus nestled in the San Gabriel hills. The legendary Ric Heitzman met me. He’s famous for designing all of the sets for Peewee Herman’s show. He’s now an instructor at the well-known art college. I also did a quick masterclass at UCLA. Then in the evening I had a special screening of “Idiots and Angels” at the USC animation theater.
It was strange because right across the hall from me was the celebrated Russian animator Yuri Norstein. It was the battle of the indie animators. My show was packed.
Then later that night my commercial agent Ron Diamond invited me for a special dinner in Yuri’s honor. All of the animation greats turned out, my producer Biljana Labovic, Bill Kroyer, Igor Kovalyov and Matt Groening. I get to sit nest to Shane Acker ("9") and Mark Osborne ("Kung Fu Panda") and what's interesting is they both complained about their troubles getting another project off the ground- what!!! "Kung Fu Panda" was the most successful animated film of the year and he can't get another project. Weird!! We ended up drinking vodka pretty late. I walked Matt Groening to his Prius and we reminisced about our younger days in Oregon.