So it's Annies night and I'm all excited, mostly because I get to meet all the great artists and animators from the Mecca of Animation L.A, Often referred to as the "Oscars of Animation", the Annies are my one chance to see all the greats of animation in one night.
My short film, "Santa, The Fascist Years" was nominated for best short film. So I had an excuse to the Mecca of Animation. I like to get there early because there are so many people to talk to.
First I did the red carpet, which is fun but a little embarrassing because nobody wants to talk to a New Yorker with only a short in competition. Then on to the cocktail party where I got to meet the famous man behind Pixar's success, Ed Catmull, and Tom Moore the director of "The Secret of the Kells". That is a fabulous movie that scored an Oscar nomination without a theatrical release. I figure next year "Idiots and Angels"can slip in like "Kells". He's a nice guy and very talented. We all filed into the Royce Hall (on UCLA campus) for the awards. "Up" won best film and "Coraline" won four awards. "Santa, The Fascist Years" lost to "Robot Chicken" by Seth
I discover that I'm sitting in front of Chris Miller and Phil Lord the two geniuses behind "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs". Ironically Chris Miller interned with me 12 years ago. Even then he was a very clever kid except, when he was sent to my tax lawyer and lost my important documents. He's come a long way and has a big career ahead of him. We chatted awhile then his entourage carried him away. Another highlight was hanging out with the "Coraline" gang. Since I'm from Portland, I knew a lot of them from before, Henry Selick, Mary Sandell, Claire Jennings, Mark Gustafson ("The Fantastic Mr. Fox") and Travis Knight.
Travis who was nominated for best animation is a super guy and he introduced me to him famous dad, Phil Knight. He's a great guy with no pretensions. He told me a story of the creation of the Nike Swoosh. Apparently he was teaching at Portland State (my alma mater) and walked past a girl in the art department and overheard her talking about needing money for her rent. So Phil offered her the design job for a logo for his start up company Nike shoes. She got paid $70 to turn his rough sketches into the world famous trademark.
Now you may think that she got ripped off but when the company went public she was paid on a truckload of stock, which apparently she still hasn't cashed in. I think he said she's designing wallpaper now.
I recommend the Annies it's a wonderful function and totally relaxed unlike the Oscars.