The next month I was at the Stuttgart Festival, where I got to meet the coordinator and co-creator of "Books", William Joyce. You may know him as the creator of "Robots" for Blue Sky, Roli Poli Oli, and Disney's "Meet the Robinsons". Again, the short film was a huge success (In fact, we programmed it for the Annecy Plus Festival in June). We bonded over great art and cartoons. He showed me his sketchbook and I was blown away!
He and Brandon invited me down to the Moonbot Studios in animation mecca Shreveport, Louisiana. Along the way, their short got nominated for an Oscar, so I was amazed when they found time to bring me down there to do a showing in the middle of their Oscar campaign.
I got a tour of the very beautiful studio, met most of the 35 employees, and marveled at the beautiful artwork hanging on the wall for their new projects. I was salivating like crazy.
Then I perused their huge library and became even more jealous – giant expensive books on Winsor McCay, Maxfield Parrish, and the king N.C. Wyeth.
The whole environment of the place just looks like an adult playground. I was invited to show my resurrection of Winsor McCay's "The Flying House". I first showed the original, silent, 1921 version, followed by the modern updated version. Being that "Bill" Joyce is a total McCay freak, the film went over very well.
Later that night I did a master class at the beautiful Robinson Cinema (No relation to "Meet the Robinsons"!) where I showed my latest shorts.
The next day, Sandrine and I were invited to their historic Mardi Gras Parade. They had to close down a major freeway because the parade has gotten so big. I've never seen so many 4x4 pickups before. The highlight was the Moonbot Studio's own personal float, one of the biggest of the procession. Unfortunately it was so cold that we had to leave halfway through the parade with our strings of beads (it was too cold for flashing boobs.)
So watch the Academy Awards on Feb. 26th to see if Brandon and Bill Joyce get to go on stage and receive their golden statuette – good luck guys!